The public union double standards include lobbying

If a person receives more than $2,500 pay in a quarter on lobby activities in Pennsylvania, they are required to register as a lobbyist with the state.

But records show the Pennsylvania leaders of the United Food and Commercial Workers, AFSCME and the AFL-CIO all were paid well in excess of $2,500 a quarter for lobby activities in 2013 but did not register as lobbyists.

As lobbyists, they are allowed frequent contact with lawmakers and their staffs in person, via phone and e-mail on key legislative issues.

If they are going to get that right, everyone should know it and they should be legitimately registered as lobbyists. If the head of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry who is registered tried to lobby without proper certification, these union leaders would be in an uproar.

But they are accustomed to double standards. They live by one of the biggest ones around.

They are allowed to take union dues and spend them on political activities, which usually surface in the form of absurd ads, the latest opposing liquor privatization and pension reform in the state.

We suspect that the individual members of these public unions are just like anyone else; they have their individual beliefs and they may or may not agree with the majority of the union membership.

But right now they don’t have any say over how their dues are spent.

Legislation pending in Harrisburg called paycheck protection would empower government workers with a say in how their money is spent on politics.

Government union leaders should be held to the same standard as everyone else.

If you want to be a lobbyist, register, so everyone knows that. And give your workers the same choices on how to spend their money as everyone else has.