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Unions Seek Monopoly on Political Money

The Hill reports on a new campaign by liberal groups and labor unions, which seeks to expose companies that donate to super PACs and nonprofits in the lead-up to the presidential election:

Gathered Monday at the Washington headquarters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the groups issued a call to arms for the 2012 campaign, vowing to aggressively challenge companies that contribute to super-PACs and 501(c) nonprofit groups. …

Representatives of the coalition, which includes Common Cause, Health Care for America Now, Public Citizen and Occupy, among others, said they’d push for legislation and regulations that would require companies to disclose all of their political spending. …

Americans United for Change, a liberal group that has received labor backing, plans to offer a $25,000 cash reward to the first whistleblower who can prove a company has donated to a nonprofit without disclosing it.

“We’re going to challenge those donations. We’re going to challenge efforts to hide donations through (c)4s and (c)6s,” de Blasio said, referring to nonprofit groups.

Note that pretty much all of these groups have labor union ties. Even the Occupy Wall Street representative at the meeting was reportedly the point-person for OWS’s big anti-Verizon march coordinated with Big Labor last October.

There’s a good reason for the union involvement. At Power Line, John Hinderaker flags a chart of the top 25 donors to political campaigns from 1989 to 2012, compiled by Open Secrets, and finds a trend:

That’s right: you have to get all the way to number nineteen to find a donor who gives primarily to Republicans. Not only that, of the top 20 donors, 12 are unions. Special interest money overwhelmingly favors the Democrats, and the unions and their left-wing allies want to keep it that way. Their desire to maintain their near-monopoly is understandable, I guess, but it is hard to understand how they can seriously object to companies’ joining them in the political money game.

Unions sink enormous resources into getting Democratic politicians elected, and they’re not thrilled to have competition from the other side. Today, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry went on MSNBC to talk about the union’s plan to spend $400 million on helping Obama’s reelection campaign. How do groups like that think they have any standing to complain about big money in politics?



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