FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
AFSCME Uses Forced Dues to Promote Obama, Pummel Romney
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 8, one of Ohio’s largest public employee unions, has mimicked D.C. union bosses by releasing a steady barrage of pro-Obama, anti-Romney communications through its website. As reported by Media Trackers in July, AFSCME Council 8 pushes liberal politics on its members using money taken from their paychecks.
Regardless of members’ political beliefs, official announcements and news items from AFSCME Council 8 overflow with praise for Barack Obama and venom towards Mitt Romney. Although a dozen of the union’s employees were paid more than $100,000 in 2011, AFSCME Council 8 rhetoric consistently reflects a rich vs. poor mentality with AFSCME Council 8 playing the role of the victim.
Marching orders: AFSCME International in D.C. sets talking points for all affiliates
On September 4, the union posted a story about AFSCME International President Lee Saunders’s speech to AFSCME delegates at the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
“Saunders told the more than 180 AFSCME delegates that the convention is not only about nominating President Obama to a second term, but also about protecting the nation ‘from a hostile takeover by the ultimate corporate raider: Mitt Romney.’”
Saunders, a Cleveland native, was paid $433,886 in 2011 before being promoted to president. His speech made headlines for an outburst against Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National Convention the preceding week, as Saunders at one point shouted at an empty chair before kicking it off the stage.
On September 6, AFSCME Council 8 published a glowing review of DNC speeches from President Clinton and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who “said every worker deserves the right to organize and bargain collectively, a ‘fundamental human right’ that he knows Barack Obama will fight to protect and strengthen.”
The following day, AFSCME Council 8 posted a giddy summary of President Obama’s DNC speech. The union concluded its story with, “AFSCME members are ready to make that choice for Obama and will have tens of thousands of boots on the ground across the country in the days to come. Join us at AFSCME.org/volunteer.”
AFSCME Council 8 wrote on September 19 that union members were “delighted” by a surprise visit from Obama at a September 17 Ohio AFL-CIO event. “It was an electrifying moment. The President urged them to go out and vote this November, calling them the troops who would make his re-election possible.”
“Through its ‘Get Out the Vote’ initiative, AFSCME has begun organizing scores of members and volunteers to make a winning difference this fall,” the AFSMCE Council 8 story added.
In a story published the next day, AFSCME Council 8 reported that Saunders had visited a Cleveland AFSCME phone bank and told volunteers to “let those voters hear in your voices how strongly you believe in President Obama and Vice President Biden and Sherrod Brown to stand up for our rights and for working families.”
On September 20, AFSCME Council 8 also posted a trailer for The Simpsons bashing Romney and smearing voter ID laws as racist voter suppression. “As Homer once said, ‘It’s funny ’cause it’s true,’” the union wrote.
A September 24 AFSCME Council 8 story about AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Laura Reyes invited visitors to “read Reyes’ message to AFSCME members about the Romney-Ryan budget’s disastrous impact on working families, which appears in the latest issue of WORKS magazine.”
President Obama is featured on the cover of the Summer 2012 issue of AFSCME WORKS, shown above. Following is the union magazine’s table of contents:
- Why November Matters
- Why Stopping the Romney-Ryan Budget Matters
- Why State Legislatures Matter
- Why Every Vote Matters
- Why Obama Matters
- Why the Supreme Court Matters
- Why Voting Rights Matter
- Romney Loves Outsourcing. Why That Matters to America.
- How We Communicate Matters
- Saunders, Reyes Elected to Lead AFSCME
AFSCME Council 8 published a story on September 26 highlighting a far-left study from the union-funded Economic Policy Institute. “These are some of the bad policy choices that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan stand behind,” AFSCME Council 8 wrote. “It’s not that the economy has failed to grow. On the contrary, national income has increased enough that if it were fairly distributed through fair tax policies, it would benefit us all.”
AFSCME International, which sets pro-Obama, pro-redistribution talking points for all state and local affiliates, officially endorsed Obama’s reelection eleven months before election day, on December 6, 2011.
“AFSCME will soon mobilize tens of thousands of activists to meet with other members at their homes, make phone calls, and speak to co-workers and others to get out the vote for the President and other pro-worker candidates nationwide,” the union wrote in an announcement posted to the AFSCME Council 8 website.
Since AFSCME profits from the forced dues of public workers in unionized government offices, the union defines “pro-worker candidates” as those most willing to increase spending, increase taxes, and make it easier for AFSCME to assert its power over local officials.
The AFSCME International endorsement continued, “the effort will be similar to AFSCME’s one-of-a-kind initiative in 2008 to elect President Obama, in which the union recruited more than 40,000 member and non-member activists, made more than 6 million calls to members and deployed hundreds of staff to 17 battleground states across the country to ensure a victory.”
Cross-posted from Media Trackers Ohio.