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0 comments | November 15, 2006 | 12:22 PM | posted by Mike Reitz

Former Bush nominee for Secretary of Labor Linda Chavez has a column on the consolidated union cases.

Little-mentioned in coverage of last week's congressional elections was the role played by labor unions in turning out a big vote for the Democrats. According to the AFL-CIO, one in four voters were union members, even though unions make up only 12 percent of the workforce, and three quarters of them voted Democratic.

Unions remain the staunchest allies of the Democratic Party and its biggest source of "volunteers" -- often union members who are on the union payroll while they engage in voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts. And while there's nothing wrong with unions collecting voluntary political contributions from their members and donating to the candidates of their choice, much of what unions spend on politics is anything but voluntary. Two cases now before the U.S. Supreme Court could change that, Davenport v. Washington Education Association (WEA) and Washington v. WEA.

The outcome will decide whether individual workers' rights trump those of unions. It could also level the playing field in future elections so that unions will have to do what every other group involved in politics does: raise voluntary contributions to support candidates.

Read the entire column here.

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