Whose foreign money, Mr. President?

October 19, 2010

Last week, the President called out the US Chamber of Commerce for allegedly using foreign donations to buy add time for Republican candidates and to attack anti-business Democrats. At the time, I noted with contempt our Head of State’s blatant hypocrisy.

Writing at the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen points out, rather than opening a line of attack against the Republicans, the President may instead have open a political Pandora’s Box, full of woe for him and his allies:

The U.S. Chamber says it receives about $100,000 from its affiliates abroad (out of an operating budget of about $200 million), none of it used for political campaigns. Compare that to one of the largest labor unions in America, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is spending lavishly to elect Democrats. The SEIU claims 100,000 members in Canada. According to SEIU’s 2008 constitution, dues include $7.65 per month per member that must be sent to the SEIU International in the United States. This means that the SEIU takes in nearly $9.2 million per year from foreign nationals — almost 100 times the amount the Chamber receives from its affiliates abroad.

Is any foreign money being used to fund the SEIU’s anti-Republican campaign efforts? According to the Wall Street Journal, “The Service Employees International Union, one of the nation’s fastest-growing labor unions, acknowledges that it can’t be certain that foreign nationals haven’t contributed to its $44 million political budget to support pro-labor Democrats.” The SEIU is not the only union that takes in money from foreign members. According to the Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers has 280,000 Canadian members; the United Food and Commercial Workers has more than 245,000; the Teamsters has more than 108,000; the Laborers’ International Union of North America has more than 68,000; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has more than 57,000. How much do these foreign union members send to the United States? If the constitutions of their unions are anything like SEIU’s, it could be tens of millions of dollars. Is any of that money being used to help elect Democrats this November?

Read the rest for an… “interesting” discussion of how a good deal of the SEIU’s political funds may also come from illegal aliens.

Democrats have been screaming for an investigation of the Chamber of Commerce and its dirty, dirty FOREIGN!!* money (for which they have absolutely no evidence), so I bet they’ll be happy as can be when the House Republicans** next year initiate investigations into the sources of their union allies’ cash.

And SEIU and the others will be wishing the President had kept his big mouth shut.

*Amusing, isn’t it? The enlightened party playing the Xenophobia Card.

**I suppose there’s a miniscule chance of the Democrats retaining the House, but, honestly, betting on boxcars at the craps table would be a safer bet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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