Top Union Bosses Keep Poor-Mouthing Themselves Even as They Throw Their Political Weight Around

A Christian Science Monitor (CSM) report published yesterday (see the link below) focuses on Big Labor’s forced union dues-fueled efforts to oust from office next year six Republican governors first elected in 2010.

The account, by CSM staff writer Mark Guarino, properly acknowledges federal and state government data showing that Big Labor is an extraordinarily powerful special-interest group, pouring more than a billion dollars in mostly forced-dues and forced-fees money into federal, state and local electioneering and lobbying during every two-year campaign cycle.  In fact, a soon-to-be published fact sheet prepared for the National Institute for Labor Relations Research conservatively estimates Big Labor spent $1.7 billion on electioneering and lobbying in 2011-2012 alone.

Unfortunately, a few paragraphs after admitting that top union bosses have at their disposal a billion-dollar political machine, operated primarily with dues and fees that millions of workers are compelled to fork over as a condition of employment, Guarino seems to forget all about it and suggests that the $60 million or so union political action committees (PACs) spent in 2011-2012, represented all the electioneering Big Labor did during the last campaign cycle.

But no one, including Guarino, should take seriously poor-mouthing union bosses’ claims of being “outspent” by business PACs seriously.

The vast majority of Big Labor electioneering and ideological contributors do not go to candidates directly in the form of PAC contributions, but instead pay for phone banks, get-out-the-vote drives, propaganda mailings, and other so-called “in-kind” support for union boss-favored candidates.

Well-informed election observers acknowledge that published data such as the LM-2 forms large unions that have at least some private-sector members are required to file with the federal government show that, despite their fork-tongued claims to the contrary, union bosses actually control by far the most massive political machine in America.

A second problem with Guarino’s report is that it fails to acknowledge that the union hierarchy is, by its own account, equally determined to defeat in 2014 two Republican governors who have supported enactment of Right to Work legislation in their states, Rick Snyder (Mich.) and Paul LePage (Maine), two Republican governors who currently oppose any significant rollback of union bosses’ monopoly privileges, John Kasich (Ohio) and Tom Corbett (Pa.), and two governors who have mixed records on the monopoly-unionism issue, Scott Walker (Wisc.) and Rick Scott (Fla.).

The fact that even GOP appeasers of the union brass like Kasich and Corbett are being targeted for ouster by the union machine illustrates the foolishness of Republican politicians who think they can buy off Big Labor by opposing Right to Work legislation or rollbacks of union monopoly bargaining in the public sector.  But the CSM account completely misses this important part of the story.

Top labor union aims to topple six GOP governors: payback or big risk?