Last year Ohio Republicans received $165,450 from International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18, whose campaign against Right to Work has demonized workplace freedom as poisonous and communist.

IUOE Local 18 gave $12,000 — the union’s largest campaign contribution all year — to Governor John Kasich. Unlike Ohio’s other big labor unions, IUOE Local 18 contributed nothing to Ed FitzGerald, Kasich’s Democrat opponent.

In the months leading up to and following the introduction of three workplace freedom bills in the Ohio House, IUOE Local 18 contributed $10,000 to Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) and $8,350 to House Speaker Bill Batchelder (R-Medina).

Every member of Republican leadership in the Ohio Senate received at least $4,800 from IUOE Local 18 in 2013. House Majority Floor Leader Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Twp.), a close ally of Gov. Kasich, was among the 11 Republican legislators the union gave $5,000 or more.

In total, 33 Republican officeholders including potential future gubernatorial candidates Mike DeWine and Jon Husted received donations from IUOE Local 18 last year. The union funneled $69,450 to state representatives and $69,000 to state senators.

There are 23 Republicans in the Ohio Senate; IUOE Local 18 donated $2,500 or more to 13 of them.

IUOE Local 18 shares its Cleveland offices with Keep Ohio’s Heritage, which was created in 2012 with $1,000,000 from IUOE’s national headquarters. IUOE Local 18 President Richard Dalton is the treasurer for Keep Ohio’s Heritage.

The union paid Dalton $142,338 in 2012, while IUOE Local 18 Business Manager Pat Sink was paid $167,263. A total of 26 of the union’s officers and employees were paid six figures in 2012, based on IUOE Local 18′s annual report to the U.S. Department of Labor.

As part of IUOE’s campaign to keep union dues mandatory, Keep Ohio’s Heritage warned Ohioans in five media markets that workplace freedom is “meant to kill unions and worker protections — just like what is done in communist countries.”

Keep Ohio’s Heritage has bought billboard space along major highways across the state for the hammer and sickle graphic shown here.

Meanwhile, IUOE Local 18 was spending $165,450 to kill workplace freedom — which would allow Ohioans to opt out of paying union bosses like those at IUOE Local 18 — in the state legislature.

Republican Officeholder
Contributions from
IUOE Local 18 in 2013

Gov. John Kasich
$12,000

Senante President Keith Faber
$10,000

Rep. David Hall
$8,850

House Speaker Bill Batchelder
$8,350

Attorney General Mike DeWine
$7,500

Sen. Bill Beagle
$6,000

Sen. Frank LaRose
$5,800

Sen. Gayle Manning
$5,800

Senate Majority Floor Leader Tom Patton
$5,800

Sen. Kevin Bacon
$5,500

Rep. Kirk Schuring
$5,350

Rep. Anne Gonzales
$5,000

House Majority Floor Leader Barbara Sears
$5,000

Republican Senate Campaign Committee
$5,000

Senate Majority Whip Larry Obhof
$4,800

Senate President Pro Tempore Chris Widener
$4,800

Sen. Troy Balderson
$4,500

Sen. Randy Gardner
$4,500

Sen. Jim Hughes
$4,500

Sen. Scott Oelslager
$4,500

Rep. Ross McGregor
$4,350

Rep. Marlene Anielski
$3,350

Rep. Anthony DeVitis
$3,350

Rep. Mike Dovilla
$3,350

Rep. Tim Brown
$3,000

Rep. Mike Duffey
$3,000

Rep. Brian Hill
$3,000

Rep. Terry Johnson
$3,000

Rep. Al Landis
$3,000

Rep. Margaret Ann Ruhl
$3,000

Rep. Ryan Smith
$3,000

Sen. John Eklund
$2,500

Secretary of State Jon Husted
$2,500

Rep. Mark Romanchuk
$1,500

A total of 78 percent of all IUOE Local 18′s political donations went to Republicans last year.

The $165,450 IUOE Local 18 gave to Republicans in 2013 was more than triple the union’s total reported 2012 campaign spending of $50,150.

This story was originally published at Media Trackers.