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Where does the SEIU get its political cash? Still won't say.

By Marc Thiessen

In his attempted rebuttal to my column on whether unions are funding their political activities with contributions from foreign and illegal workers, the SEIU's Jon Youngdhal defended his organization by claiming that "most" of the SEIU's political work was funding through its Committee on Political Education (COPE) -- and that "to be eligible to contribute to COPE, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident."

In response, I pointed out that by the SEIU's own calculations, its political spending in the 2008 election was far greater that the spending the union reported to the FEC and the IRS for its COPE political action committee.

Now, in his latest missive, Youndahl admits that I am correct. He writes:

SEIU's COPE Federal PAC expenditures, as reported to the Federal Election Commission, were over $47 million in [the 2008 election] cycle, not the $40.9 million Mr. Thiessen stated. During 2008 (not the 2007-08 cycle, as Mr. Thiessen claimed) SEIU spent and reported to the IRS an additional $59,868,786 that did not come from the Federal PAC account and included money spent on activities directed by and directed to our own members. The two numbers do not reflect a "discrepancy" but rather sums from two different accounts used for different political purposes.

So while Youngdahl disputes my numbers, he acknowledges that his earlier statement was patently false.

"Most" of the money the SEIU uses for "political purposes" does not come from COPE (to which you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident to contribute). "Most" of the SEIU's political spending, he now admits, comes from other accounts.

And who funds those other accounts? "Our own members," Youngdahl writes. Well, the SEIU's members include foreign workers and -- as an SEIU executive boasts in this video -- illegal immigrants. Youngdahl has twice failed to answer my question, so I will ask it a third time: Do the SEIU's foreign workers and illegal immigrant members (who are by definition foreign nationals) contribute any money to the accounts that the union uses for "political purposes"?

Youngdahl does not seem to want to answer such questions for Post readers, and that is his prerogative. But thanks to the wisdom of American voters, he may well have to answer the questions of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the incoming chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (a.k.a. the House's new chief investigator). Unlike your humble columnist, Issa will have subpoena power to compel the answers.

By Marc Thiessen  | November 5, 2010; 12:47 PM ET
Categories:  Thiessen  | Tags:  Marc Thiessen  
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Comments

Thiessen the SISSY
is a card carrying Member of the USA( Chinese)Chamber of Commerce.

DUDE take care of your own first..
How come youare not writing about them.

BTW...local Chambers around the country are disowning any part of the US(Chinese)CC.

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | November 5, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

vettesport:

I think that Greg Sargent more than made up for Chamber bashing here at the WaPo ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 5, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Theissen. In an age of anonymous money spewing from every corner, you are going to single out SEIU? That's as bad as MSNBC suspending Olberman for making a few political donations while Fox news is openly shoveling cash to the Republicans. This is the brave new world of free speech and anonymous donors that our supreme court has bestowed upon us. Might as well get used to it if you don't favor comprehensive reform.

Posted by: truthwillout | November 5, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The White House proclaims that the Chamber of Commerce is guilty of foreign donations without any proof, and you're mad that a big scary columnist is engaging in a dialogue with the SEIU inquiring on the same matter?

This is the brave new world that liberals now have to face: accountability for their actions. Oh noes!

Posted by: TheGJ | November 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh my goodness. A conservative commentator complaining about the source of union cash in campaigns. Such a sorry state of affairs. But if I am not mistaken it was an activist Supreme Court that overturned 100 hears of campagin finance laws to unleash a flood of opaque campaing donations. In addition it is the GOP who is blocking any sort of transparecny on where thses groups get their money. The GOP are just plain whiners on this issue. What they are really upset about is that unions were given the same right as corporations and that the unions still have meney to spand. Since corporations have the ability to out spend unions 20 to 1 I wonder why they whine.

Posted by: cjculver2003 | November 5, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh my goodness. A conservative commentator complaining about the source of union cash in campaigns. Such a sorry state of affairs. But if I am not mistaken it was an activist Supreme Court that overturned 100 hears of campagin finance laws to unleash a flood of opaque campaing donations. In addition it is the GOP who is blocking any sort of transparecny on where thses groups get their money. The GOP are just plain whiners on this issue. What they are really upset about is that unions were given the same right as corporations and that the unions still have meney to spand. Since corporations have the ability to out spend unions 20 to 1 I wonder why they whine.

