HB1507: Should Government Stop Collecting Political Money?
In an effort to level the playing field for all organizations that try to collect funds to be spent on political advocacy, I authored House Bill 1507
. The legislation would end the practice of direct payroll deductions by public employee unions. Critics of the bill have recently launched opposition attacks lumping the legislation into a “war on workers.” This is not a war on workers; this is a push for fairness for all organizations who have a voice in the political discussion.
VIDEO: I explain the history and goals of House Bill 1507
Currently, public employee unions can collect dues directly out of paychecks with no questions asked. A portion of that money is spent on political activity, and there is a clear issue with any portion of public funds being used to collect money for political gains. For me, the entire bill is about one fundamental question: Should government stop collecting political money?
What House Bill 1507 Does Do.
House Bill 1507 does not change the relationship or requirement between the individual union members and their union. Members would still be responsible for their dues or fair share fees, the Commonwealth would simply no longer collect and distribute them. Additionally, the individual members could still donate as much money as they wish to the political campaign committees. However, as with the dues, the members, not the government, will be responsible for sending it in.
Things the Unions and I Agree On.
My legislation makes no attempt to limit the power of unions; it only asks that they collect dues and political money directly from their own members, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and not by paycheck deduction. No other organization, business or club has the power to use public assets for political purposes to collect money directly out of paychecks. I believe it’s time we drop the rhetoric and answer the one question I’ve always had: Should government be in the business of collecting political money? For me the answer is a clear and convincing no. People are in prison for using public assets for political purposes, and it’s time our laws are updated to treat this kind of activity for what it is: clear cut political activity.
Examples of union paid Political Activity.
Example of union paid political activity attacking Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
Below are three letters from unions telling members payroll deduction costs are negligible and that members are not required to make political contributions:
PSEA IRS disclosure admitting 10 percent of dues are used for lobbying and political expenses.
Recent Press Coverage of House Bill 1507