A bill filed Thursday by state Rep. Penelope Tsernoglou (D) gives special status to labor unions and allows them to effectively bankroll candidates’ entire campaigns.
House Bill 4234 exempts union political action committees (PACs) from contribution limits, while maintaining donation restrictions on business-related and other PACs.
Another portion of the bill gives solely unions the freedom to spend unlimited money on campaigns and elections and not file organizational disclosures like other entities are required to do.
“A labor organization may make an independent expenditure in any amount advocating for the election or defeat of a candidate, or the qualification, passage, or defeat of a ballot question and does not for this reason become a committee, but the labor organization is subject to the independent expenditure reporting requirements under section 51,” the bill states.
Tsernoglou’s bill also allows a government agency to collect PAC contributions from workers and remit them to that worker’s union, an action that is currently illegal.
“The bill is a brazen attempt by Democrats to further tip the advantage to organizations that already bankroll their campaigns and frankly, once this door is opened, nothing is stopping Republicans from banning union contributions altogether when they again take control of the Legislature,” former Republican nominee for governor Tudor Dixon told The Midwesterner.
“Democrats tell us they are all for getting money out of politics, but this, instead, is concentrating political power in the hands of a few all powerful organizations that will now be allowed to legally fund campaigns in their entirety.”
That legislation currently has 34 co-sponsors. Democrats hold a 56-54 majority.
Another bill introduced Thursday effectively makes union dues taxpayer-funded.
House Bill 4235, which also has 34 co-sponsors, would make union dues eligible for a 100% tax credit that is refundable, drawing funds from state coffers.
To take effect January 1, 2023, “If the credit allowed under this section exceeds the tax liability of the taxpayer for the tax year, that portion of the credit that exceeds the tax liability shall be refunded.”
“Michigan Democrats are planning to steal your money and give it directly to Democrats who are running for office, with no limits or reporting,” Michigan Freedom Fund Executive Director Sarah Anderson said in a statement. “This proposal from Democrats legalizes money laundering with your tax dollars to benefit those in power and solidify their control.”