“We Are Ohio” Now 100% Union-Funded

Cross-posted from the archived Media Trackers Ohio site.

Every contribution this year to union front We Are Ohio’s political action committee (PAC) has come from a labor union, the group’s July semiannual campaign finance report reveals.

At this time last year, We Are Ohio had reported annual donations of $49,297 from AFL-CIO’s Washington, DC headquarters and $55 from all other donors combined.

The “citizen-driven, community-based bipartisan coalition” created in 2011 to kill a public-sector union reform bill has received over 95 percent of its PAC funding from labor unions since its inception.

With the exception of a $967 reimbursement from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the only contributions We Are Ohio has reported to the secretary of state for 2014 are:

  • $1,694 from Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE), an affiliate of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • $1,694 from Ohio Education Association (OEA)
  • $1,694 from American Association of University Professors Ohio Conference
  • $1,694 from AFSCME Council 8
  • $1,000 from Communications Workers of America (CWA) headquarters in Washington, DC
  • $847 from Ohio Nurses Association
  • $847 from Ohio Federation of Teachers
  • $694 from CWA District 4

We Are Ohio also reported a sum of $585 of in-kind support from Ohio AFL-CIO and Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA), another AFSCME local. Both contributed staff time and office space.

Last year, a Media Trackers complaint prompted the Ohio Elections Commission to rule that We Are Ohio broke state law by failing to report unions’ in-kind support.

Since the campaign to prevent public-sector union reform ended in 2011, We Are Ohio now operates primarily as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit led by the state’s most powerful union bosses.

We Are Ohio’s chief concern is preventing Ohio from becoming the nation’s 25th worker freedom state. Without a worker freedom law, Ohioans in unionized workplaces can be forced to pay union bosses as a condition of employment.