Political advocacy, among "other" things. Thirteenth in a series.
Thousands of home-based health care providers have been forced into a union because they receive assistance from the state while they take care of loved ones who are disabled. The Service Employees International Union receives close to $6 million annually in forced dues from this abusive arrangement.
House Bill 4003 would end this injustice by clarifying that Michiganders who care for relatives in their own homes are not government employees, and hence are not appropriate targets for government unions. That bill has passed the House but is stuck in the Senate. While we wait for the Senate to act, the SEIU continues to siphon money that was meant to help families.
Here's another example of where that money might be going, drawn from the SEIU's 2010 LM-2 report:
The Center for American Progress Action Fund received $625,345 from SEIU during 2010. Of this amount, $101,000 was openly described as political, while the remainder was categorized as union administration. But unlike some SEIU beneficiaries that perform both political and union administration services, CAPAF apparently did not consult with SEIU — its union administration work is described simply as "other."
Most likely this "other" administrative work was political or ideological in nature. CAPAF describes itself as a "progressive think tank." Among its many outlets is the "Think Progress" blog (where recent posts have highlighted the controversy surrounding talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh) and Campus Progress Action, which organizes and trains students in political activism.
For its own part, CAPAF is critical of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax plan, arguing that it would result in an "unsustainable budget." It also makes the legal case for the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes known as Obamacare, on the grounds that Congress has broad authority to regulate the economy and raise taxes, and that the controversial individual mandate (under which Americans are obligated to buy a service, something that no Congress has ever attempted) is a "necessary and proper" portion of Obamacare's overall regulatory scheme. Unsurprisingly, CAPAF also supports unions, finding that they "make democracy work" by boosting voter turnout, both overall and among key demographics.
CAPAF is one of many groups that Michigan taxpayers may be funding with money that was intended to go to the families of people with disabilities.
Tomorrow: Jobs With Justice.