Hypocrisy Lives:  Shemia Fagan’s embrace of union money

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State Sen. Shemia Fagan announcing her entry into the Democratic primary race for Oregon Secretary of State

Rabid liberal Democrats like Secretary of State candidate Shemia Fagan rail against the power of corporations and their donations to political campaigns.

In that vein, she’s a critic of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that the government cannot restrict corporations, associations, and labor unions from making independent expenditures in support of or opposition to candidates.

But in a display of raw hypocrisy, Fagan is a big fan of political donations by labor unions, apparently considering union money more virtuous. In fact, union donations  were the lifeblood of her 2020 primary campaign, even though unions represent just 14.4% of Oregon workers.

A late entrant to the Democratic primary for Secretary of State, after Rep. Jennifer Williamson dropped out, Fagan quickly gained the support of unions and amassed a substantial campaign war chest. Public employee unions, in particular, backed Fagan because she voted against Senate Bill 1049, which limited PERS benefits

According to the Oregon Secretary of State, reported union contributions to Fagan’s campaign from when Williamson dropped out on Feb. 10, 2020 to May 15, 2020 totaled at least $796,775.68.

I guess Fagan’s worries about undue influence don’t apply to unions, only to businesses.

 

Union contributors to Committee to Elect Shemia Fagan

      Feb. 10 – May 15, 2020

  • SEIU – Citizen Action for Political Education – $239,389.86
  • Oregon AFL-CIO – $35,696.16
  • SEIU/American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – Oregonians for Ballot Access – $47,500.00
  • AFSCME Local #328 – $200.00
  • International Assoc. of Firefighters – $25,000.00
  • SEIU Local 503, OPEU – $3,825.91
  • Oregon Education Association – OEA PAC – $115,275.00
  • Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest – $1,000.00
  • Oregon Laborers Political Action Committee – $11,000.00
  • Lane Professional Firefighters Assoc – $1,000.00
  • Local 48 Electricians PAC – $7,500.00
  • Sheet Metal Contractors National Association (SMACNA) PAC – $1,000.00
  • American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) – $75,000.00
  • Portland Metro Fire Fighters PAC – $5,000.00
  • National Education Association – NEA Fund for Children and Public Education PAC – $25,000.00
  • Oregon State Firefighters Council – $5,000.00
  • Oregon AFSCME Council 75 – $91,638.75
  • Oregon School Employees Association – Voice of Involved Classified Employees – $25,000.00
  • Plumbers & Steamfitters PAC – $15,000.00
  • Local #1159 FirePAC – $1,000.00
  • SEIU Local 49 COPE Fund – $5000.00
  • Professional Firefighters PAC – $750.00
  • Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters -$2,500.00
  • Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local 16 -SMART Local 16 PAC – $5,000.00
  • Service Employees International Union Local 503/ American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 75 – Oregonians for Ballot Access – $47,500.00
  • Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council – Building Trades PAC – $5,000.00

*All organizations noted above are as identified in campaign finance information provided by the Oregon Secretary of State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who owns Brad Avakian? Unions.

 

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I’m tired of all these wealthy donors thinking that because I’ve been bought and paid for, they own me.                                                                                                                      (With thanks to the New Yorker) 

Brad Avakian, a Democrat running for Oregon’s Secretary of State, insists that one of his highest priorities is campaign finance reform.

“Everyone’s voice should be heard in our democracy – but that’s not happening right now,” Avakian says. “The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision was a terrible mistake. It’s allowing big corporate donors to drown out the voice of everyday voters…But what can we do about it? Here’s what: Oregon can lead the way. As Secretary of State, I’ll fight to reform Oregon’s campaign finance system.”

Really?

Mr. Avakian conveniently leaves out that the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizen United Ruling not only removed virtually any restriction on corporate money in politics. It also removed virtually any restriction on union money.

So how does Mr. Avakian feel about jumbo contributions to candidates from unions? He seems to be OK with those, based on the union contributions he’s received to date, including:

Oregon Education Association –People for Improvement of Education (142)                                         $95,000

Oregon School Employees Association –Voice of Involved Classified Employees (2307)                                    $65,000

Citizen Action for Political Education (33)                                     $60,000

United Food & Commercial Workers                                                $50,000

Oregon AFSCME Council 75                                                                 $30,000

Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters, SSF                           $30,000

Laborers’ Political League                                                                     $25,000

Oregon, South Idaho District Council of Laborers                         $15,000

Local 48 Electricians PAC (4572)                                                          $11,000

Oregon AFL-CIO                                                                                        $10,364

Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 598                                        $10,000

DRIVE Committee (Teamsters’ political action committee)      $10,000

American Federation of Teachers-OR Candidate PAC (113)        $  7,500

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees PAC         $  6,000

Working America (Political organizing arm of the AFL-CIO)      $  6,668

Portland Association of Teachers PAC                                                 $  5,000

IUPAT Political Action Together Political Committee                     $  5,000

 

Talk is cheap Brad.

What’s particularly striking is that union members accounted for just 14.8 percent of wage and salary workers in Oregon in 2015, but union contributions represent almost 40 percent of the total Avakian has raised in 2016.

So who do you think Avakian is going to represent if he’s elected?