But what happens if there are few or no major education-related issues or initiatives to battle, especially in a presidential election year, and your fund keeps filling up? Continually rolling it over eventually leads to delegates questioning whether that dues assessment is needed at that level. Even after accounting for a prudent reserve, the union has money to burn in 2008, and there is no shortage of people with ideas about how to spend it.
So the union's horizons broaden. Since there are no imminent threats, the union spends money on stamping out possible future threats (ConCons). There are 12 initiatives on California's ballot, none of which have the remotest relationship to public education. But the 800 or so members of the CTA State Council are mostly good liberals, their allies are all on the No on Prop 8 side, and the union's GLBT Caucus is powerful and influential. The result is a total of $1.25 million to protect gay marriage. If Prop 8 had been on the ballot in November 2005, along with Gov. Schwarzenegger's education initiatives, CTA would not have spent a dime on it.
The Sacramento ABC affiliate has more on this issue.
[Note to the reader: California Prop 8 is a ballot initiative to add a State Constitutional Amendment to support traditional one-man, one-woman marriage.]
So let’s remember this as Mark Warner, Gerry Connolly, Judy Feder, Jim Moran, and, of course, Barack Obama favor compelling workers to join unions and pay dues to support such causes. Not exactly Virginia (or American) values, eh? Remember, the unions always claim that dues do not go for political causes, but as recent filings required by the Department of Labor show, the unions have a way of making “grants” to “non-profits” that support various left-wing political agendas.