Look who’s protecting incumbents

May 25, 2010 08:59

Two unions, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) plan to spend $100 MILLION to  save incumbent Dems. The same week a Democrat introduced a $165 BILLION bill to bail out union pensions. Not a bad return.

Examiner Editorial

Recent public opinion surveys show that three-quarters of those interviewed question whether Congress knows what it is doing in dealing with the nation’s worst economic problems since the Great Depression. Undoubtedly, millions of those who hold that view are rank-and-file union members. They may get even more annoyed when they learn that union leaders are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to protect the incumbent Democratic majority. They’re apt to get downright furious when they learn that two leading Democrats in Congress — Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. — have introduced a bill designed to stifle critics of what the Democratic Congress has done in the past two years.

Just last week, The Hill reported that at least two major unions will spend close to $100 million to re-elect the present majority in which three-fourths of Americans have so little confidence. The two unions were the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFCSME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The AFSCME has pledged to spend up to $50 million, while SEIU is designating $44 million for Democratic incumbency protection. A third labor group, the AFL-CIO, says it will spend heavily to help Democrats in 60 to 70 House races, but won’t say how much it will devote to the campaign.

Gerald McEntee, AFSCME’s president, candidly told The Hill that his union’s big spending campaign will go to “protect incumbency in the House. We’ve got to protect the incumbency in the Senate.” He admitted that “it’s going to be hard, those tea-baggers are out there. There is an anti-incumbency mood out there.” McEntee is just doing what Big Labor bosses have been doing for decades — spending their members’ dues to elect and re-elect Democrats. Campaign finance data going back to 1989 reveal that six of the top 10 groups designated as “heavy hitters” by the Center for Responsive Politics are labor unions. AFSCME ranks second on the list, with SEIU 10th. More than 90 percent of their contributions went to Democrats.


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