Here is the “other” side of the Citizens United decision Bradley Smith will talk about on October 26th (the Supreme Court ruling that lifted spending restrictions for corporations and unions):  The lead story in the Wall Street Journal (link below) and elsewhere today, is the AFSCME’s 1.6 million-member union of public employees is spending $87.5 million –and taking out a $2 million dollar loan—to support Democrats in the fall campaign.


And here is my take on this: there is nothing free about this speech. Its virtue is destroyed by the fact that this is taxpayer supported speech. Public sector unions should be banned for the simple reason that taxpayers funds are used against the taxpayer. Taxpayers who do not agree with the unions are forced to support the speech of others and political positions they oppose.

And what about the public employee? Beck v. Communication Workers of America held that unions could not force workers to pay dues to support political causes and matters unrelated to the normal union duties of collective bargaining and union representation. The court ruled that political contributions must be voluntary but the Beck decision has not been enforced consistently–so even public employees are forced to subsidize political speech they oppose.

We can discuss this next week with Bradley Smith at our event on election law and free speech. We have plenty of seats left–please join us!!