FEC overrules staff attorney, drops SEIU case

September 28, 2010 13:02

Despite a finding by the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel that the Service Employees International Union violated election law when it required local affiliates to contribute to its political action fund, the FEC’s full board nonetheless quietly voted to overrule its staff attorney and dismissed the original complaint — clearing the way for the union to squeeze its locals to amass a $9 million war chest for the next election.

By Ed Barnes FOXNews.com

Moreover, the group that filed the complaint, the National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF), didn’t receive a full explanation of the FEC’s decision in the case until after 111 days had passed, ensuring that its right to file an appeal had lapsed.

The NRWF, long a thorn in the side of the 1.8 million-member union, filed its complaint in October 2008, challenging an amendment to the union’s constitution that required each local to contribute $6 per member to the international’s political action committee. Those locals that didn’t comply would be charged the difference between what they owed and what they raised — plus, a 50 percent penalty.

“To us it was a prima facie case for coercion,” Mix said. “Plus, it looked like a money laundering scheme as well, because locals would pay the penalties from their general funds into the political action committee. General union treasury funds are not allowed to be used for political purposes,” he said.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, the SEIU, one (of) the most politically active unions in the nation, was a key mover in forming Americans Coming Together (ACT), which raised more than $130 million for progressive candidates – including $26 million from SEIU coffers.


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