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If you think it’s bad now, give the Dems a total majority
Posted by: McQ on Monday, July 28, 2008

Name another single type of organization that could get away with this sort of political coercion of its membership:
The mighty Service Employees International Union (SEIU) plans to spend some $150 million in this year's election, most of it to get Barack Obama and other Democrats elected. Where'd they get that much money?

That's a question the Departments of Labor and Justice are being asked to investigate by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. Specifically, the labor watchdog group wants Justice to query a new SEIU policy that appears to coerce local workers into funding the parent union's national political priorities.

The union adopted a new amendment to its constitution at last month's SEIU convention, requiring that every local contribute an amount equal to $6 per member per year to the union's national political action committee. This is in addition to regular union dues. Unions that fail to meet the requirement must contribute an amount in "local union funds" equal to the "deficiency," plus a 50% penalty. According to an SEIU union representative, this has always been policy, but has now simply been formalized.

No other major institution could get away with its bosses demanding that every single one of its workers step in line behind its political preferences. This is the sort of imposed political obeisance that infuriates so many workers and turns them away from unions.
Of course federal law requires all contributions to the political PACs unions maintain be 'voluntary'. And while this mandate by the SEIU doesn't require individuals to actually fork over the $6, it does require the equivalent - that money has to come from somewhere, and it isn't supposed to come from dues. Additionally, federal law specifically prohibits use of dues from nonunion members who have to join a union to work from being used in any political activity. Again, the per head assessment sure seems to be including them as well.

$150 million is a lot of money to spend on influencing an election, which is precisely what the SEIU is spending it to do. And they know that if successful, they can count on labor union friendly legislation next January which has little chance of being stopped or, for the most part, modified or amended.

So why not flaunt the law, get the job done and then worry about the FEC when it is in friendlier hands?

Sounds exactly like the plan they presently have..
 
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Let me guess, this is another victory of the McCain-Fiengold campaign finance reform legislation?
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
This has nothing to do with McCain-Feingold. If you belong to a union, they can and will take your money to support the candidates they like (read Democrats.)

You have the right, under law, to request that your dues be reduced so as not to fund this politicking (Beck.) If you are silly enough to assert this right, expect a very hard time.

Neitherr unions nor companies should be allowed to contribute in any way to politics. No private jets, no campaign workers, no money, no advertising, nothing. Public employees should not be allowed to vote. It is a conflict of interest.
 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
"Card check" seems to be the biggest stealth issue in this campaign...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
MarkD,

Actually the rules about not coercing donations to PACs is part of campaign legislation. Normally when such legislation is drafted, there’s an attempt to comprehend possible methods to circumvent such rules.

Just the fact that ’voluntarily’ donating to a PAC give financial relief elsewhere is something that should be covered.

There’s a reason new legislation is often the size of a dictionary.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Good thing we voted those Republicans out in 2006...right McQ? I mean, they would have been far worse....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Good thing we voted those Republicans out in 2006...right McQ? I mean, they would have been far worse....
Yeah, because, you know, they’d been soooo effective up until then (Medicare D, No Child Left Behind, McCain-Feingold, 25% total increased in overall spending) hadn’t they?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
So instead we’re looking at FAR worse and now you’e worried...little late on that don’t you think?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
So instead we’re looking at FAR worse and now you’e worried...little late on that don’t you think?
Single party - whether Dem or Rep - is always the worst case scenario, as the Reps proved when they had it all.

Far worse? No - just different in their priorities with the same sort of result - profligate spending, no oversight, favored constituencies get the spoils of victory.

As you might have picked up by now, I like divided government - like we have now. I’m actually happy when Congress has a 9% approval rating and can’t move legislation and the president actually vetoes things.

Thus the point of the post.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Divided government is the least bad form of government, but it’s still bad...

NOTHING gets done, yet week after week you caterwaul about entitlements this and entitlements that and the unsustainable other thing...

You can NOT address issues you find "vital" in divided government...

Essentially you have given up on government and the US, because it’s obvious the solutions you favour can’t get elected. And since they can’t come to power you push for a do-nothing government...that does not address issues you say are "vital."

You can not be a fan of divided government, in the long-run, and have vital issues that need addressing...divided government is for someone who is essentially satisfied.

Somewhere along the way, McQ, you are going to have to reconcile your tactics, divided government, and your strategy, some form of libertarianism....

Some will say, "Good on giving up on government"...just because McQ has given up on government means that government has given up on YOU. Ask folks in Weimar, Zimbabwe or any where government went south in any demonstrable way...the Belgian Congo, or Zaire, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or whatever it’s called these days. Bad government, broken government, dysfunctional government will find you and make your life He((.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Help me Joe...
Are you saying Zimbabwe has divided government?
 
