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Union dues fund anti-SB 5 fight

Published: Fri, September 2, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Union dues fund anti-SB 5 fight

There has been a misconcep tion that union funds do not go toward supporting political activity unless those funds are given voluntarily to a union’s PAC or PCE. After taking some time to review the campaign finances of “We Are Ohio,” the primary opposer of Senate Bill 5, a few things jumped off the page at me right away.

Of the $5 million raised by “We Are Ohio,” $4.2 million came from the national labor unions in Washington, D.C. To clarify, this came from the unions and their general treasury, not their political action committee. The Secretary of State’s office confirmed to me that these contributions came directly from the unions and not their PACs. The idea that a union’s general treasury funds (that are generated in large part by dues) do not go toward political activity is inherently a lie.

For state certified ballot issues such as the S.B. 5 referendum, unions and corporations are not subject to the same contribution limits as they would be for support or opposition of a candidate. Since “We Are Ohio” is limited to spending money only on this issue, unions (and not their PACs) are allowed to give endlessly to this particular PAC. The catch, however, is “We Are Ohio” is limited to spending money on this issue only, and hence they cannot treat any remaining funds as a Democratic slush fund once this issue is voted on in November.

If you are a member of the SEIU, AFSCME, AAUP, or any union in the state of Ohio, your membership dues in some quantity are going toward the referendum on S.B. 5. In turn, your contribution to the referendum effort is not voluntary. The fact that S.B. 5 gives people the option to opt out of paying union dues in the public sector is the primary reason organized labor is fighting so hard to get rid of S.B. 5. It cuts their political funding

If the opposition did not have funding coming from the national labor unions, this referendum would have been dead on arrival. Unfortunately, the national unions have decided to meddle in state politics at the expense of their members who may or may not support this referendum.

Local state representatives have made accusations that the Republicans and corporations are trying to marginalize the middle class. What about the rights of union members to not have their dues go to causes they don’t support?

Alex Mangie, Canfield


1jupiter(116 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Alex...we learned it from watching your corporations playing games. "Contributions are a protected form of speech." Remember that little ruling? Too bad...rather than generating anti-union sentiment what individuals such as yourself have done is remind the world precisely why unions, now more than ever, are needed.

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2jupiter(116 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Alex, if it makes you feel better, my next donation to We Are Ohio will be made in your name...

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3AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Alex, if you are not part of the unions, then why would you care how the money is spent.

Its no different then giving money to a charity/organization and they use a small part of the money for something that you don't like. I may donate to the red cross since they do so much work for others, but i have no say in what they do with my donations once they have it. Maybe your blood donation may go to somebody you don't care for.
Unions stand up for the middle class. For the worker. That is why the rich and business owners will just complain and pick apart what the unions do. But those of you who work for low wages and still support Big Business and all the tax write offs, just do not make any sense to me.

If you are not part of the unions....


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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

SB5, is this all about the middle class ? It sure is ! It is all about limiting the government workers union right in eliminating it . The elite government workers who consider themselves above everyone else who has to deal with austerity want them to be austere to a higher degree . For themselves they want largesse at the expense of others .



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5AtownAugie(787 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I say let the national unions contribute all they want to We Are Ohio -- gotta love how it helped We Are Wisconsin! Give, give, give national unions! Spend your members' monies without asking them! Exercise the rights given to unions in Citizens United by the Supreme Court! Bleed yourself dry. Then weep and yell foul when We The People vote in November and show you how very, very weary we are of your childish tantrums.

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6Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Another, unfortunately unions and their representatives say time and again that dues do not go towards political activity. All I want is for them to stop lying to the general public, because the public shouldn't be treated like it is ignorant when they make false statements.

The reality is people are forced to give money to unions here if you work in government, and if they are Republican majority of the time that money is going to causes they don't support.

That being said, people should be allowed to opt out because clearly their contributions are not voluntary. At least with charities, you have the option to give somewhere else if you don't like their policies.

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7300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

At least Alex is being honest, a rarity for Republicans in this age.

SB5 is 100% purely a cynical attempt to reduce the amount of money unions have to spend during elections. This will allow corporations and chambers of commerce to have an overwhelming advantage in the amounts spent during the campaign seasons. SB5 has nothing to do with balancing any budgets, and everything to do with the de-funding of any opposition to the GOP's corporate agenda.

By the way, isn't this situation exactly what union fees are meant for? The union is there to ensure a certain amount of equality between administrators and workers. If any union member actually supports SB5 then it's out of total foolishness. Or maybe some sort of self-loathing.

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8AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I understand what you are saying. However,I look at this in a different way. They are putting money toward DEFENDING UNIONS and UNION RIGHTS, not just any political cause. And I see no problem with that in this case.

