Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fall Elections 2010 - #2103 - FEC Allows SEIU's Illegal Political Fund Raising Scheme - American Thinker

This is just a bit heavy handed, even from the thugs at SEIU: Imagine the outcry if McDonalds executives demanded that franchise owners collect "voluntary" contributions totaling $25,000 for the company's Political Action Committee (PAC) from employees at every restaurant.  What if the fast food titan's headquarters followed up with a threat - pay us, or face a $37,500 fine? Do you think this heavy-handed scheme would raise a few eyebrows at the Federal Election Commission (FEC)?  Replace "McDonalds" with "SEIU" in that description and you've got a pretty good idea of Big Labor's latest political fundraising strategy. To meet their ambitious fundraising targets, Service Employees International Union bosses are now threatening to fine any local affiliate that doesn't meet its PAC contribution requirements.  The only problem with this racket is that FEC guidelines explicitly prohibit organizations from collecting PAC funds by threatening members with financial reprisals. SEIU bosses aren't exactly hiding their intentions, either - they actually wrote this fundraising provision into the union's constitution at their annual convention.  Despite a complaint filed by the Right to Work Foundation with the FEC, the union appears to have gotten away with their fund raising skulduggery.

How they did it is an object lesson in power politics. When unions run the government, we get this kind of powerplay by an agency supposedly independent of politics:  Although the FEC dismissed the Foundation's complaint in April, Foundation attorneys were only notified of the decision 23 days after the fact. Adding insult to injury, the FEC finally got around to releasing the reasoning behind its dismissal in August, 111 days after the original decision was made.  Coincidentally, all FEC appeals must be filed within 60 days of any ruling. By delaying its announcement and only releasing its reasoning until well after the window period had expired, the FEC effectively made it impossible to appeal the decision to federal court.
Thus endeth the lesson. Now sit down, shut up, and take it.

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