Posted by: cjculver2003 | November 5, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh my goodness. A conservative commentator complaining about the source of union cash in campaigns. Such a sorry state of affairs. But if I am not mistaken it was an activist Supreme Court that overturned 100 hears of campagin finance laws to unleash a flood of opaque campaing donations. In addition it is the GOP who is blocking any sort of transparecny on where thses groups get their money. The GOP are just plain whiners on this issue. What they are really upset about is that unions were given the same right as corporations and that the unions still have meney to spand. Since corporations have the ability to out spend unions 20 to 1 I wonder why they whine.

Posted by: cjculver2003 | November 5, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

A conservative commentatior whining about opaque union spending. What is this world coming to. Only corporations should be able to get away with that.

What a whiner. It was the GOP who championed the court decision and have blocked any reforms to add transparency. What they are up set about only corporations should have this right.

Posted by: cjculver2003 | November 5, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

A conservative commentatior whining about opaque union spending. What is this world coming to. Only corporations should be able to get away with that.

What a whiner. It was the GOP who championed the court decision and have blocked any reforms to add transparency. What they are up set about only corporations should have this right.

Posted by: cjculver2003 | November 5, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

A conservative commentatior whining about opaque union spending. What is this world coming to. Only corporations should be able to get away with that.

What a whiner. It was the GOP who championed the court decision and have blocked any reforms to add transparency. What they are up set about only corporations should have this right.

Posted by: cjculver2003 | November 5, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The real question is whether the money is coming from US union dues or is there money from other sources such as Sorus?

Posted by: sales7 | November 5, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The real question is whether the money is coming from US union dues or is there money from other sources such as Sorus?

Posted by: sales7 | November 5, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The real question is whether the money is coming from US union dues or is there money from other sources such as Sorus?

Posted by: sales7 | November 5, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the Wash Post is investigating and asking these tough questions about tens of millions of dollars in un-sourced money.

Didn't the President himself allege that campaign funding was coming in from unknown possibly foreign sources ?

Who knew possible criminal campaign funding was being conducted by Obama's own union supporters ?

Posted by: pvilso24 | November 5, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"did not come from the Federal PAC account and included money spent on activities DIRECTED BY AND DIRECTED TO OUR OWN MEMBERS."

Theissen is making a big thing about something he knows is a lot less dubious. Political activities within a membership organization is not the same thing as political ads.

SEIU has a special account for political activities that target the general public, but uses internal funds for what's called member education and it is different than taking members money and trying to influence the general public.

A membership organization should be able to spend all it wants of its budget on informing its membership, that's why a lot of people join membership organizations.

This is very different from a corporation's management using its shareholders' possible profits as a business expense to influence the general public in ways the shareholders may not agree with.

Posted by: bravestar360 | November 5, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Where do they get there money from?

George Soros?

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | November 5, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

HOW DO YOU SPELL SOROS. THAT'S IT!

Posted by: barrysal | November 6, 2010 6:08 AM | Report abuse

i THINK ALOT COMES FROM ORGANIZED CRIME AND SOME SOME POLITICANS .i ALSO THINK AND HOPE THE REPUBLICANS DISMANTLE THE SEIU THEY ARE NOT WORTH SHOOTING IN THE HEAD AND WHAT GOOD ARE THEY?TO ME UNIONS SUCK AND THERE IS NO PLACE FOR THEM IN THIS COUNTRY.

Posted by: edwardwillispcf | November 6, 2010 6:15 AM | Report abuse

i THINK ALOT COMES FROM ORGANIZED CRIME AND SOME SOME POLITICANS .I ALSO THINK AND HOPE THE REPUBLICANS DISMANTLE THE SEIU THEY ARE NOT WORTH SHOOTING IN THE HEAD AND WHAT GOOD ARE THEY?TO ME UNIONS SUCK AND THERE IS NO PLACE FOR THEM IN THIS COUNTRY.

Posted by: edwardwillispcf | November 6, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

This is good. Next year we can start to see criminal prosecution of the SEIU Execs.

Posted by: illogicbuster | November 6, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

UNION PAC money can only be collected from UNION MEMBERS! NO friends or families.

"Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is a labor union representing about 1.8 million workers in over 100 occupations in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico."

CORPORATE - PACs get money from Stock holders and their families as well as Employees and their families; Millions of eligible people.

Wikipedia:
"Corporate-affiliated PACs may only solicit contributions from executives, shareholders, and their families, while UNION-affiliated PACs may only solicit contributions from MEMBERS."

Posted by: ddoiron1 | November 6, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

UNIONS EXISTED MORE THAN 200 YEARS BEFORE COMMUNISM WAS A CATCH WORD FOR FASCIST GLENN BECK SUPPORTERS!

