As a result of a study on campaign finance reports by the Texas Ethics Advisory Board, more than eleven union political action committees (PACs) are under investigation by the Texas Ethics Commission. According to a TEAB spokesman, “there is a consistent pattern of freewheeling violations of Texas Election Law”.
From the press release:
“The review of more than eleven unions revealed violations as serious as Category Three Felonies. The unions involved include The Texas UAW PAC, Sheet Metal Workers Union Local #67 Political Action League of San Antonio, Sheet Metal Workers Union Local #54 Political Action Committee of Houston, Sheet Metal Workers Union Local #68 Political Action League of Euless, Teamsters Local 19 of Humble, Teamsters Local #745 Drive of Dallas, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union #142 of the United Association – San Antonio, Local #259 Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union of Houston, Local #283 Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union PAC Fund of Houston, Local #216 Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union of Burleson, and McAllen Police Officers Union – Political Action Committee.”
What are the alleged violations?
“The Texas Ethics Commission has requested these unions explain such alleged violations as providing the name of each candidate or officeholder supported, providing an adequate record of total political contributions maintained, failing to fulfill the requirements concerning a political contribution from an out-of-state committee, accepting political contributions from a corporation or labor union, failing to file reports on time, failing to file reports at all, making a labor union political contribution to a candidate or officeholder, failure to disclose the total principal amount of all outstanding loans and many more.”
Here’s the link to the campaign finance reports for the Sheet Metal Workers Union Local #54 Political Action Committee of Houston. The corrected report # 491544 filed May 16th reflects a failure to complete Box 13 on MPAC report page 2 identifying the PAC’s support through April 1st donations in the amount of $500.00 each to Michael Mosteit for LaPorte City Council District 1 and Jolanda Jones for Houston City Council At Large.
The corrected report # 490927 filed May 9th reflects a failure to complete Box 13 on MPAC report page 2 identifying the PAC’s $500.00 contribution to the re-election of Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
Because labor union pensions have become substantially underfunded and the public has grown increasingly aware of the flow of taxpayer dollars into the campaigns of union-friendly officials, more and more unions, especially teachers unions, will come under the scrutiny of the Texas Ethics Advisory Board. Mayor Parker’s and Councilmember Jones’ next campaign finance report filing will certainly be examined for these contributions.