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Latest News - August 2011

August 29, 2011
How labor unions spend dues money
Interesting facts that members should probably be aware of

Source: Charleston Daily Mail

Editorials

Steven Malanga, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of "Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer," points out that as private-sector union membership has declined and public-employee unions have grown, union behavior has changed.

A subhed on his recent column for the Wall Street Journal summed up his point: "Unions weren't so uniformly behind tax increases when most of their members worked for companies in the private economy."

Malanga ticks off some facts many union voters probably don't know:

  • The National Education Association has given 95 percent of its contributions to Democrats since 1990.
  • A dozen unions made the Center for Responsive Politics' list of the top 20 political contributors in

federal elections. Those unions — including AFSCME, the SEIU and Teamsters — have spent $385 million on federal candidates over 20 years, 97 percent of which went to Democrats.

  • On the state level, unions have supported more than two dozen campaigns to raise taxes or boost spending. Unions also spend dues money for causes not related to members' economic interests.
  • When the George W. Bush administration required unions to disclose more information, the National Education Association was found to have used dues money to fund groups like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Push Coalition and Amnesty International.
  • California unions gave more than $2 million to the 2008 campaign to defeat Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
  • Labor groups and their friends spent $54 million to beat Proposition 75 in California. It would have required unions to get members' permission to make political contributions with dues money.

The Democratic Party, which gets many of those contributions, gave almost $3.3 million to the cause.

Union members should ask more questions about how their dues money is spent. The answers might be quite surprising.

 

 


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