Union Dues Fund New Political Attack Ads

America Works USA launched a new round of political attack ads opposing the latest state budget. These highly misleading ads again talk about “cuts to education.” However, the budget increases funding for public schools—or at least did, until Gov. Wolf chose to veto $3.1 billion in funding for public schools.

Dennis Owens of ABC 27 reports the organization will spend at least $500,000 on the latest round of TV ads.

So who is behind these ads?

We have found—based on reports filed with the U.S. Department of Labor—that government unions have given more than $1.1 million to America Works USA in the last year. These funds come from the union dues of teachers and state workers, not political action committees.

  • $1 million from the National Education Association (NEA), money taken from the paychecks of school teachers.
  • $115,000 from AFSCME Council 13, representing Pennsylvania state workers—funds collected from workers’ paycheck by the State Treasurer at taxpayer expense.

As we pointed out before, America Works USA is an arm of the Democratic Governors’ Association, which received $14 million from government unions last election cycle.

Many union members have no idea their dues are being used for political attack ads—in fact, many members believe their dues can’t be used for politics.

The latest rounds of political ads, funded by government union dues and collected using taxpayer resources, shows the need for immediate passage of paycheck protection. Teachers and state workers should never be forced to fund political speech.