On behalfof the National Taxpayers Union’s (NTU’s) 8,300 members in Arizona, I urge youto support Senate Constitutional Referendum 1028 (SCR 1028), which wouldprevent unauthorized deductions from workers’ pay for use on politicalactivities.
SCR 1028, also known as the Paycheck ProtectionReferendum, would let Arizona voters decide if public and private employersshould be prohibited from deducting payments from any employee’s paycheck forpolitical purposes without the annually affirmed written consent of theemployee. NTU believes this reform is necessary to prevent the misuse ofworkers’ earnings by interest groups seeking to advance their agendas, which canoften consist of more government spending and higher taxes.
A study by the Heritage Foundation found thatnearly 70 percent of union dues are spent on union staff salaries and politicalactivities, including campaigning. Most of the funds are expended withoutworkers’ knowledge. Increasingly, public sector unions utilize the fundscollected through dues to influence elections for state and federal offices,and they are now the biggest player in such campaigns. According to The Wall Street Journal, the AmericanFederation of State, County, and Municipal Employees spent at least $87.6million on the 2010 elections, making the public sector union the largestsingle outside spender of the campaign.
What’s more, unions are using their influence topromote candidates who advance their interests, such as higher spending ongovernment personnel and programs, despite huge budget deficits. Public sectorunions are also among the most strident opponents to public pension reform despiteevidence that unfunded public pension liabilities are somewhere between $1trillion and $3 trillion. Ultimately, taxpayers must bear the costs of thesepolicies. However, unsuspecting public employees could eventually shoulderthese burdens as well, since their retirement security is endangered when theirunion leaders push for benefit schemes that may prove impossible to maintain.
The time for meaningful politicalreform that protects taxpayers in Arizona is now. Therefore, our members hopeyou will help provide that protection by passing SCR 1028.
StateGovernment Affairs Manager