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October 19, 2010
Obama's foreign money can of worms
The Democrats, including President Obama, have embarked on a disastrous campaign impugning the US Chamber of Commerce as a source of nefarious foreign money corrupting our campaigns. Not only has the accusation failed to resonate, it has opened a door that Democrats would prefer remain closed. And because Washington Post writer Marc A. Thiessen has taken up the question, it will be impossible to contain the very valid questions raised:
...one of the largest labor unions in America, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), ... is spending lavishly to elect Democrats. The SEIU claims 100,000 members in Canada. According to SEIU's 2008 constitution, dues include $7.65 per month per member that must be sent to the SEIU International in the United States. This means that the SEIU takes in nearly $9.2 million per year from foreign nationals -- almost 10 times the amount the Chamber receives from its affiliates abroad. Is any foreign money being used to fund the SEIU's anti-Republican campaign efforts? According to the Wall Street Journal, "The Service Employees International Union, one of the nation's fastest-growing labor unions, acknowledges that it can't be certain that foreign nationals haven't contributed to its $44 million political budget to support pro-labor Democrats." The SEIU is not the only union that takes in money from foreign members. According to the Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers has 280,000 Canadian members; the United Food and Commercial Workers has more than 245,000; the Teamsters has more than 108,000; the Laborers' International Union of North America has more than 68,000; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has more than 57,000. How much do these foreign union members send to the United States? If the constitutions of their unions are anything like SEIU's, it could be tens of millions of dollars. Is any of that money being used to help elect Democrats this November? Unions have another source of foreign cash: dues from illegal immigrants. In an April 2007 speech, uncovered by the conservative Web site RedState, SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina boasts how his union's rolls are loaded with illegal immigrants. Medina declares proudly: "SEIU is the largest union of immigrant workers in the country, and a number of them are undocumented."
Hat tip: Ed Lasky