The Evergreen Freedom Foundation goes after a Washington state branch of the AFL-CIO for acting like it doesn't spend money on influencing elections. They filed complaints with the Attorney General and the IRS.
The Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) is the state affiliate of the AFL-CIO. It spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to influence elections, promote candidates and sponsor initiates. For example, the WSLC organized what they call "the largest single-day election mobilization in the union movement's history."
On September 2, 2004, while President Bush, accepted the Republican nomination, WSLC officers and staff and union members went door-to-door with WSLC materials to discuss their opposition to specific candidates for state and federal office. WSLC President Rick Bender even urged affiliated unions to close their offices early for staff to participate in the effort.
EFF has compiled 300 pages of documentation that prove the WSLC exists to influence elections. These efforts include phone banks, written communications, website and email promotions, door-to-door visits by trained volunteers and other voter mobilization efforts. These activities are perfectly legal, as long as they are disclosed to the public.
Yet, each year, the Washington State Labor Council tells the Internal Revenue Service that it spends ZERO on expenditures "intended to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of anyone to a Federal, state, or local public office."