Now if unions were sending money to a group defending/supporting abortions or social security for seniors then I would agree with you.

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9Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

What union rights do you speak of? When the private sector is paying 30 percent of their healthcare costs and towards their own retirement, why is it unreasonable to ask the public sector to pay 15 percent and to pay their own retirement rather than having the public fit 100 percent of the retirement bill?

Why is it unreasonable to ask the public sector to be held to performance standards like the rest of people working? Why is that bad?

Unions can still bargain on wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment, as well as safety equipment. As it is, public safety workers cannot strike anyway, so that part of the law hasn't changed.

Why should people be forced to pay union dues or its equivalent against their will?

I think the unions are being unreasonable. Public employees have been a protected class for too long.

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10Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Save, well you are wrong, I am a public employee and I don't pay one dime towards my retirement. And my position is not elected, hate to break it to you. I know the county picks up 100 percent of my retirement, and I know it picks it up for a large amount of its public employees in this county. The Vindicator did a big story on this back in April, and the amount of public employees not paying into PERS in this county was above 50 percent. If the ORC stipulates as much, the county has been in violation for a long time.

As for your other comments, the final decision on contracts rests with the people we elect to office, not an arbitrator whose answer to the officials is to raise taxes to appease the demands of the labor unions. Yes, I have seen and heard that too.

So tell me another.

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11300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

What do you do, Alex?

You state that you're a public employee, yet you don't pay what other public employees I know do. Either you're making it up, or you're not, and if you're not you should make the public aware of what it is that do so we can fix it.

Just because private industry treats its workers like garbage, and half our population doesn't agree that we go after the insurance industry, doesn't mean that we should target the public employees.

For what it's worth, my consulting contract stipulates that I don't pay a penny towards my family's healthcare, and my previous 401K plan (I cashed it out 3 years ago) was nearly a 1-5 matching contribution. I've never met a public employee who had benefits like this, but plenty of other management types in the offices who did.

That being said, PERS does need some restructuring. STRS, on the other hand, is in really good shape.

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12jmagaratz(180 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Question: does a "non-union" employee working in a "union shop" receive the same benefits that "union" employees do after negotiations?

If yes, all employees should be required to pay their share. Otherwise what you have is republican parasites.

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13Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Stan the Stupid times 8619 The cut and paste champ of the Vindy page

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14samaslav(2 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Alex: You can not use dues money for Federal elections.Some states forbid union dues from being used in state elections . Get your buddy Kasich and his Cronies to pass a state law forbiding dues money from being used in Ohio elections. Till then take what you have coming in November.

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15Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Ask not what the government workers unions will do for you but what you can do for the unions !


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16VindyPost(436 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

...waiting for Alex Mangie to respond



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17Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


Unfortunately, the media and society in general promote success in different ways. Making a ton of money is one way. Sleeping with as many people as possible is another. Is this an adequate view of what is success? I do not know. I will not knock anyone’s hustle, but I can point to several examples where people had attained both of those goals but were completely miserable. I have seen firsthand what financial obsession can do to a family as well.

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18AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


You do not have an elected position as a public worker. After reading about you, I would guess you are correct, it is probably an appointed position. You are still a student, learning to pat yourself on the back. The elected official will not make you pay for you retirement and bene's. But you complain about SB5 and the unions. However if SB5 passed(which it won't) you will still recieve FREE RETIREMENT since sb5 is only for unions.
That's what I have said all along. If SB5 was truely about saving Ohio money, Kasich would make people like yourself pay for retirement and Bene's.

BUT NO....
Sb5 is only to shaft the UNION WORKING PEOPLE OF OHIO.


vote NO on ISSUE 2

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19Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I have one vote and it will be no to SB5

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20AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I see Alex quit defending his article...

Alex where ARE you? And you still never said where in the PUBLIC sector you work.

Quit Hiding..........................

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21AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Now, in the most recent move, quietly, effective with the first paycheck of the new fiscal year, Niehaus has followed the lead of the Governor by rewarding his top staff with enormous taxpayer-funded pay increases. His Chief of Staff, Assistant Chief of Staff, Finance Director and Senate Clerk all received a $15,000 yearly pay increase. The Deputy Finance Directory received a whopping $23,005 increase. Here are their new salaries:

Senate Staff Member Title New Salary
Matt Schuler Chief of Staff $138,507
Elizabeth Connolly Deputy Chief of Staff $116,126
Brian Perera Finance Director $115,232
Vincent Keera** Senate Clerk $116,230
Matt Whatley Deputy Dir of Finance $85,010

Furthermore, the increases were retroactive, such that on July 16, these same staffers each took home checks containing 26 weeks of back pay at the higher rate, as if their raises had been in place since January. Whatley received a check for $10,123.20. Perera got $11,930.40, Connolly $11,964.80. And Schuler took home $12,825.61 for a single 2-week pay period.

