Union Electioneering Squad ‘Building Power For the Long Term’
AFL-CIO union chief Richard Trumka, Service Employees International Union boss Mary Kay Henry, and other Big Labor officials are going all-out to seize operational control over both chambers of Congress and state governments across the country this fall.
The union hierarchy’s nationwide electoral program is being financed primarily by union dues and fees that millions of hardworking Americans are compelled to fork over, on pain of being fired from their jobs.
How much will union bosses spend on electioneering in the current campaign cycle? History indicates it will be far more than any other special interest group.
Drawing on a variety of published sources, last year the National Institute for Labor Relations Research estimated that Big Labor had spent more than $1.7 billion on politics and lobbying in 2015 and 2016.
The Institute’s analysis relied almost entirely on reporting forms filed by union officials themselves with federal and state government agencies.
Taken together, union officials’ disclosure reports show that the vast majority of the money they spend on electioneering and other ideological activities comes straight from union general treasuries. And union general treasuries consist mostly of workers’ compulsory dues and fees.
Union Operatives Determined to ‘Halt’ Right to Work Advance ‘in Its Tracks’
Under federal campaign-finance law and similar state statutes, forced dues-stocked union treasuries may be used to pay for phone banks, get-out-the-vote drives, propaganda mailings, and other so-called “in-kind” support for candidates.
“Early signs are that union political operatives will pour at least as much forced-dues money into 2017-18 politics and lobbying as they did in 2015 and 2016,” said National Right to Work Committee Vice President Mary King.
“Union bigwigs are revving up their political machine far in advance of the November elections and potentially preparing to spend more forced-dues money on electioneering than ever before to quash the burgeoning employee-freedom movement.
“Thanks to grassroots activists, assisted and counseled by the National Committee, the number of Right to Work states has increased to 28 today from just 22 as of the end of 2011.”
Ms. King cited a recent analysis of this year’s elections by rabidly pro-forced unionism journalist Mark Gruenberg, who wrote:
“Unionists … see 2018 as an election year during which they can join with their allies to win races in all levels of government and halt in its tracks” the Right to Work advance.
Mr. Gruenberg’s take is supplemented by that of Julie Green, the former Democratic National Committee staffer selected by the AFL-CIO brass in January to head the union conglomerate’s new political campaign division.
2018, Ms. Green declares, “is about building power for the long term. … [The] machine we’re trying to build” is “for the long haul.”
Politicians Accept Support From Union Whose Dons FBI is Investigating
Ms. King commented: “Big Labor strategists have good reason to expect the candidates the union hierarchy is backing will unconditionally support forced unionism if they are installed in office or reelected.
“One remarkable illustration of just how dependent on forced-dues campaign support countless politicians are, and how willing they are to do virtually anything in exchange for it, is the eagerness with which many 2018 candidates are seeking United Auto Workers [UAW] union bosses’ backing.”
As veteran automotive industry journalist Joseph Szczesny observed in May, the “credibility” of UAW bosses has been “damaged by the worst scandal to ever rock” the union’s “top executive board.”
At this writing, former UAW Vice President General Holiefield, who died in 2015, has been implicated, and three of his former staffers have been indicted, in a federal investigation involving the alleged misuse of millions of dollars in worker training funds.
Former UAW officers Virdell King and Keith Mickens have already entered guilty pleas.
And several other officers, including presidential nominee Gary Jones and Vice President Cindy Estrada, have been, in Mr. Szczesny’s words, “tarred by the scandal though they have not been charged with any criminal activity.”
The fact that politicians like Democrats Rich Cordray and Betty Sutton, respectively running this year to be governor and lieutenant governor of Ohio, placidly accept support from a union whose dons the FBI is investigating shows just how deeply committed they are to compulsory unionism, Ms. King concluded.