Every time we read a story about the unprecedented amount of spending big labor does in political campaigns we wonder where are all those so-called “campaign reformers” who promised to get big money out of politics. Kris Maher of the Wall Street Journal looks at SEIU’s excessive political spending — so much so the union took out $25 million in loans to meet expenses.
Despite the union’s indebtedness, it appears that they obtained a political return on the transfer of the union treasury to Obama and the DNC.
Mr. Obama has so far named Patrick Gaspard, a former SEIU official to be White House political director, and more recently nominated Craig Becker, associate general counsel to the SEIU and the AFL-CIO to the National Labor Relations Board. Anna Burger, the SEIU’s second highest ranking officer, is a member of the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
The Obama administration is taking up the two top items on the union’s agenda — legislation to make it easier for unions to organize workers, known as the Employee Free Choice Act, and health care reform. While the union’s hope that the administration could push through its original version of the organizing legislation has been dashed in recent weeks, it remains hopeful it will see worker-friendly changes in health care.