News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Indiana Legislature

January 10, 2012

Bopp backs labor law ads

TH attorney refutes charges from AFL-CIO

TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute attorney James Bopp Jr. has helped spearhead a political lobbying fund to pay for televisions ads advocating passage of a contentious right-to-work bill in the Indiana General Assembly.

It’s called the Indiana Opportunity Fund, which Bopp filed paperwork for in December.

The AFL-CIO has also run television ads, and based on information from media buyers, Indiana Opportunity Fund has spent more than $316,500 this month on a media campaign. Indiana State AFL-CIO spokesman Jeff Harris alleges the spending was done so without disclosing its funding backers.

Bopp said Monday the fund is a 501(c)(4) organization and under Internal Revenue Service rules, donations are not publicly disclosed.

“This is lobbying. It is not subject to campaign finance rules,” Bopp said. “This is perfectly proper, because by law, contributions to a lobby group are confidential. As the Supreme Court said in the late 1940s, disclosure of the members and supporters of a private organization will undermine its ability to raise funds and be effective advocates, particularly if it’s controversial.”

Harris said the AFL-CIO thinks “it is a way that large out-of-state corporations and special interest groups can dump in unlimited amounts of money and no one will know about it. The governor has always talked about transparency, with his Aiming Higher Inc. group. This is a pretty big departure from that. He has been asked who has contributed and has flatly refused.”

The AFL-CIO operates under the advocacy group, “A Working Person Like You,” which has also been airing commercials in Indianapolis and elsewhere. It has spend about $200,000 this month, Harris said.

“This is a pretty major public policy debate. We have disclosed all of our donors to our commercials and we feel it is only right that people know who is trying to influence this public policy decision and why,” Harris said.

“It is a grassroots lobbying campaign to urge Hoosiers to support right-to-work legislation,” Bopp contends of Indiana Opportunity Fund. “All they have to do is look at the commercial and they see the governor supporting right-to-work. He lives in Indiana,” Bopp said. “He is the messenger.”

Bopp contends the AFL-CIO has also not fully disclosed its donors.

“They don’t reveal their contributors. All they report is various labor unions contributing to the funds. Well, labor unions don’t have a money tree. They get the money from somebody and they are not saying who they get the money from,” Bopp said.

Bopp is a member of the National Republican Committee, has done legal work for the National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, and served as general counsel for the Mitch for Governor Committee, starting in 2003.

The Indiana State AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) is a federation of 800 unions statewide, which belong to 50 international unions. The state AFL-CIO represents more than 300,000 Hoosiers.

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Indiana Legislature
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Raw: NH Man Held on $1M in Teen's Kidnapping House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity