Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Letter to the Editor: Unions getting special treatment on dues

on February 02, 2014 1:30 AM

Bonusgate is a term that will forever live in infamy in Pennsylvania political history. It ended up bringing down Republicans and Democrats alike, both staffers and elected officials, and resulted in 25 arrests and 21 convictions, shaking the capital to its core.

But what was it really all about? These individuals were accused of the illegal use of government funds for political purposes.

Isn’t it odd then that unions are allowed to get away with that very practice, even as we speak, in the form of dues deduction?

You see, public sector dues deduction isn’t about weakening unions as Rick Bloomingdale and his union executive buddies try to claim. It’s simply about not using $50 million of taxpayer money every year to collect dues from taxpayer-funded unions when it has been documented that a large portion of that dues money gets used for political purposes, the very thing those 25 people were arrested and 21 convicted for during Bonusgate.

It goes beyond that, though, to a question of fairness and equality. No organization should have special rights not enjoyed by others; they should all be treated the same.

There is no reason unions couldn’t set up automatic deduction from their members’ checking accounts on a monthly basis, or require them to write that check once a month. Yet time and time again, we see union executives given special rights so that some of the dues money and PAC money they collect from their members will find their way into their favorite legislator’s campaign coffers.

If you are as tired as I am of unions getting special treatment, and think that it is ridiculous that they can continue to have their dues collected and sent to them on the taxpayers’ dime, while others rot in jail for doing the exact same thing, it’s time to support HB 1507 and SB 1034.

I personally do not want to help collect political money that goes against everything that I have been fighting for!

Julie Anderson

Indiana

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