Who's Bankrolling the Election?

by Gerri Willis

As you know, we always follow the money and some interesting numbers today from the world of campaign finance. The Republican Governors Association proudly tweeting today that it has raised $56 million in the 2012 election cycle - $12.2 million in the first quarter of 2012 alone.

My reaction? That's nice. But not so impressive.

Look, if you really want to talk about big bucks, you'd talk about the contributions being made by big labor, which, by the way, isn't going to Republican Gubernatorial candidates.

Unions make up 12 out of the 20 of the all-time biggest donors to national political campaigns since 1989. That’s according to the Federal Elections Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics. And, the single biggest donor in the 2010 elections was the American Federation of State, Country and Municipal Employees. In other words, public sector workers paid by your taxpayer dollars are using those tax dollars to watch out after their own interests. In other words, making sure that the pension money, perks and pay keep right on flowing to the public sector.

As we have said here many times before, those public sector salaries continue to outpace private sector ones by about 22 percent according to one study by the Heritage Foundation. And that's not even including the value of health, pension and other benefits.

I don't know how you feel, but rewarding the public sector over the private sector is a recipe for disaster for our country because wealth, jobs and growth come from the other side - the private businesses that make our economy hum.

Even so, public sector unions are really calling the shots or at least the money in our elections across the country. And in this particular cycle, they are also the foot soldiers for the Democratic Party.

This election some 400,000 union members are expected to go door to door making the case for the President - not just to fellow labor union members, but to anyone - a change mandated by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

Think unions don't carry weight at the polls? Consider this number: Unions around the country will spend $40 million to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker between now and June 5 when the election is held. $40 million! Somebody should tell the Republican Governors Association!

Look, a lot has been made of wealthy donors’ contributions to candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum - Foster Freiss, the mutual fund magnate, and Vegas hotel king Sheldon Adelson.

But they are exercising their right every bit as much as the union members. In fact, the union paychecks would seem to be stretching further.

So, before you criticize these big money campaign spenders, take a look at the big money campaign spender behind the DMV desk!

Unions PR Campaign For Your Tax Dollars

by Gerri Willis

The rally in downtown Manhattan commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire is sure to get lots of media attention today.

The fire killed 146 workers and the tragedy spurred the creation of a myriad federal agencies to make sure nothing like that ever happened again. Union activists were also expected to use the event as a forum for criticizing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and others who are attempting to reign in the exhorbitant costs of union pay and benefit packages --the costs of which is bankrupting state budgets across the country.

But here's what nobody is likely to mention at today's event: The biggest enemy of today's unions aren't abusive American corporate bosses. No, it's the 13-year-old Chinese girl willing to work long hours for pennies an hour.

Union leaders are constantly evoking the nostalgia of their earlier days as a way of convincing the broader public of their relevancy now. But nostalgia can't be the basis of an economic policy. Our leaders need to stop looking backwards for answers to today' problems.



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