Trump-pardoned felon will raise anti-union funds


Far-right culture warrior Dinesh D’Souza — a campaign finance felon who received a Trump presidential pardon — will headline a $115-a-plate fundraiser for the anti-union group Freedom Foundation.

Freedom Foundation is set up as a tax-deductible educational/ charitable non-profit. But the group’s reason for existence — “making life miserable for government employee unions,” as a group spokesperson once put it — doesn’t sound like a mission most people would recognize as a charitable cause. It’s funded by an array of right-wing foundations set up by billionaires and millionaires. Freedom Foundation uses public records requests and legal action to obtain public employee union membership lists, and then follows up with mailings, phone calls, and in-person visits to union members’ workplaces and homes to try to get them to drop their union membership.

Freedom Foundation staffers are positively giddy with a June 2018 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. In the Janus v. AFSCME case, the court made “right to work” the law of the land for public sector workplaces, in that no public employees can be required to pay anything to the union that bargains and defends their contract.

D’Souza and the Freedom Foundation will be celebrating that court decision at the fundraiser, together with “government workers who have successfully opted out of union fees.”

In 2014, D’Souza was sentenced to eight months in jail, five years probation and a $30,000 fine after pleading guilty to a felony violation of a federal campaign finance law. The law limits contributions to $5,000 from any individual to any one candidate, but D’Souza tried to get around that by giving $25,000 in the names of five other people.

D’Souza is now promoting a movie he produced that compares Democrats to Nazis.

Seattle-area labor unionists are planning to picket the Sept. 28 event, which will take place at the Hilton in Bellevue, Washington.


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