An interesting string of stories points to the continuing use of member dues money for lobbying.
The Bureau of National Affairs Daily Labor Report notes (subscription required):
The House Ethics Committee has approved the first privately sponsored trip taken by a lawmaker under new rules adopted in January when it approved a trip paid for by the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, according to disclosure filings reviewed by BNA.” Union members picked up the tab for Rep. James Clyburn’s trip to Las Vegas, which included “commercial coach airfare, an overnight hotel stay, and meals.
In New York, $151 million was spent in lobbying last year. WNYT reports that “NYSUT, the New York State United Teachers, came in at the top with more than $3 million between lobbying and campaign contributions.” The New York Post reports that four of the top ten 2006 lobbyists were labor unions. Meanwhile, the monied SEIU 1199 is attracting notice for its “millions on TV ads and lobbying efforts to make a case against Gov. Spitzer’s healthcare proposal.”