Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Big Union Millions Fueling We Are Ohio

Today groups on both sides of the Issue 2 battle filed their pre-election campaign finance disclosure forms.  As expected, the battle over collective bargaining has been an expensive one.  Building a Better Ohio raised nearly 7.6 million dollars over the last quarter in support of a Yes vote on Issue 2, spending almost 6 million of that amount.  An impressive amount, but nothing compared to the DC-union backed We Are Ohio.  In their fight to defeat Issue 2, We Are Ohio raised over 19 million dollars and received another 4.5 million of in-kind contributions.  This is in addition to the millions they reported in their previous filing, bringing their total to over 30 million dollars.

Where does a group like "We Are Ohio" get this kind of money?  It's not from individual donations. Individual contributors account for less than 2 percent of today's figures, $336,818.39 combined. Their previous report's union tilt has already been illustrated, and today's filing shows more of the same. Here are the the big union contributors from today's We Are Ohio filing who have given more than all individual contributors combined:

  • Ohio Education Association: $4,750,000
  • National Labor Table: $3,000,000
  • NEA: $2,000,000
  • AFSCME (National and Chapters): $1,994,578
  • Ohio Civil Service Employees Association: $1,617,700
  • SEIU: $1,252,000
  • Ohio Federation of Teachers: $1,164,610
  • Communication Workers of America: $516,297
  • UFCW: $500,500
These 9 unions account for nearly 17 million in donations to We Are Ohio.

Big unions have contributed millions to their We Are Ohio campaign via in-kind contributions as well.  You'll see many names from the previous list on this listing of in-kind contributors over $50,000:

  • Ohio Association of Public School Employees: $961,854.86
  • SEIU District 1199: $825,674.79
  • AFSCME: $586,023
  • Ohio Education Association: $487,159.63
  • Ohio AFL-CIO: $420,000
  • Communities for Quality Education: $383,382.22
  • Ohio Council 8 AFSCME: $250,752.28
  • OCSEA AFSCME Local 8: $181,483.20
  • Fraternal Order of Police: $149,870.97
  • Ohio Federation of Teachers: $71,883.22
  • UFCW Local 1059: $55,451.41
  • Ohio Democratic Party: $54,652.90
  • SEIU: $50,283.10
We Are Ohio likes to call itself a "grassroots" organization, but these figures prove they're nothing more than union astroturf.  Unions are desperate to maintain their hold on Ohio tax dollars, and they will spare no expense to see Issue 2 defeated.  With Progress Ohio's leaked memo and the Democratic Governors Association's $150,000 contribution today showing continued worry from liberals, it's clear that the money will continue to flood in.

Ohio's choice in November is made all the more clear by these facts.  The big union forces aligned against Issue 2 want to buy not only this election, but this state.  Defeating Issue 2 keeps the spigot of taxpayer dollars flowing into their coffers for years to come, and it keeps these union bosses firmly in control of contract negotiations in Ohio.  But you and I can change this. We can restore a balance between these unions and the officials we elect to represent us.  We can do this by implementing reasonable reforms on collective bargaining in Ohio by voting Yes on Issue 2.


  1. Jeremy in ClevelandOctober 28, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Could you please provide a similar analysis of funding provided to the pro-Issue 2 groups? Ohioans have the right to know about who is funding them as well, in the interest of fairness.

  2. Jeremy in ClevelandOctober 28, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    After reviewing the Campaign Disclosure reports linked in the above article, one thing is apparent.

    The "We Are Ohio" group lists every donation with names of the specific groups or individuals involved in the giving.

    The "Building a Better Ohio" group does not identify its donor base at all. No names of specific groups or individuals are disclosed.

    What is "Building a Better Ohio" hiding?

    Do they expect to earn my trust when they refuse to be honest with the people of Ohio about who is funding their campaign?

    I suppose you are not able to offer a similar analysis of the pro-Issue 2 group's funding, because they are not being honest with Ohioans like the "We Are Ohio" group.

    Sorry to have bothered you with my original question.

  3. And how much of the $7.5 million came from just the Ohio Chamber and its related political entities which donated? We don't know because Building a Better Ohio consciously engaged in a legal scheme to avoid that kind of evaluation.

    You can't critize We Are Ohio because it relies on union support and say its overly reliant on "special interest" money when you can't deny the same is likely true of Building a Better Ohio, which still has a fraction of the individual donors that We Are Ohio has.

    Incidentially, you conveniently left out that Building a Better Ohio projected in late July that they'd raise $20 million for the campaign, but only raised $7.5 million.


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