The International Association of Fire Fighters, a labor union representing more than 300,000 firefighters and emergency medical service providers, endorsed Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign on Monday. Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade apparently found this very concerning.
In a Monday morning interview with the union’s general president, Harold Schaitberger, Kilmeade repeatedly demanded to know why the mandatory union dues for the “many of those firefighters” who actually support President Donald Trump would be used to elect a candidate they oppose.
Schaitberger explained that the group’s voluntary political action committee donations, not its union dues, would be used for political spending — but Kilmeade would not relent.
“Are you using their dues for Joe Biden?” Kilmeade asked of the union’s Trump supporters.
“Our role is to represent all of them in their profession,” Schaitberger began to respond.
“Right. Are you using their money to support Joe Biden?” Kilmeade pressed.
“We are using the money that those that choose to contribute to our political PAC, we use on their behalf in the political arena. Those that choose to make those contributions,” he replied.
Federal law prohibits unions from using union dues to make contributions to political campaigns. Instead, members who voluntarily opt to make additional donations to the union’s political action committees can help fund candidates endorsed by the union.
Despite this explanation, Kilmeade continued to falsely suggest that pro-Trump firefighters were being forced to give their money to Biden.
“If someone calls you, if one of your members calls you today and says, ‘Do not use my dues to support Joe Biden,’ what will you do?” he demanded.
“I will say that our political resources are those that come from our members who voluntarily contribute to our political operations,” Schaitberger calmly replied. “Not your dues.”