As govt. union bosses run TV ads against Mass. Gov. Milt Romney’s budget, he has apparently decided not to be the union’s collector. On Aug. 4, the governor’s chief legal counsel questioned the state’s practice of deducting fees from state workers’ paychecks for their unions’ political action cmtes. (PACs). The deductions are voluntary, and only about 10% of state employees have agreed to the deductions. But Romney’s counsel argued that with the state comptroller handing the deductions and transfer of funds to the unions, that amounted to a violation of state law, which prohibits the use of state property and state funds for political fundraising.
The state govt. transfers about $400,000 a year to the union officials, exclusively for political purposes. Currently, union officials are lobbying furiously against Romney’s efforts to balance the Mass. budget. “People will be shocked to hear that their tax dollars are facilitating an anti-reform message on Beacon Hill,” said Romney communications director Eric Fehrnstrom. “The unions have one agenda: to stop reform and raise taxes.” [Boston Herald, 8/5/03]