End the Extortion in the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees
What is the difference between being eligible for office for local, state, and federal elections, labor unions, not-for-profit corporations,and eligibility for office in the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees (SCAME)?
Mandatory Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions in SCAME.
In 2007 the Union Bylaws under the leadership of Cheryl Felice were changed adding PAC contributions as an eligibility requirement for any full member of the union seeking office. This Bylaw was passed with the presence and knowledge of union attorneys Gary Silverman, Helen Wrobel, and Brian O'Dwyer of O'Dwyer & Bernstein, and endorsed by labor consultant Tom Germano that resides in-house at union headquarters.
The PAC requirement for eligibility of office has been extended to any member seeking to serve their union in any capacity: shop steward, committee position, delegate, etc. I was denied the right to run for office as well as serve as a delegate, due to my request for a refund of my automatically deducted PAC dues. I requested my PAC dues back due to the violation of my rights by the union, and the racketeering within the union. I missed the deadline for requesting my PAC dues back in 2013 and was told since I didn't request them back I could serve on the Unit Election Committee I am currently on. Had I've requested my 2013 PAC dues/contributions back, I would have been denied the right to serve on the unit election committee, a position I was solicited for.
The only requirements for a full member to be eligible for office within their union, is to pay full union membership dues (automatically deducted by the county comptroller), and length of membership to be a minimum of one year and not to exceed two years per federal law. The union is defined as an employee association and registered in New York State as a not-for-profit corporation. It is not defined as a political organization nor is it registered as a PAC. The PAC is a separate, voluntary entity and union members can not be mandated to pay PAC dues/contributions.
The requirement of PAC contributions in exchange for the right to serve in any capacity within the union is the crime of extortion. It is also a violation of federal election law. Federal election law states unions can only solicit PAC contributions, and union members have the right to refuse contributions without the threat of retaliation (http://www.fec.gov/ans/answers_pac.shtml). This is going on YEAR # 7, and outreach to the new union attorneys Barry Peek and Max Sicherman of the law firm Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, to end the extortion and violation of federal election law have failed. Mr. Peek and Mr. Sicherman are endorsing the crime of extortion and violation of federal election law, like the other union attorneys and the in-house labor specialist.
Other election violations include:
- Incumbents get preferential treatment with non-incumbents being required to make an appointment at headquarters in order to mail their campaign materials. Non-incumbent candidates are denied the right to a mailing list and mail their own campaign materials, and have to do things on the incumbents' schedule.
- An Opt-out mailing list for campaign mailings benefits incumbents and discriminates against non-incumbent candidates because it guarantees members on that list will only receive union mailings from incumbents during election cycles.
- Incumbents have used union dues for their campaigning in the past without removal from office
- Election rules have been changed last minute benefiting incumbents
- Retirees are discriminated against and denied the right to vote in the general election but can run for office. An attempt to take away retirees' right to run for office was made by AnnMarie Leonardo-Traci at the last convention.
- requiring members to be a member for 3 years before being eligible for office more time than is required by other private and public sector employee unions.
- only 5 working days given to grieve the election after results posted. Private and other public sector employees get 30 days. 5 working days given, when you're working full-time, and have other commitments, and the union attorneys are not representing you - you're on your own.
Please sign my petition to end the extortion by the leadership and highly paid consultants of the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees. This petition will be submitted to the Board of Directors of SCAME, Suffolk County District Attorney, New York State Bar Association, and media outlets.
I support labor unions, not corrupt labor leaders or the highly paid consultants that are endorsing crimes. A union member should not have to pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for a private attorney to fight crime in the union. The working class is being persecuted by the working class, not just corporations in these times. PAC money has been given to legislators and political parties that have voted and acted both pro- and anti-union. To make a real difference take your PAC money back, invest it in a good sign (I can help make you one), and show up on a Saturday and Sunday morning in front of your legislator's home to advocate/protest for the rights of not just yourself, but the rights of all employees and the working class everywhere. I guarantee you that will get their attention. I will work on that, and if your rights are being violated by someone and you want help, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org - Linda McGregor. Thank you for your support.