News Release

Study: A Decade of Experience Independently Confirming “Paycheck Protection” Campaign Finance Regulation is Both Bad Policy and

Below is a selection of the continuously growing body of work confirming both the ineffectiveness and imprudence of so-called “paycheck protection” campaign finance laws which hope to regulate the expenditure of union funds on politics. Included are news articles, commentary articles, academic studies, and legal briefs from the last ten years demonstrating the many failings of promoting these campaign finance regulations.


**April 1998**

*Investors Business Daily*: What Does Paycheck Protection Protect? by Bob Adams

Key quote: “No matter what the outcome of Prop. 226, Big Labor will score a victory in the long run. If it is passed, California workers – cruelly bombarded with false hopes for months – can only conclude that union political spending is a thing of the past. This false sense of security buys organized labor years to extract even more forced dues for politics. And if CRI loses, organized labor achieves a public relations coup, energizing its activists and convincing lawmakers that they’ll be steamrolled if they cross Big Labor.”




**April 1998**

*Seattle Times*: Piercing the popular myth of ‘paycheck protection’ by Michelle Malkin

Key quote: “If the experience in Washington State holds, unions across the country will have an easy time – on members’ dime – inventing new and improved ways to divert compulsory dues to fund campaign activities. And state law-enforcement officials will support them.”




**May 1998**

Public Service Research Council Special Report: “Paycheck Protections” and the Washington Experience: What impact did it really have on union politics? by David Denholm

Key quote: “Did the initiative’s requirement that political payroll deductions be authorized annually in writing reduce union political activity or influence" Apparently not.”




**June 1998**

*National Review*: Protection Racket: The Right’s favorite campaign reform idea sounds too good to be true. It is. by Michael Lynch (Washington editor of Reason Magazine)

Key quote: “these laws can regulate only a small portion of private sector union dues spent on political and ideological activity, and unions have a strong financial incentive to avoid even these regulations. Both deficiencies are on display in Washington State, which is hailed by backers of paycheck protection.”




**July 1998**

*Orange County Register*: Labor formed a plan to skirt Prop 226 rules by Jeff Jacoby

Key quote: “In short, the new [paycheck protection] law wouldn’t have changed a thing. Real paycheck protection is about ending compulsory unionism in the first place.”




**March 2001**

*The Weekly Standard*: One Cheer for Paycheck Protection: It won’t stop unions from political mischief by Jeff Jacoby & Michelle Malkin

Key quote: “Experiences in Washington state and California show that laws intended to stop unions from spending forced dues on politics have been vastly oversold. They have done little to reduce massive political expenditures of mandatory dues on left-wing lobbying, Democratic party-building, and soft-money “issues” ads designed to hurt Republicans. Worst of all, they do nothing to curb the power of unions to extract dues from dissenting members in the first place.”




**June 2005**

*Sacramento Bee*: ‘Paycheck protection’ measures have little impact in 4 of 5 states by Bee Reporter Andy Furillo

Key quote: “In Washington, the unions have blunted paycheck protection in the courts and are spending money on politics like never before. In Michigan, union outlays still reach into the millions, while in Wyoming labor spending only got higher after paycheck protection. Idaho’s voluntary contribution law has since been enjoined in the federal courts. Robert P. Hunter, a senior fellow at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Mich., a free-market public policy think tank, said paycheck protection has done nothing to curb union spending in the state.”




**August 2006**

Heritage Foundation Data Analysis Report: What Do Union Members Want" What Paycheck Protection Laws Show About How Well Unions Reflect Their Members’ Priorities by James Sherk, Bradley Fellow in Labor Policy at the Heritage Foundation (page 10)

Key quote: “Circumstantial reports certainly suggest that union leaders simply ramp up their unconstrained soft money spending when their members have the option of opting out of hard money donations… effectively sidestepping the law.”




**November 2006**

Evergreen Freedom Foundation's “Friend of the Court” Brief in *Washington v. WEA* and *Davenport v. WEA* U.S. Supreme Court cases, authored by Eric Martin (pages 11-12)

Key quote: “Even if every non-member declined to opt-in to the use of dues for political purposes, the impact to the WEA would amount to less than ¼ of 1% of the WEA’s total expenditures.... Such a miniscule drop in funds available for political purposes hardly has the crippling effect complained of by the WEA…”




**January 2007**

*Pittsburgh Tribune-Review*: Laboring against free speech by George C. Leef, Execuive Director of the Pope Center for Higher Education

Key quote: “Union officials are adept at evading such "paycheck protection" regulations because the definition of politics covered is extremely narrow. After slight changes to their accounting and spending practices, union bosses can continue business as usual, and Washington's experience proved no exception.”




**June 2007**

*The National Review*: Freedom to Choose the Union Label by Jim Bopp, general counsel to the James Madison Center for Free Speech

Key quote: "While the Court’s decision in Davenport v. WEA is welcome, other states should not rush to enact similar laws. They should instead address the underlying problem of state compulsion... A paycheck-protection act (PPA) actually endorses and supports this underlying compulsion and merely attempts to remove some of the objectionable effects of such compulsory arrangements."




**June 2007**

*The Detroit News*: Don't copy Washington state's union dues law by Bradley A. Smith, former member of the Federal Election Commission and chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics

Key quote: "The problem of ineffectiveness is not the only reason why paycheck protection is a blind alley. By embracing the campaign finance regulatory approach, its promoters are trying to use the tools of the political left -- that is, government regulations -- to solve a problem caused by government. This path is fraught with danger and could continue to backfire, as it nearly did in Washington state. The real problem is that forcing employees to pay any dues -- for politics or anything else -- is fundamentally unjust."



The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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