Yesterday, I pointed out that union leaders would use every bogeyman and slogan in their playbook rather than explain why taxpayers should collect their political money.
As if on cue, Steve Herzenberg of the union-funded Keystone Research Center—in response to our poll showing the vast majority of union members support paycheck protection—ignored the issue entirely. Instead, he relayed his usual catchphrases about “right to work for less,” even though HB 1507 and SB 1034 don’t touch on the issue of Right to Work, and repeated some jibber-jabber about the “top 1 percent.”
As a refresher, the Keystone Research Center’s board is dominated by union leaders, and they receive large checks from government unions. According to the most recent reports from the Department of Labor, they received more than $120,000 from government union dues.
|Government Union Funding to Keystone Research Center, 2012-13|
|Union||Amount||How they Reported It|
|UFCW 1776||$5,369||Representational Activities|
|SEIU Leadership Council||$11,500||General Overhead|
|PSEA||$33,025||Contributions, gifts and grants|
|AFSCME Council 13||$50,000||Political Activities|
|AFSCME Council 13||$6,500||Contributions, gifts and grants|
|American Federation of Teachers||$15,000||Representational Activities|
Only AFSCME counted this funding as political activities. In other words, the $5 million from union dues Pennsylvania government unions reported spending on political activities and lobbying last year significantly understates how much money they spend on politics.
Amazingly, UFCW and the American Federation of Teachers had the gall to classify their support as “Representational Activities” (which is supposed to include only union costs for negotiating a contract and similar services), while SEIU called it “General Overhead”—as though funding a separate advocacy organization should be counted as a union’s operating cost.
Significantly, these categories are included in “fair share fees” that non-union members can be forced to pay. That is to say, liquor store clerks, public school teachers, and social workers are forced to support the political agenda of the Keystone Research Center.
“Do you think government employees and taxpayers should be forced to support Keystone Research Center?” might even poll better than the 80 percent of union members who believe public resources shouldn’t be used to collect campaign contributions. No wonder Herzenberg keeps changing the subject.