Written By: Greybeard
URL: http://pitchpull.blogspot.com/
Yeah, because, you know, they’d been soooo effective up until then (Medicare D, No Child Left Behind, McCain-Feingold, 25% total increased in overall spending) hadn’t they?
These things are not so much signs of Republican control, they are signs of a narrow Republican margin, and a percieved need to pander to voters.

One of Bush’s key ideas was social security reform, which we never got. Another was tort reform to protect firearms; we didn’t get that either. Why did these things fail? Insufficient Republican margin.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
NOTHING gets done, yet week after week you caterwaul about entitlements this and entitlements that and the unsustainable other thing...
And again, when the party that says they want to stop entitlement spending had the chance to do something they did what?

Nothing.

Instead, the increased spending by 25% and added new entitlements.

So tell me again - what’s the difference?
Somewhere along the way, McQ, you are going to have to reconcile your tactics, divided government, and your strategy, some form of libertarianism....
I’m quite reconciled to the fact that the current crop of Republicans aren’t at all what is necessary to advance libertarianism. That should be obvious even to you by this time. So divided government works just fine for me until, at some future date, Republican grow a pair and stand up and actually do what they claim to be all about.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
So tell me again - what’s the difference?
Alito and Roberts on the bench is one difference.

An AWB that passed into the night is another.

A slightly more moderate prescription drug bill is yet another—don’t like it? Neither do I, but I suspect I’d like a Democrat one even less.

The country is divided 50/50, essentially, between the Democrats and the Republicans. Essentially, Americans are getting what they want (good and hard?).
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Alito and Roberts on the bench is one difference. [etc., etc.]
Uh, yeah, Don ... that’s why I want "divided government". That would put McCain in the WH.

The Reps aren’t going to get Congress back until the Dems have screwed it up about as badly as they did (and they’re doing a rather neat job of that right now) and the "disgust vote" swings it back the other way again.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
This must be the same SEIU that ran commercials in the run up to the Pennsylvania primary touting that Obama had a plan for “gas pump relief”.
Since a review of Obama energy policy web page offers no such plan (unless some how future “alternative energy” applies), we are left of believe that SEIU makes what Beano cures.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
This is a nit, but I believe the word you’re looking for is flaut.

More generally, your outrage at people spending their money to influence elections seems a bit one-sided. McCain-Feingold anyone?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Or more likely it’s flout. :)
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Retief,

Spending money isn’t the issue, having dues forcibly taken is another. I have no problem with my employer donating money. If he duns my paycheck regardless of my desires that is another. The same with unions. If I am a member of a union for collective bargaining purposes (especially if required to join a union) that does not mean I have to support with my money whatever political hobby horses the union leadership may have. It isn’t one sided, it is making it evenhanded.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
More generally, your outrage at people spending their money to influence elections seems a bit one-sided. McCain-Feingold anyone?
No, clownish person, the outrage is that people aren’t spending THEIR money to influence elections, they’re spending OTHER PEOPLES money to influence elections.

Why am I not surprised you can’t tell the difference.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
So tell me again - what’s the difference?
What are you bringing me into this for?

;-)

Get it?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Public employees should not be allowed to vote.
So who you work for is grounds for an abridgement of fundamental civil rights? Yeah that’s a great idea.
 
Written By: Jeff the Baptist
URL: http://jeffthebaptist.blogspot.com
I would like to see numbers on corporate donations versus union donations. I would be willing to guess that the corporate donations actually go to both parties with a small skew to the right, while the unions only give to one party, the Dems.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
One of Bush’s key ideas was social security reform, which we never got. Another was tort reform to protect firearms; we didn’t get that either. Why did these things fail? Insufficient Republican margin.
I don’t know if having more Republicans in Congress could’ve helped Bush with SS.

The reason privatized social security failed is because the vast majority of people were against it.

And the Republicans in Congress knew it.

And good luck on getting that idea any new steam thanks to recent economic events.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Lance, nobody has to join a union. There may be places one can’t work if one chooses not to join, but all choices come with constraints.

Solidarity!
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
So who you work for is grounds for an abridgement of fundamental civil rights? Yeah that’s a great idea.
Yes. Try being a soldier. Kiss your right to political speech goodbye. Kiss your Fourth Amendment right to be free from having your living quarters searched with dogs at the whim or suspicion of the commander.

Soldiers give up basic civil rights when they sign their contracts, voluntarily - I might add.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
Lance, nobody has to join a union. There may be places one can’t work if one chooses not to join
and that says it all, right there....that a group of people who don’t OWN a business can tell the owners who they can and can’t hire by virute of their ability to control the legislators of the area enforcing Union closed shops.

Do you live in a Right to Work state Retief? Or do you live in a legislated closed shop state.
Never had to make the choice of joining the union or remaining unemployable have you. You probably don’t really understand the difference anyway. It’s all just a choice to you.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://

 
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