Government Workers Should Have the Right to Say “No” to Political Giving

WASHINGTON — Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist urged the people of California to approve Proposition 75 on November 8th. The initiative would require that government employee unions receive annual written authorization from members before dues could be used for politics.

This “paycheck protection” initiative would guarantee that members of California government employee unions have a free option to support or oppose political candidates of their choice. Currently, unions can use dues money on politics without having to get permission. Often, this results in unions spending members’ dues on activities that many members would not support.

“What’s wrong with unions giving their own members a choice?” said Norquist. “Are the California government employee unions scared that their members might choose for their leadership to focus on workplace improvements rather than political chicanery?”

Polls from several recent Presidential elections have shown that over 40% of union members voted for the Republican candidate. Union members also have been polled as disagreeing with their leaders on such issues as gay marriage, increased government spending, and affirmative action. However, California government employees are currently powerless to prevent their union leadership from using members’ dues money on politics they may disagree with.

“No other organization in America can coerce its membership to pay for a political candidate or issue an individual member may oppose,” continued Norquist. “Why do California government union bosses feel like they can steal money out of members’ pockets?”