-By Warner Todd Huston
The left's meme about campaign contributions since the Supreme Court beat down some of the McCain/Feingold Act has been that the Republicans are awash in illicit political donations from those eeevil corporations -- and unfair donations at that -- and this puts the poor Democrats at a disadvantage. Why all those evil rich corporate raiders are burying the Democrats, dontcha know?
The truth is a far different animal, however, as Democrats haven't lost a step in fund raising due to the millions upon millions that their favorite special interest have given them. The fact is unions have donated far, far more to Democrat politicians than corporations have mustered for Republicans. The Wall Street Journal has a great piece following the union money trail and it finds that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is the single biggest outside donor in all of American politics. And while they donate to some Republican in local elections, AFSME donates almost exclusively to Democrats for federal elections.
The 1.6 million-member AFSCME is spending a total of $87.5 million on the elections after tapping into a $16 million emergency account to help fortify the Democrats' hold on Congress. Last week, AFSCME dug deeper, taking out a $2 million loan to fund its push. The group is spending money on television advertisements, phone calls, campaign mailings and other political efforts, helped by a Supreme Court decision that loosened restrictions on campaign spending.
There is a quote in here that I love, too. I've been saying this for years as proof of why public employee unions like AFSME should be made illegal.
Some critics say public-sector unions are funded by what is essentially taxpayer cash, since member salaries, and therefore union dues, come directly from state budgets.
"Public-sector unions have a guaranteed source of revenue--you and me as taxpayers," said Glenn Spencer, executive director of the Workforce Freedom Initiative at the Chamber of Commerce.
That's right, unions give politicians money to make favorable laws for unions. Politicians then make favorable laws for unions so that unions will give them even more campaign cash and unions oblige so that politicians can then give them even more favorable laws and regulations. It's a vicious circle from which the voters are wholly cut out. It is an incestuous relationship that enriches the unions and the politicians at the expense of the taxpayers who don't have any influence at all on the sweetheart deals gong on.
This country needs to again make public employee unions illegal like they were previous to 1958.