We Can Break Their Haughty Power

By January 14, 2008Labor Unions

From The Los Angeles Times:

LAS VEGAS — The tight race between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama has opened surprisingly deep and bitter divisions in the ranks of organized labor, as rival union leaders fly planeloads of last-minute volunteers into key states, accuse each other of trying to disenfranchise members, and even launch open attacks on rival Democratic candidates.

In Nevada, which holds its caucuses Saturday, unions backing Clinton are crying foul because some caucuses will be in casinos and hotels where a pro-Obama union’s members predominate — helping that union’s members and potentially discouraging others.

Meanwhile, inside the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has endorsed the New York senator and is leading the charge for her in Nevada, several officers are protesting the union’s decision to run negative ads against the Illinois senator.

Think of all that money, all those union dues, spent in this pursuit — often without the approval or even knowledge of individual union members that their money is being spent on politics. Or non-members, for that matter.

A reminder from 2007:

WASHINGTON — States may restrict when public-employee unions use the fees collected from non-members for the unions’ political purposes, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The unanimous decision endorsed a unique Washington state law that bars unions from using non-member fees for political advocacy without first getting explicit consent from the non-members.

“Unions have no constitutional entitlement to the fees of non-member employees,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court as it rejected the Washington Education Association’s First Amendment challenge to the state law.

And flying volunteers? Are they buying carbon offsets?

(Hat tip: Jim Gray.)

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