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Union Scheme to Steal Everyone Else’s Money Goes to Court

February 5, 2024

It’s one of the most corrupt and unlawful ways that the government provides favors to political benefactors and preferred special interests. In a practice called “release time,” governments allow labor unions to use other people’s money to pay for politically connected special interests to campaign for candidates, lobby for bigger government, and otherwise pursue the private interests of labor unions at the public’s expense.

Now, the state supreme courts in Texas and Arizona are about to hear cases that may fundamentally change how the activities of government labor unions are financed.

It’s not the first time that public-sector labor unions — i.e. government unions — have used the power of government to force taxpayers to pay for their work, which includes helping elect candidates that support their agenda. Up until recently, unions would bargain for provisions in labor agreements that required workers to pay union dues, even if those workers did not belong to the union or had no desire to support the union’s political activities. But then the U.S. Supreme Court decided Janus v. AFSCME and said that these so-called “agency fees” were unconstitutional because they violated employees’ First Amendment rights against compelled speech and association.

You can read the rest of the op-ed here.

Jon Riches is the vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute.



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