1607 English planters found Jamestown colony and complain about lack of laborers
1619 Slaves from Africa first imported to colonies
1664 First slavery codes begin trend of making African servants slaves for life
1676 Bacon’s Rebellion of servants and slaves in Virginia
1677 First recorded prosecution against strikers in New York City
1765 Artisans and laborers in Sons of Liberty protest oppressive British taxes
1770 British troops kill five dock workers in Boston Massacre
1773 Laborers protest royal taxation in the Boston tea Party
1775 American Revolution begins
1786 Philadelphia printers conduct first successful strike for increased wages
1787 Constitution adopted
1791 First strike in building trades by Philadelphia carpenters for a 10-hour day bill of Rights adopted

Posted by: ddoiron1 | November 6, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Actually, you can look up the bulk of the SEIU and AFSCME small donormoney trails on the FEC website, unless you're too lazy and biased and would rather just prevaricate like a good Chamber drone.

Posted by: aprilglaspie | November 6, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Actually, you can look up the bulk of the SEIU and AFSCME small donormoney trails on the FEC website, unless you're too lazy and biased and would rather just prevaricate like a good Chamber drone.

Posted by: aprilglaspie | November 6, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Thiessen asks a legitimate question. At Obama's admission, SEIU boss Andy Stern had alot of imput into governing this country in 2009. Or railroading it, whatever your view point. Sources of his money should be checked. Obama erased sources of his money for the 2008 campaign. He should be rebuked for that. I hope Issa will get to the bottom of alot of this union and communist money that has infected the democrat party. The country just voted that we are not progressive or communist!!! Get them OUT of OUR HOUSE!!!

Posted by: annnort | November 6, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The AFL-CIO, SEIU, UAW, etc. are fighting for their survivial - not for the rights of Americans.

http://tinyurl.com/2ffnun9

Posted by: kinsleybingham | November 6, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

This neocon mouthpiece for secret corporate money accuses the other side of doing exactly what his side is doing in the biggest way possible. Secret money flowing into politics? Who has been doing that? Republicans, overwhelmingly, since their Supreme Court lackeys destroyed campaign spending reforms. Our system has been bought and perverted, and it was Thiessen and his friends who did it, who now point at someone else, and accuse them, as a distraction. Only complete fools or willing conspirators accept this hypocrisy as serious comment.

Posted by: MarkThomason | November 6, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the President himself allege that campaign funding was coming in from unknown possibly foreign sources ?

Who knew possible criminal campaign funding was being conducted by Obama's own union supporters ?

Posted by: pvilso24 | November 6, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees reached a new spending record, pouring $87 million into this congressional election.....
In the 2010 election cycle, AFSCME donated 99.5 percent of contributions to Democrats......
the National Education Association donated 96 percent; and the American Federation of Teachers donated 99.7 percent"


Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Stop-campaign-funds-from-public-sector-unions-1457421-106721093.html#ixzz14WUgEkr2


The NEA donated 40 million, and SEIU donated 44 million.

And here is the site for AFSMC, bragging on their stimulus funding.

http://www.afscme.org/legislation-politics/20222.cfm

So basically, taxpayers are now funding the democrat party's election costs.

Forget impeachment, this is a crime worthy of imprisonment, or worse.

Posted by: MrMeaner | November 6, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

SEIU is getting most of it's money from Soros via his many far left front companies in the US!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | November 6, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

So are you saying that foreign low-wage workers are equally as powerful as foreign multi-national corporations?

They are equally capable of controlling the U.S. government with their vast resources?

Do you even understand that the powerful and powerless are not equivalent?

Posted by: LMM1 | November 7, 2010 6:13 AM | Report abuse

This is very different from a corporation's management using its shareholders' possible profits as a business expense to influence the general public in ways the shareholders may not agree with.

Posted by: bravestar360 | November 5, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

SHAREHOLDERS have more power over the management of ANY company than union members have over the GOON TACTICS used to keep their thug bosses in power.

And it you were at level of half a wit, you might understand that simple power point. But alas, you remain in thr no wit gang.

For instance, the "shareholder" does not "make a profit" as you bizarrely write.

That would be the company, especially a well-mamaged company. Profits are then used in a number of ways. Such as further investment in the company. Or the shareholder will then benefit from any "profit" the company makes by being paid a "dividend" on their invetment of their capital.

However... how much their member "dues" money did BIG UNIONS piss down the drain supporting Democrats?

Where's the profit in that?

As to the sub-literate Marxian screed from: Posted by: MarkThomason | November 6, 2010 12:03 PM

Ho Ho... you're a funny guy. Loser. Bet you see yourself as the "vanguard" leading the proles.

Posted by: espresso | November 7, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ddoiron1 | November 6, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

You're the fascist. Racist too. And when did you stop beating your wife.

