by Matt Stoller, Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 07:14:41 AM EST
Onnesha Roychoudhuri has a piece on UnionFacts.org at Alternet. But I think that the Hotline has a really interesting take - who's backing the group? Marc Ambinger and Jonathan Martin report that it's not the Chamber of Commerce, though I have a hard time believing that.
Unionfacts.org is probably not a charity, though it's filed as one. So the group fronting the money might be in for a rude shock in terms of taxable income should the IRS choose to clamp down.
by Matt Stoller, Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:48:30 AM EST
Commenter Sierra Volk noticed another interesting shady piece of propaganda coming from unionfacts.org:
One of the sleazier things unionfacts.com does is list by name the "salaries" of officers and staffers at union headquarters, which is publicly available information. But in order to make the unions look like a herd of top-heavy fat cats, the "salaries" listed are actually (though this isn't explained on the site) the COMBINATION of salary-plus-expenses.
Since a lot of union staff spend their time out in the field, traveling from place to place to, you know, help people who want to organize their workplace and win a chance at a decent paycheck and fairness in the workplace, expenses can run high, once you add up a year's worth of airfares and hotel rooms. So an organizer getting by on, say, $40 or $50 thou a year, is represented as pullling down a sweet $120,000 or more.
I haven't looked into the filings, though from glancing at the salary list it does like a valid observation. Ok, The site lists 'Benefits and other' instead of just benefits, and there's no rhyme or reason to that category on, say, this list. I would imagine that this kind of creative 'research' is indeed expensive.
So here we have an organization set up by business lobbyists portraying fines against management as fines against union leadership, supposedly pretending that expenses incurred by employees is salary income, and doing it under the auspices of a 'charity' organization. This is part and parcel of the whole right-wing apparatus, which is basically an organized disinformation campaign designed not so much to inform the public with right-wing ideas as to confuse the public into apathy. Oh, and doing it, apparently, with your tax money.
Nice job, Rick Berman. So very Orwell. Redstate is pleased.