With a little more than two months to go before the Nov. 2 elections – and the stark reality that their days of influence and handouts may be numbered – organized labor unions have pledged more than $100 million to defend pro-union candidates, most of whom are liberal Democrats.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) plans to kick in about $50 million. Former rivals, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the AFL-CIO have united and committed a combined $88 million to defend eight Senate and 34 House seats, located in 26 states.
The SEIU, which richly benefited from President Obama’s health care reform bill, identified 15 top-priority Democrat House members to defend, including: Reps. John Boccieri of Ohio, Bill Foster of Illinois, Betsy Markey of Colorado, Tom Perriello of Virginia, Gary Peters of Michigan and Dina Titus of Nevada.
Notwithstanding the numerous bailouts from which they have already benefited – the latest being House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “emergency” $26 billion union bailout on Aug. 4 – labor leaders still bemoan the fact that many of their priorities have yet to be passed.
Despite dramatically diminished membership roles – from its peak in 1945 of one-third of the workforce to just 7.2 percent in 2009 – unions still wield tremendous power, as seen in the 2008 elections, and California’s marriage amendment.
Christopher Prandoni, executive director of the Alliance For Worker Freedom (AWF) – a project of Americans for Tax Reform – said that organized labor has seen its ranks dwindle, as they cannot win on the merits of their argument.
“Unions are lobbying Congress and state legislatures to enact laws that make it easier for them to unionize workers – workers that don’t want to be unionized,” Prandoni said. “With the American public increasingly disenchanted with labor’s prerogatives, unions have looked to skew the election process, and by doing so, subvert the democratic principles this country was founded on.”
AWF reports that 9 out of the top 10 political action committees (PACs) –and 4 out of the top 5 organizations donating to 527s – that contribute to Democrat candidates are labor unions.
Over the past several election cycles, unions and their members contributed millions to fight against core American values – especially on issues of life, religious freedom and marriage.
For example, California’s teachers unions joined forces with gay activists in 2008 to try to defeat Proposition 8 – a ballot initiative intended to preserve marriage as being between one man and one woman. Despite having contributed more than $1.25 million, Prop 8 was soundly approved by the voters.
Unfortunately, the embracing of the anti-family agenda is not new – just more pronounced.
The People’s World, an online Marxist publication, reported this week:
The AFL-CIO executive committee voted unanimously this morning to join One Nation, Working Together, a new national coalition of labor and civil rights groups that has as its purpose to “reorder America’s priorities by investing in the nation’s most valuable resource – its people.
“The labor, civil rights, environmental, faith and other organizations that have formed the new coalition intend to replace unemployment and economic crisis faced by the country’s majority with “nothing less than a future of shared prosperity for all our people,” the AFL-CIO said in a statement after it voted to join One Nation.
“None of us alone have been able to achieve our priorities,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO.
“One Nation’s first official act as a coalition will be a march on Washington on Oct. 2, which unions say will energize an army of tens of thousands who will return to their neighborhoods, churches, schools and voting booths to prevent a Republican takeover of Congress in November and begin building a new permanent coalition to fight for a progressive agenda.”
Jenny Tyree, marriage analyst for CitizenLink, said the sad irony is that union members are typically more conservative than the leadership.
“There are many good, hard-working Americans who are union members,” Tryee said, “but they would do well to consider whether union support of same-sex marriage and the taxpayer funding of abortion in government health care represents their interests.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read NPR’s “Teachers’ Union, Members At Odds on Prop. 8?”
Review ATR/AWF’s “Big Labor’s Christmas Wish List.”
Read Michelle Malkin’s “The Next Big Government, Big Government Labor Bailout.”
Read Capital Research Center’s Labor Watch Report on “The NEA Pays to Play: Buying Influence with ACORN and other Leftwing Groups.”
Read the Alliance for Worker Freedom’s “Unions plan on spending big this election cycle.”
In Their Own Words: Read the Marxist People’s World, “Labor joins One Nation coalition to reorder nation’s priorities.”