Come on wife beater, we want to know?

Posted by: espresso | November 7, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

But if you actually WANT to be serious ddorion, let's just examine the totalitarian, state controlled, fascistic tendencies of various "groups" in America.

Seeing you mention Glenn Beck, let start with people who watch his show.

Now, as they want LIMITED GOVERNMENT; less STATE CONTROL; an end to crony capitalism, (in the Obama nexus of government and favored quasi-capitalist interests); believe in adherence to the US constitution for a Republic; believe in the superiority of individual rights, and private property over collectivism -- I guess they are more federalist and fascist.

So who exactly is it that believes in the opposite. BIG government. Statism. Shutting up opposition. Controling citizens lives from cradle to grave. Demonizing dissent. Using collective power to crush the individual. Increasing taxes.

The totalitarian left, that's who. The National Socialists. People like you. Who are just to dumb and drone like to even comprehend the contradictory, incoherent sub-Marxist gibberishthey spew.

But then the left has always been a collective of drones led by the vile vanguard of parasites.

Posted by: espresso | November 7, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Well done, Marc. You've stirred up the nest. I love reading the comments of frightened liberal bullies. They're so cute when they're incoherent.

Posted by: otscotty | November 7, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheGJ
The White House proclaims that the Chamber of Commerce is guilty of foreign donations without any proof, and you're mad that a big scary columnist is engaging in a dialogue with the SEIU inquiring on the same matter?

This is the brave new world that liberals now have to face: accountability for their actions. Oh noes!
-------------------------------
The White House Didn't, "proclaims that the Chamber of Commerce is guilty of foreign donations without any proof,".

It's a simple Question asked by the White house. Chamber of Commerce puts foreign donations in the same account with American Donations. All the White house wants to know is if any of those foreign funds illegally end up in Political Campaigns in the US.

The Chamber and Republicans supported Killing Democratic Legislation that would expose ALL donors to political campaigns.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | November 7, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ddoiron1 | November 7, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

The Obama ON-LINE campaign IN 2008 was deliberately set up to receive UNTOLD MILLIONS of dollars in foreign donations.

As far as we know OSAMA BIN LADEN himself donated online from an internet connection in a cave in Krapistan.

As far as we know, Obama ACCEPTED donations from Islamic terrorist in foreign countries, and it's up to him to prove otherwise.

The burden of proof is on Obama.

Posted by: espresso | November 7, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

There is only one way to stop political pissing contest whenever one party has a funding edge.
LIMIT contributions to individuals... PERIOD!

No business, organization, union, will be allowed to contribute to a re-election campaign.

This will make candidates work harder for small donation rather than attend big dollar fund raisers. It will remove millions of dollars from campaigns and candidates will be dependent on citizens and not be beholden to any group if they get elected.

This should be something BOTH parties should support.
ajbruno14@gmail.com

Posted by: ajbruno14 | November 7, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you just torture him for the answer, Marc?

Oh, now I went and made you all nostalgic....

Posted by: tblogg | November 8, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Abolish all Union members from Govt. employment. No International entities should have anything to do with our Govt.

Posted by: roseyvonnerowleyanderson | November 8, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone even care that UNIONS are frittering away their pensions, healthcare dollars and ALL assets for NOTHING?
This is an incredible fiduciary betrayal of the worker. What are these leaders thinking?
Oh, don't exzpect the MEDIA to complain..
WHO IS GETTING ALL THIS MONEY? The Papers and TV Stations.....
Sad. Glad I am not Union Worker counting on a Union retirement Plan because your marxist leaders just gave it to their liberal friends in the media.. I am sure THEY will be ok. But maybe not you..Hunhh
You think..

Posted by: irishalaman | November 8, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ajbruno14 | November 7, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes, if only it wasn't for that pesky 1st Amendment, then those in power could so easily prevent citizens (yes, even those who run businesses are covered) ... from spending money on political action.

Damn those framers.

Posted by: espresso | November 8, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: tblogg | November 8, 2010 1:35 AM

Why don't you stop torturing us with your illogic?

Posted by: espresso | November 8, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Just talked with a Congressman. SEIU is going to be investigated AND, there will be criminal prosecution followed by heavy jail terms.

Posted by: illogicbuster | November 8, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I think that they steal it from their members!

Posted by: nono524 | November 8, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Probably much from Soros. But the puppet-master has bought or paid off so many in the lying Propaganda media you will never hear about it.

Posted by: harley2002 | November 8, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen attacks SEIU. Thiessen is a racist. When will the Post fire him?

Posted by: jy151310 | November 8, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

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