Big Labor Is Not About to Become ‘Bi-Partisan’ in Its Political Giving

big-labor-spent-1-7-billion-on-electioneering-lobbying-in-2011-2012In his youth, while living hedonistically, but already aspiring to virtue, Augustine of Hippo, now known as St. Augustine, once famously prayed to God: “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet!”

As was the future Bishop of Hippo with regard to chastity and continence, so Big Labor has long been, and continues to be, with regard to political “bi-partisanship.”  The second link below shows how union officials have for decades diverted roughly 90% of their reported federal campaign contributions to Democrats, and only about 10% to Republicans — and there’s no meaningful change in the current election cycle.

No official data are available, of course, regarding the partisan breakdown of Big Labor’s unreported “soft” contributions to candidates, which are far greater in magnitude than reported union PAC contributions and are financed primarily with money diverted from unions’ forced-dues treasuries.  But ample anecdotal evidence indicates Big Labor’s unreported forced-dues “soft” spending on politics is no less partisan than its reported contributions.

Over the years, union officials have claimed many times that, starting “tomorrow,” they will become less partisan in their forced dues-funded political activism. But somehow, time and again, “tomorrow” never comes.

The most recent round of Big Labor claims to be on the verge of turning over a new political leaf dates back to the middle of 2013.  At that time, many union officials who had lent critical support to the so-called Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, when it was being considered in Congress began declaring that they are so dissatisfied with how this law is working out in practice, and with the White House’s and congressional Democrats’ apparent lack of genuine interest in making several changes Organized Labor wants, that they may well withhold support from Democratic candidates this year in protest.

A Las Vegas Review Journal story appearing last week (see the link below) offered some early evidence that Big Labor’s putative move towards “bi-partisanship” in 2014 is once again just talk.  Reporter Laura Myers specifically noted that many union militants are lining up behind Democratic political consultant Erin Bilbray as she gets her bid to unseat a GOP U.S. House incumbent in Nevada, despite their “unhappiness” regarding Obamacare. Bilbray is defending this unpopular law, albeit with some hedging.

Polls show again and again that roughly 40% of union members who vote in any federal election support the GOP candidate, and of course many union members don’t vote at all or support third-party candidates.  Yet Organized Labor wields the forced dues union-“represented” workers of all stripes fork over as a job condition to conduct phone banks and get-out-the-vote drives and sponsor propaganda mailings that overwhelmingly favor union-label Democratic candidates.

Back in the Fourth Century Augustine finally was able to forsake hedonism and embrace celibacy.  And perhaps some time in the remote future Big Labor will give up its lopsided political partisanship.  For the foreseeable future, however, it is safe to predict that the overwhelming majority of union bosses’ reported and hidden forced-dues political contributions will be deployed to assist Big Labor Democrats.

Labor leaders back Bilbray despite concerns about Obamacare

Labor: Long-Term Contribution Trends | OpenSecrets