Must-read article! This is an especially salient observation:
The irony here is that while unions can't compel workers to fork over a penny for political campaigns, corporations can donate unlimited amounts of their shareholders' equity to do so – they are, in fact, in the 'unique position' to elect pliant lawmakers. 'What the right-wing and the business community always try to portray is that you have these union bosses that are forcing helpless employees to give them money,' says Gold, 'when the reality is that these are their members who chose to be in a union and then elected their officers democratically, in sharp contrast to corporations, none of whose officers are elected democratically unless you count shareholders voting at an annual meeting as a real democratic system.'
And conservatives have long held that voluntary donations to political campaigns are a high form of free speech. The double standard is clear-- 'money equals speech' unless it's money freely donated by working people to advance their own economic interests.
Public Employee Unions Don't Get One Penny from Taxpayers and Can't Require Membership, But the Big Lie That They Do Is Everywhere
By Joshua Holland
March 5, 2011 | AlterNet