America Votes

Simultaneously a partner for political campaigns and a consultant on internal union affairs. Ninth in a series.

Background from the first article in this 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. 

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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 one example of where that money might be going, drawn from the SEIU's 2010 LM-2 report.

America Votes received $137,350 from the Service Employees International Union during 2010. Of this, $53,400 was described as "political advocacy," while $83,950 was described as "consulting" and listed as part of SEIU's overhead.

According to its website, AV "works across the country with over 300 state and national partner organizations to advance progressive policies, expand access to the ballot, coordinate issue advocacy and election campaigns, and protect every American's right to vote." 

Among the many campaigns it claims it is involved in are the effort to overturn PA 4 in Michigan, which gives emergency managers the ability to revamp union contracts and prevent local governments from going into bankruptcy. AV also opposed collective bargaining reforms and a voter ID bill in Ohio.

If SEIU's financial statements are to be taken at face value, SEIU simultaneously relies on America Votes as an ally in political campaigns, and also counts on the same group for consulting on internal union affairs, indicating once again that SEIU sees itself primarily as a political institution.

America Votes is one of many organizations that Michigan taxpayers are indirectly funding with money that is meant to help families care for people with disabilities.

Wednesday: Colorado WINS


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