Perhaps following precedent a little..
If the University of Michigan came out and actively supported a candidate at election time, how would the courts handle it? Because “public money” is used to fund the institution, it would most certainly not happen. U of M leadership suggests disagreement with particular policies by one candidate or another (we know which way it usually leans) at times, but a direct financial contribution would be out of the question.
Hillsdale College (one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country IMO) accepts NO Government assistance. Why? In 1984 the supreme court ruled that any college which accepts students funded by government grant or scholarships was subject to government restriction, government hiring and admissions policies.
If students merely accepting a scholarship from a government source to help pay the tuition renders Hillsdale College liable to the rules of preference, then certainly any organization which receives public monies from public coffers should not be able to legally support individual candidates, particularly in the way the incestuous PAC-GOVT relationships exist today.
Using the logic in the ruling which forced Hillsdale to change course in its money accepting (even the indirect way) from govt sources, it follows that Unions which negotiate on behalf of Michigan government employees, and DIRECTLY benefit from those negotiations should refrain (should be blocked by law) from political activities supporting or fighting specific issues or candidates. In fact, ANY union which benefits from trade with the government should (using the Supreme court’s example) have no PAC