In this space last month, the myths about deficiencies in fundraising by the Democrats were debunked (see Tall Tales About Democrats’ Fundraising Disadvantages). This included a reference to the power of the labor unions and a news article excerpt that generalized the application of union dues towards political activities:
“Also, lumping labor unions into one nebulous estimate of fundraising potential …
much of labor’s money will be spent on talking directly with union members and other workers
…belies the powerhouse field organization that will most definitely be funded in this election cycle, just like it was to mobilize around the passage of President Obama’s signature accomplishment, the Affordable Patient Care Act or Obamacare.”
Now there is quantified proof of this assessment, courtesy of an analysis by The Wall Street Journal as reported in their front page story, Political Spending by Unions Far Exceeds Direct Donations.
Unions reported $1 billion in political spending to the Federal Election Commission between 2005 and 2011 as required by law. This was information already commonly known regarding what were “contributions made directly to federal candidates and union spending in support of candidates for Congress and the White House.”.
What was less known until now is that under a rule passed by congress in 2005, unions and their parent organizations have to report other spending on political activities and community organizing to the Labor Department.
The information unearthed by the Journal demonstrates that on top of the direct political spending, unions spent three times more or $3.3 billion in the same time period on what the story described as:
a wider range of political activities, including supporting state and local candidates and deploying what has long been seen as the unions’ most potent political weapon: persuading members to vote as unions want them to.
Since the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, one that rightly protects free speech as exhibited through political campaign contributions, the Obama Democrats have had a field day with propaganda that suggest a phenomenal fundraising advantage by the GOP because of its support from corporate America.
Keep in mind though that President Obama received more high-profile endorsements from business leaders in 2008, and he eschewed public campaign financing as he went on to shatter all fundraising records in history.
The Journal also puts this dynamic into proper focus through its research on labor political spending:
Campaign donations by corporations are divided fairly evenly between the two major parties, unlike unions, whose donations are overwhelmingly for Democrats.
In 2008, the $2 billion contributed by corporate PACs were split 45% and 55% in favor of the Democrats. In contrast, 92% of the $75 million donated by labor unions went to the Democrats.
Note that the labor figure here is in reference to the direct campaign spending in support of candidates and not the broader spending on political activities and community organizing reported to the Department of Labor by labor unions.
This campaign will be a battle royale with Obama demonizing business and waging class warfare to rally his union and special interest supporters. The lesson learned here is that no one should be lured by leftist journalists who want us all to believe that Obama is as good as defeated and cannot raise the money for a credible defense of his anemic record as president anyway.
The data demonstrate that the advantage this election is decidedly with the Democrats, thanks in part to their community organizing force that is better funded than previously thought.
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