Public Sector Union Tops Campaign Contributions at $87.5 Million
The Wall Street Journal has revealed that the biggest outside spender of the 2010 election cycle is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The public-sector union is spending $87.5 million on TV ads, phone calls, and other campaign endeavors for Democrat candidates in a desperate bid to preserve the party’s congressional majority.
Democrats have preempted their increasingly likely November losses by accusing Republicans of using shady corporate funds to “buy” the upcoming election. These smears take on a new light now that AFSCME has been revealed as spending more than either the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or American Crossroads/Crossroads GOP, both of which having spent millions on behalf of Republican candidates. In fact, adding up the amounts disbursed by the top five spenders this season, Democrats come out $31.5 million ahead due to the combined efforts of AFSCME, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the National Education Association (NEA).
That such public-sector labor unions top the list of 2010 donors should cause no little controversy. When groups like AFSCME empty their coffers to benefit certain politicians—in this case, those who will put union interests ahead of the public’s—they are naturally spending the dues of their members, members who have, in many cases, been forced by this kind of politician to join the union in the first place. Since state, county and municipal employee salaries are funded with taxpayer dollars, it ends up being the general public which unwittingly donates these millions of dollars to partisan political campaigns.
The Left has in Big Labor a dedicated propaganda machine, and vice-versa. Too many lawmakers have taken to passing harmful legislation that benefits no one but the union bosses, who in return spend other people’s hard-earned money on reelection campaigns. This has got to stop. The news that AFSCME has played sugar-daddy to Democrats at public expense should spur voters to elect congressmen who will institute meaningful union reform and cut Big Labor down to size.