“Citizen-driven, community-based, bipartisan coalition” We Are Ohio is a $42 million fraud, with over 95 percent of its funding to date provided by labor unions. We Are Ohio was created in early 2011 to serve as a front group for the campaign against public union reform, and appears to be the unions’ megaphone of choice in their current campaign to keep dues mandatory.
We Are Ohio is a union political action committee, as Media Trackers reported last spring. A detailed review of all cash and in-kind contributions to We Are Ohio through December 31, 2012 reveals how the group was able to spend more than $40 million to block public union reform and still have funds left to fight workplace freedom.
For every $1 contributed to We Are Ohio by an individual Ohioan, unions outside Ohio have given $44.96.
Through 2012, a total of 95.65 percent of We Are Ohio’s cash and in-kind funding came from labor unions, with 47.64 percent contributed by out-of-state unions.
Including the $1.1 million contributed by national, state, and local branches of the Democratic Party, giving to We Are Ohio from non-union groups amounted to 3.17 percent of the total. The remaining 1.18 percent of We Are Ohio’s funding came from individual donors.
Slightly more than 27 percent of the $42,172,199 We Are Ohio received through the end of 2012 came from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and its affiliates, including $5,037,347 sent from outside Ohio.
Slightly less than 27 percent of all We Are Ohio funding came from the National Education Association (NEA) and its affiliates, with $4,463,597 contributed from DC.
NEA and AFSCME are head and shoulders above other We Are Ohio donors in terms of both out-of-state and in-state spending. The Ohio Education Association (OEA) and its affiliates across the state have contributed a total of $6,754,939 to We Are Ohio. In-state AFSCME affiliates have contributed a total of $6,503,723.
National Labor Table, a labor campaign committee headquartered in DC, has given We Are Ohio $3 million. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has contributed $2.3 million from out of state. The AFL-CIO and Communications Workers of America (CWA) have each contributed more than $1.5 million to We Are Ohio from outside Ohio.
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the seventh-highest contributing out-of-state union, has donated over $1 million to We Are Ohio from outside Ohio.
Meanwhile, We Are Ohio has received less than $500,000 in individual donations. Individual Ohioans – many of them union officers or staff – contributed a total of $446,882 to We Are Ohio through December 31, 2012.
We Are Ohio is a Big Labor PAC wrapped in glossy populist marketing, and has been from day one. “We Are Ohio is fueled by a citizen-driven, broad-based coalition of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, businesses, pastors, workers, employees, and others,” the group announced in an April 15, 2011 press release.
By April 15, 2011, We Are Ohio had already received $750,000 from AFL-CIO headquarters in DC, $1 million from CWA headquarters in DC, and $1 million from AFSCME headquarters in DC – a total of $2.75 million dwarfing all contributions from Ohioans to this day.
In its most recent filing with the Ohio Secretary of State, We Are Ohio reported $129,789 on hand after burning through $600,000 and receiving less than $20,000 in cash contributions and in-kind support during 2012.