Defunding the Left: The SEIU Education and Support Fund

FedUp PAC StaffDefunding the Left:  The SEIU Education and Support Fund

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been described as “the nation’s most highly visible and politically influential labor organization. No other union did more to get Obama elected . . . .” When it endorsed Hillary Clinton for President on November 15, 2015, it was rightly treated as a major campaign development and a significant boost to her chances of becoming president.

At the union’s 2016 convention, it adopted resolutions putting it squarely on the political left, supporting amnesty for illegal aliens, “climate justice”, “equality for . . . lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people”, more government spending, and ObamaCare. Therefore, it should be a matter of concern that its affiliate, the SEIU Education and Support Fund, has received $5,232,435 in Federal taxpayer funds during the past eight years. In fact, government grants make up more than 92% of the Fund’s revenue during the five-year period on its 2014 IRS filing.

It might be objected that the SEIU and its Education and Support Fund are separate organizations, and that money that goes to the Education and Support Fund does not support the political agenda of the SEIU. However, the facts show that the Fund (which is located in the SEIU’s Washington headquarters) is completely subordinate to SEIU. The IRS Form 990 of the SEIU not only identifies the Education and Support Fund as a related organization, it also lists the SEIU as the “Direct controlling entity” of the Fund. If further evidence were needed, the Fund’s three directors are all officers of SEIU and are paid by the SEIU, receiving no salary from the Fund. Follow the money, and you will find where their loyalty lies.

The Education and Support Fund’s own description of its mission points toward political goals, stating that it is “educating the general public” on such issues as “healthcare access and affordability, community economic development, clean economy, and worker rights issues.” An example of how the Fund can use what appeared to be an innocuous project to send a political message can be found when it dealt with workplace violence against homecare workers. It managed to slip into its materials propaganda supporting more welfare spending and more restrictive gun control. The pamphlet stated that the “material was produced under grant number SH-20861-SHO from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.” The SEIU has a First Amendment right to speak out in favor of its political views, but it should not receive a taxpayer subsidy. The SEIU Education and Support Fund is an obvious example of the need for defunding of the left.