Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Chairman of the Senate Rules Comm., held a hearing on compelled political speech on Apr. 12 focusing on unions. He said the hearing was on an “important civil rights issue…largely overlooked, perhaps intentionally, by so-called campaign finance reform advocates, their political allies and their admirers in the media.”
McConnell stated, “the best way I can think of to protect workers from being forced to subsidize political speech with which they disagree is to ensure that they get an annual report of the ideological and political causes unions are supporting with their dues and fees. In that vein, I plan to introduce the Worker Information and Empowerment Act to make it easier for workers to determine if they want to…seek a refund.”
Ken Boehm, Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a union corruption watchdog, was one of six individuals before the committee. Boehm agree with McConnell that reforms are needed and pointed out the nexus of union corruption and union compelled speech reforms. Boehm’s testimony is at <http://www.nlpc.org>.
Others on the panel included David S. Fortney, labor law attorney and former deputy and acting Solicitor of Labor; Leo Troy, Rutgers Univ. Professor of Econ.; Robert P. Hunter, of Mackinac Center for Public Policy and former NLRB board member; Laurence E. Gold, AFL-CIO Assoc. Gen. Counsel; and Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen. Prepared statements are at <http://www.senate.gov/~rules/hearings/41200hrg.htm>.