by Tom Shaheen, V.P. for Policy, PA Family Institute

Through our almost-25 years of advocating for families in Pennsylvania’s capitol, we at the Pennsylvania Family Institute have certainly encountered our share of public sector (i.e. taxpayer-funded government) union advocacy – usually on the opposite side of us on key issues. PSEA fought against parental rights / school choices in education, homeschooling, library Internet filtering for minors and for explicit sex education. But we’ve even seen union-sponsored rallies by the SEIU and others against one-man, one-woman marriage, and against higher standards for abortion clinics!

So today, it came as no surprise to read some facts and figures in a  Blog post from our friends at The Commonwealth Foundation on Government Union Political Spending. What I did find remarkable was the big-time contributions to some very radical causes that many Pennsylvania families – including union members who pay forced union dues – would likely find offensive to their values.

Here are some that stand out:

Teachers dues are also sent to national headquarters like the NEA or the AFT. These national unions fund political and advocacy efforts.

  • The NEA gave $15 million to advocacy groups, including $35,000 to the left-wing Center for American Progress, $30,000 to the liberal Daily Kos website, and $50,000 to Marylanders for Marriage Equality [referendum campaign to legalize “same-sex marriage”}.
  • The AFT gave $6 million to advocacy groups, some of which included the Keystone Research Center and Netroots Nation, a site dedicated to advancing progressive causes.

The Commonwealth Foundation is right in concluding:  Union dues do fund politics, which is why it’s time to end the political privilege government unions have enjoyed for far too long.