A few Right to Work-related updates from over the weekend:
1.) Does the AFL-CIO owe $14 million in back taxes? Perhaps an IRS audit will reveal other problems with the AFL-CIO's overtly partisan and massive campaign expenditures. The author overstates the good that comes from oversight of union finances by the Office of Labor Management Standards, but he does point out the amusing fact that Democrats are in favor of "smaller government" in this one instance:
One of the branches of the Department of Labor that provides a real services to all Americans is the Office of Labor-Management Standards. These are the guys who make sure that labor unions are being transparent about their finances. Or they try, when the Democrats don't cut their budget. But, for now, you get to see how unions spend their money.
If you're interested in reading more about the Foundation's ongoing efforts to ensure greater union financial disclosure, subscribe to the latest issue of Foundation Action. The July/August newsletter features a story on the DOL's latest half-hearted attempt to promote financial transparency -- any why a crippling "confidential information" loophole would render DOL's whole exercise as useless.
2.) More good stuff from the Washington Examiner. John Barnes has a informative post entitled "Why public sector labor unions are a bad idea." Here's the money quote:
This is how the cycle works: state workers are forced to join a union, even if they don't want to -- the unions collect mandatory dues from state worker paychecks -- the unions use that money to support campaigns for the very elected officials with whom they bargain for contracts -- not surprisingly, the unions tend to get favorable contracts that usually result in higher membership dues that in turn provide the unions with more money to fund "friendly" elected officials. Add a growing state workforce, repeat cycle, and stir. What's the basic ingredient here? Your tax dollars.
For those of you who missed it, Freedom@Work spotlighted Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire's incestuous relationship with union officials last week. The Seattle Times article detailing her connections to Big Labor is well-worth a read.