So, after passing SB5 which eliminates automatic 3% pay increases for state workers, the Senate handed their own staff raises ranging from 12 to 37%.

Senators’ pay is defined by Ohio law, so they are unable to give themselves raises without legislation, or we suspect they would have. But nothing stops them from paying their staff more, even in the face of enormous budget cuts across state and local government.

One last irony to note. While Republicans champion “merit pay” for other public workers, apparently it’s not good enough for them. Raises were given exclusively to Republican staffers; not a single member of the minority caucus staff received an increase. Sounds like politics, not merit, was behind the move.

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22VindyPost(436 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Alex drank the Kool-Aid...down for a nap!

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23db(280 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Unions hold back good workers and protect the losers. I have two employees; both in the union. One is a joy; works hard, does a great job. The other is barely acceptable; a source of constant issues. I must pay them the same - it's the union way. I cannot give only the good worker a bonus or a raise; and I cannot fire the loser. Thanks union; you are destroying my business.

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24Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Excellent article . . ..


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25VindyPost(436 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

^^ Alex we are all still waiting ^^

Apparently in denial or perhaps he
has changed his mind. Go ahead and deliberate few more days.

RE: (Alex drank the Kool-Aid, down for a nap IS NOT any where near an attack)

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26AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


The pot calling the kettle black. You have made several personal attacks as I recall.

""Betras looking stupid""
""Author50 I am starting to tire of how many times I need to tell you how wrong your view of the GOP in mahoning county is.""
"" Rachel Hanni has never worked for anything in her life""
::outsideobserver; I am sorry but you are very wrong with your perceptions.""

These sound familiar about personal attacks.

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27VindyPost(436 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


"The pot calling the kettle black" ---thank you for pointing such out indeed, true statement.

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28JH_Canfield(1 comment)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I am a public sector union employee. I currently pay more in union dues than I have for family healthcare. Also my union says it fights for teachers' salaries, yet the average salaries for OEA employees is $ 96,000. http://factreal.wordpress.com/2011/04.... We need SB5 just to give people the RIGHT not to associate with extortionists. Ohio needs to be a RIGHT TO WORK state. Why do many people in Y-town expect different results when they keep doing and voting for the same thing over and over again?

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29Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I stopped responding because I have a life. But I was surprised to see this morning that this letter has made it to the top of the most commented list.

Bottom line gentleman, everything in my letter was 100% correct per the conversation I had with the Secretary of State. If you want to resort to personal attacks feel free, I've been in politics long enough not to care.

Lives with his parents.....lol. You can feel free to stop by my house, which I own, that has a driveway that is for the car that I pay for every month, and is the address where I pay all my bills and taxes at.

Get a life kids. M8ke the Call, thanks for sticking up. You are a stand up guy.

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30Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

If insults are the best you people have God bless you. There is nothing you can say or imply that I haven't heard already, and for the record I am a lot harder on myself than you people will ever be.

Have a nice week, I might stop back next Sunday.

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31chaz4224(10 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

corporations and our government have been in a partnership for 30 years to destroy the unions and middle class

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32taliwacker(54 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

i will also vote yes on SB 5 and 2.. in fact i donated in support of them both... Ha Ha Ha .. And i work Union, and hate those douche bags with a passion..

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33taliwacker(54 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

it is just amazing how these morons go on and on about how SB5 is a bad thing... just take a look at the unemployment numbers of ANY right to work state... it is way lower than Ohio, or any union state... go figure... Thats right they cant.. cause they dont have the nads to even stick up for themselves.. they need to pay someone to do it for them... Or is it the crab bucket theory people??/ you know, instead of performing for a raise, you just like to pull everyone else to your level.. Or rise up for doing nothing, but having the years???

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34AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Do you mean the right to work state like Texas increasing jobs?

With a young and fast-growing population, a large and expanding military presence and an influx of federal stimulus money, the number of government jobs in Texas has grown at more than double the rate of private-sector employment during Perry’s tenure.

The disparity has grown sharper since the national recession hit. Between December 2007 and last June, private-sector employment in Texas declined by 0.6 percent while public-sector jobs increased by 6.4 percent, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall, government employees account for about one-sixth of the workforce in Texas'

Perry has created Govt jobs, but he says he is not for big Govt.

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35knight(2 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

before any local UNION funds may be spent, a motion must be made and seconded at a membership meeting. at that time discussion takes place before a vote is taken. therefore, no problems.

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36andersonathan(682 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Just one big YES vote here

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