Union Political Spending – a Web of Corruption

Report Exposes Hyper-partisanship and Extreme Agenda Funded by Government Union Political Spending

Providence, RI – Not every teacher, first-responder, clerk, or other public servant considers themselves to be a Democrat or part of the «progressive-left» movement in Rhode Island. Yet every employee who is member of a government union in our state is paying dues that directly support this extreme political coalition … along with the corrupt quid quo pro that comes with this level of union political money.

A new report released today by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity – RI Political Spending: A Web of Corruption – details union political spending in the 2018 state elections and cumulatively since 2000. The report also provides multiple examples of what it calls a «web of corruption» where quid pro quo political favors coincided with union political cash.

«Most people don’t realize that the partnership between the progressive-left, government unions, and the Democratic party, which has created an iron triangle of cronyism and insider politics, is funded by each and every taxpayer in the state,» commented Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. «This money merry-go-round is destroying our state: And now they join together again in a major campaign to raise taxes … even while most of us struggle to recover, medically and financially, from the pandemic.»

Over $411,000 was spent by public employee unions to influence the 2018 elections :

  • 97% of government union campaign contributions went to Democrats
  • SEIU contributed about $150,000 to Democrats, who that year gave the union a major legislative victory that opened the door for the unionization of home care workers
  • 96% of recipients of NEARI PACE donations were Democrats
  • 95% of recipients of AFT (RI) donations were Democrats
  • 99% of recipients of the RI Brotherhood of Correctional Officers donations were Democrats
  • 98% of recipient of the RI Association of Firefighters donations were Democrats
  • 96% of recipients of the RI AFL-CIO PAC donations were Democrats
  • Over a half-million dollars was spent by unions on lobbying and related legislative outreach.
Nationally, and in addition to direct political contributions, for example, the National Education Association of Rhode Island’s (NEARI’s) parent organization, the NEA, alone gave out grants exceeding $100 million to far-left advocacy groups across the nation.
Other specific examples of union-money and quid pro quo cronyism are detailed in the report, including features about union executive and State Senator, Valerie Lawson, and union head, George Nee
The full nine-page report can be viewed on the Center’s website.