Illustration on union dues used to support Democrat causes by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Like other individuals and organizations, unions are free to spend money engaging in the political and public policy process, with one key difference: While others give voluntarily, unions can force members to fund their advocacy regardless of whether workers support the causes. According to new research from the Center for Union Facts, a nonprofit transparency organization, from 2010 through 2016 unions gave more than $1.1 billion to left-wing special interest groups not from the unions' PACs - where worker contributions are voluntary in all 50 states - but from workers' representational dues, which are mandatory in the 22 states that have not passed a right-to-work law.

Fort Wortha s Rollins expands Texas policy shop into Washington

The Texas Public Policy Foundation, which has more than 75 employees in Texas, will open a new office D.C. in January. Its leaders plan to increase its D.C. staff from five to as many as 15 employees in 2018, to seek rollbacks and changes to environmental and health care issues, and work on criminal justice reform.