In case you missed it, The Wall Street Journal reports today in a blockbuster story that labor unions have spent $4.4 billion (with a “b”) on political activity since 2005, the year they began expanded public filings with the Department of Labor. This is 300% more than previous estimates based on Federal Elections Commission (FEC) data.
Yes – Big Labor spends literally billions of dollars on politics.
Key excerpt from the Journal:
“(L)abor could be a stronger counterweight than commonly realized to ‘super PACs’ that today raise money from wealthy donors. … The usual measure of unions’ clout encompasses chiefly what they spend through their political action committees. … These kinds of spending totaled $1.1 billion from 2005 through 2011 … The unions’ reports to the Labor Department capture an additional $3.3 billion that unions spent over the same period on political activity. … The top political spender … was the Service Employees International Union. … It reported spending $150 million on politics and lobbying in 2009 and 2010, up from $62 million in 2005 and 2006. … [AFSCME spent] $133 million in the 2009 and 2010 election season, nearly twice the $75 million it spent in the 2005 and 2006 cycle.”
Note here that in 2010, SEIU alone spent more than twice as much on politics ($150m) as American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS collectively raised ($71m).
Labor unions have traditionally spent far more on political activity than any other sector, and Super PACs like American Crossroads will at best balance them out. And the folks who most vocally complain about money’s influence in politics rarely, if ever, critique or even mention the billions spent by Big Labor to promote its big government agenda.
Link to the full story below.
Political Spending by Unions Far Exceeds Direct Donations
Tom McGinty and Brody Mullins
July 10, 2012