Many of you probably watched Sarah Palin accept the Republican Party's Vice Presidential nomination last night. Ironically, her husband - a member of the United Steelworkers (USW) union - is actually funding efforts to smear and defeat her.
Today, National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix released an open letter (.pdf) to Todd Palin, informing him that he has the right to cut off the forced union dues being used to defeat a McCain-Palin ticket. Here's the key quote:
We understand you are a member of the United Steelworkers of America union. While I'm sure you're excited by your wife's candidacy for high office, you may be discouraged to learn that the union dues you pay are already being used to defeat her.
When USW union bosses endorsed Barack Obama in June, they pledged to support his campaign using funds collected from union members. Steelworker dues will pay for a variety of political activities throughout the electoral season, and a significant portion of those activities will be aimed at defeating the McCain-Palin ticket.
In fact, at the USW's 2008 convention, union officials adopted a resolution "vowing to play a key role in electing Obama," thus pledging workers' dues to the effort to defeat your wife's candidacy. Moreover, a top USW official whose paycheck you help fund is viciously ridiculing your wife's candidacy on the Steelworkers' website, calling Governor Palin's selection "cynical" and claiming that by choosing your wife "McCain has clearly shown he lacks the judgment to be president."
Here is USW Legislative Director Holly Hart's (the top USW official cited in the letter) response to Todd Palin's wife's candidacy:
Presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain, on his 72nd birthday, announced a selection that revealed the depths of his cynicism and the shallowness of his judgment - and his disregard for women's intelligence.
After looking into a pool of vice presidential candidates deep with qualification, he plucked out the least experienced person.
While Alaska does not have a Right to Work law which would make payment of union dues strictly voluntary, under the Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent Communications Workers v. Beck, employees can stop paying forced union dues unrelated to collective bargaining, such as union electioneering.
Unfortunately, millions of other workers are unaware of these rights. Workers wanting to know how to exercise their rights may obtain information and free legal aid here.