Freedom Foundation

Union Influence in Oregon Elections

Another election cycle can only mean more outrageous spending from government unions — using someone else’s money.

And this year was no exception, with unions priming the pump to elect politicians certain to return the favor by passing union-friendly legislation. As always, raising taxes and growing the size government is their first priority because it adds more dues-paying members to the unions’ revenue stream.

It’s a strategy that’s yielded an excellent return on investment for the unions over the years.

Case in point, The Oregonian recently printed a list of Gov. Kate Brown’s  proposed bills for the 2019 legislature, including one dubbed “Janus Cleanup.” Presumably, the intent of the legislation is to undermine the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling this summer in Janus v. AFSCME, which struck down mandatory union dues for public employees as unconstitutional.

During the campaign, Brown and her union cronies actually complained with straight faces about Republican challenger Knute Buhler’s funders trying to “buy” the election. What they conveniently neglected to mention was the millions Brown banks each year from her pet special interests, government unions.

Which begs the question: If Oregon has been controlled by union-backed lawmakers for decades, and government unions have been suffering financial losses since the Janus decision, why would they spend big this election rather than start to actually use that money to benefit their members?


Labor unions in Oregon are getting nervous due to the landmark ruling in Janus and the work of the Freedom Foundation before and since. In this state alone, government unions have already seen more than 6,000 members defect, with more doing so every day.

Even with the majority of politicians in Oregon on their side, government unions are still financially suffering.

So what’s their plan? With supermajorities in the House and Senate and the governor on their payroll, you can expect to see major tax hikes next year.

However the new revenue is spent, you can be sure it will go right where the unions want it to, like hiring more government employees so the unions can confiscate dues from more people.

Despite claiming to only represent their members, public-sector unions spent profligately during these last mid-term elections because they are terrified.

The Freedom Foundation has been swimming against the current in Oregon and is still gaining ground. While the unions empty their pockets on Kate Brown, the Freedom Foundation will continue to fight against union tyranny to put back money into the pockets of working Americans.