“We’re the big dog,” said Larry Scanlon, the head of AFSCME’s political operations. “But we don’t like to brag.”
“The more members coming in, the more dues coming in, the more money we have for politics,” Mr. Scanlon said. (WSJ)
The Obama administration has made sure that we all know that the Republican-leaning Chamber of Commerce is putting big bucks into this election campaign. But, as Brody Mullins and John McKinnon point out at WSJ, the biggest spenders, by far, are labor unions. And the biggest single spender is not the Chamber but the union representing government employees.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is now the biggest outside spender of the 2010 elections, thanks to an 11th-hour effort to boost Democrats that has vaulted the public-sector union ahead of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and a flock of new Republican groups in campaign spending.
The 1.6 million-member AFSCME is spending a total of $87.5 million on the elections after tapping into a $16 million emergency account to help fortify the Democrats’ hold on Congress. Last week, AFSCME dug deeper, taking out a $2 million loan to fund its push. The group is spending money on television advertisements, phone calls, campaign mailings and other political efforts, helped by a Supreme Court decision that loosened restrictions on campaign spending.
And, uncharacteristically, WSJ is underselling the trend. The true figure for public employee union spending is at least $171.5 million, since SEIU and NEA surely count. And those are just organizations in the top 5.
It’s a bizarre cycle, really. Government is far and away the biggest employer in this country. And that makes government employees the largest and most motivated voting block. While government’s role in most of our lives is somewhat hidden, it’s these people’s livelihood. As distasteful as people might find big business getting together to engage in rent seeking, it’s much better than people who make their living off the taxpayer working to elect people who will keep shoveling money their way.
While there’s something to the myth of the government bureaucrat getting paid for doing next to nothing, their number includes members of the armed forces, foreign service, intelligence community, teachers, and others who do vital and important work. My dad drew a DoD paycheck most of his working life and I’ve worked for the military and state universities. And, surely, these people have every right to vote and to organize to elect candidates who will work to enact their views into public policy.
But there is nonetheless something unsettling about having our employees organizing to extract more money from us. (Outside the Lines)
So that’s why the Unions and the Liberals were so mad about the Supreme Court decision that allows companies to have a voice. It was treading on their turf.
Gee, I guess that was “fair”. 🙂
And some of that money they are spending is undoubtedly the taxpayer-funded bailouts of the unions.
The union is spending heavily this year because “a lot of people are attacking public-sector workers as the problem,” said AFSCME President Gerald McEntee. “We’re spending big. And we’re damn happy it’s big. And our members are damn happy it’s big—it’s their money,” he said.
Well, isn’t that special. 🙂
“The president has been crystal clear that third-party groups which spend tens of millions of dollars from anonymous sources are a threat to our democracy—regardless of which candidates they support,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. He said these groups are disproportionately backing Republican candidates.
Yeah, That’s Liberal math for you. No wonder the kids today are so poor at it.
But don’t expect the liberal socialist Ministry of Truth to care, by the way.
You won’t see this on ABC,NBC,CBS, or CNN and certainly MSDNC would have to commit seppuku if it mentioned it.
I’m sad to report today a death of a good friend to all of us…..Journalism, the once esteemed 4th estate of our nation and the protector of our freedoms and a watchdog of our rights has passed away after a long struggle with a crippling and debilitating disease of acute dishonesty aggravated by advanced laziness and the loss of brain function.-Governor Mike Huckabee
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. —George Orwell
And this is the truth, like it or not! 🙂