Controversy and political discussion has ensued over the so-called “Super PACs” that raises millions of dollars, initiated and inspired by Republicans to compete against political opponents (Democrats) that produce vast amounts of campaign funding through trade unions and donors who donate large sums of money. Both political parties use a PAC to collect donation funding.
PACs also are used in the lobbying process. In the Citizens United v. FEC decision in January of 2010, “SuperPACs” are allowed unlimited spending in support of or opposition to a candidate, as long as the SuperPAC operates completely separate and independent from the candidate.
This is the main reason there have been discussions concerning PACs.
As Tom McGinty and Brady Mullins wrote at Wallstreet Journal:
The hours spend by union employees working on political matters were equivalent in 2010 to a shadow army much larger than President Barack Obama’s re-election staff . . .
The money collected by unions from its members in fees are used in lobbying and other political expenditures designed to have legislators and legislation geared toward the unions’ benefit.
So which is the “evil” practice of using donations – PAC or union money collected from union members?
After the success of Governor Scott Walker retaining the office he was voted in for in a landmark recall event, more was won than just an election. It established a movement of the People demanding the right to work without paying an entity to do so and dissolve the accumulated power that unions have developed through money and intimidation; as well as through the power they have developed within government itself.
Thanks to legislation passed in 2005, the money unions spend on political donations and lobby related activities must be reported.
When Governor Scott Walker won the recall election of 2012, the media hyped discontent of Democrats and union bosses, stating the election was won by Walker because of big money; a completely transparent case of hypocrisy considering that trade unions that were not even in Wisconsin were pouring money into the recall election movement – more than what Governor Scott Walker could raise in donations.
Union reports to the Federal Election Commission that is passed to Congress showed a total of $1.1 billion from 2005 to 2011 that were used for political bargaining, donations, and lobby activities.
Reports to the federal Labor Department show an additional –
“$3.3 billion that unions spent over the same period on political activity.” [Wallstreet Journal, July 10th 2012]
Those costs reported for polling fees, money spent to persuade union members to vote in their favor, and for food (Bratwurst) to feed protesters in Milwaukee against Scott Walker. That funding does not come from contributions to a PAC, but from union dues of members – without their approval.
Corporations use the lobby process like the unions, however they are not as transparent as unions are required to be after the law was passed in 2005. Corporations, however, use their political funds differently and do not coerce or intimidate their employees to vote for who they want elected. Also, corporations spread their donations evenly with about 55% to Democrats in 2008; compared to union political donations of 92% to Democrats in the same year. Unions have always used money to buy votes. The gist of union power lies in cooperation of the government through politicians in the legislation concerning government employees that has cost taxpayers incredible amounts of tax money.
Union money spent in politics and lobbying was 13% of their total spending budget from 2009 to 2010. One out of eight workers belong to a trade union, but its strength lies in the control of government by infiltrating the government employee sector where a strike could cause a standstill in government operations (or a private business). In the former case it increases cost that comes out of taxpayer funding.
Combined with loss of union jobs, union membership fell “to 1.6 million in 2011 from 13.7 million in 2005“.
Unions spent $316 million in 2011-2012 to attempt to recall Governor Scott Walker – just for doing what he promised in campaigning for governorship; in other words – doing his job. While the previous governor (Jim Doyle, Democrat) not only increased state debt, but imposed a record $1 billion tax bill in the first two months of his second term; despite his campaign promise NOT to increase taxation. The AFL-CIO in Milwaukee spent money to feed thousands of union member protesters for several weeks in order to convince people that Scott Walker should be recalled.
Unions have outlived their usefulness, unlike the Constitution they ignore and/or seek to change or rescind. The same issues they accused GW Bush, for example, is what the Democrats put into practice – ten fold.
During Obama’s election campaign unions spent a great deal of money to get a Democrat elected.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers = $2,473,400.
Operating Engineers Union = $2,299,672.
American Association for Justice (that’s definitely a pun) = $2,106,000.
Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union = $1,823,800.
Service Employees International Union = $1,654,000.
Air Line Pilots Association = $1,582,500.
Plumbers/Pipefitters Union = $1,572,975.
United Food & Commercial Workers Union = $1,567,853.
Laborers Union = $1,564,000.
American Federation of State/County/Municipal Employees Union = $1,558,685.
International Association of Fire Fighters = $1,550,600.
AT&T Incorporated = $1,358,950.
American Bankers Association = $1,295,200.
Associated Builders & Contractors = $1,218.00.
National Auto Dealers Association = $1,212,500.
National Association of Realtors = $1,150,000.
National Beer Wholesalers Association = $987,500.
United Parcel Service = $948,208.
National Association of Home Builders = $854,000.
Credit Union National Association = $812,099.
Every Republican is Crucial PAC = $812,000.
Freedom Project = $805,398.
There is a large gap between Democrat and Republican political donations, as one can see.