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Resolutions & Amendments

33rd International Convention - Honolulu, HI (1998)

Equitable Campaign Contribution Reforms

Resolution No. 88
33rd International Convention
August 24-28, 1998
Honolulu, HI


Partisan political parties, groups, individuals and moneyed interests continue to try to pass legislation which would greatly reduce the ability of unions and their members to exercise their constitutional right to be politically active and involved, while not seeking to restrict corporations; and


Said legislation often seeks to impose a union member dues "check off" for specific political contributions, or otherwise implicit approval of the members for political contributions on their behalf, while not requiring that corporations seek the approval of stockholders or employees for political contributions; and


These unchecked corporate contributions far exceed the union’s participation. The unions are being singled out for these types of restrictions, presented to the unwitting populace under deceptive guises like the "Paycheck Deception Act"; and


The rationalization for these restrictions stem from the misguided notion that unions only support one side of the political arena; and


The attack on unions and the rhetoric surrounding it also ignores the real facts. The truth is that labor unions, including AFSCME, are already in compliance with the terms of the Supreme Court decision, Communications Workers of America v. Beck, which holds that no worker can be compelled to support union political activities. Since 1974, AFSCME members have had the right under the Union’s constitution to receive a refund of that portion of their union dues that go to political or ideological activities, and each year since, the union has provided thousands of rebates to AFSCME members who request them; and


No such restrictions have been proposed for corporate contributions. The clearly partisan corporate agendas are pushed by huge contributions to parties, political action committees, and thinly disguised foundations and organizations, without the approval of employees or stockholders.


That AFSCME pledge to commit lobbying effort to ensuring that legislation, which seeks to impose further union member campaign contribution restrictions, not make it to the floor of our legislative bodies; and


That if such legislation were likely to be passed, that AFSCME lobby to include such wording as to impose like restrictions on corporate contributions; and


That AFSCME use the public outreach tools at its disposal when possible to make the inequities in the proposed legislation known to the voting public.



Anthony Stigall, President and Delegate
Samuel Mutt, Delegate
AFSCME Local 109E, Council 2