Labor Organization to Launch Political Action Committee

5 years 7 months 3 days ago August 22, 2011 Aug 22, 2011 Monday, August 22 2011 Monday, August 22, 2011 1:04:10 PM CDT in News
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The AFL-CIO hopes to boost its clout by launching a new political action committee that could raise unlimited amounts of money, part of the federation's goal of building a year-round political organizing structure.

Forming a so-called "super labor PAC" would allow the labor federation to raise money from sympathetic donors both inside and outside union membership and mobilize support beyond its traditional base, instead of ramping up political activities each election cycle.

The move would also help steer more of labor's money to state legislative battles, where unions have been battling efforts to curb union rights in states like Wisconsin and Ohio.

"The essential idea is that changes in the law for the first time really allow the labor movement to speak directly to workers, whether they have collective bargaining agreements or not," AFL-CIO political director Michael Podhorzer said in an interview. "Before, most political resources went to our own membership."

Labor leaders discussed the plan at the AFL-CIO executive council meetings earlier this month, but officials said the idea remains subject to final approval over the next few weeks.

Both GOP- and Democratic-leaning super PACs have flourished since a landmark 2010 Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited cash in support of, or against, candidates for elected office. The super PACs must operate independently of candidates.

More than 100 super PACS have sprouted since the high court's decision and are expected to play a major role in the 2012 elections.

Unions remain a pillar of the Democratic Party, spending about $400 million to help elect President Barack Obama in 2008 and directing another $200 million to help Democrats during the 2010 mid-term elections. That includes both campaign contributions and organized labor's extensive get-out-the-vote efforts that help steer Democratic-leaning voters from union households to the polls.

But AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has warned that the federation may spend less money on congressional elections and more on state races, where they face aggressive GOP efforts to limit collective bargaining rights and cut back benefits for unionized public employees.

Many union leaders are frustrated that their money has not bought more meaningful support for the union agenda in Congress. Some activists want to reallocate more resources to bolster grass roots support in the states.

Labor leaders have also watched as Republican-leaning groups have successfully taken advantage of the new election rules and don't want to fall behind.

"As far as our ability to hold folks accountable for next year's state legislative battles, we hope this will make a difference and that's why we're pursuing this," Podhorzer said of plans to form the super PAC.

Unions have spent millions this year on efforts to recall Wisconsin GOP lawmakers who supported legislation that weakened collective bargaining rights for most of the state's public employees. The AFL-CIO alone contributed more than $5 million to the group We Are Wisconsin, a coalition of national unions and others backing the recalls. Still, conservative groups opposing the recalls spent even more in the state.

"They could attract new kinds of money, and to the degree they could be successful with that, it opens up a whole new avenue for contributing and opportunities for spending," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics.

 

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — About 1,000 of St. Louis' delinquent properties are expected to face the wrecking ball to create... More >>
44 minutes ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 1:13:10 PM CDT in News
OZARK, Mo . (AP) — A southwestern Missouri man is accused of sexual misconduct involving a teenager who investigators say... More >>
1 hour ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:20:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
FORSYTH, Mo . (AP) — Authorities said a southern Missouri man told investigators he was either sleepwalking or dreaming when... More >>
3 hours ago March 26, 2017 Mar 26, 2017 Sunday, March 26 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 10:25:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Officers said a suspect is on the run after a robbery at an Extended Stay America Saturday night.... More >>
15 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:39:11 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A hearing for Sturgeon Police Chief Greg Halderman will take place on Monday. On the week of... More >>
18 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 7:16:00 PM CDT in News
LINN - State Technical College in Linn opened up its campus to recruit prospective students and to show off what... More >>
21 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:49:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Fire Protection District said Saturday it is conducting a search and rescue at the Katfish... More >>
21 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:37:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two men each are jailed on $750,000 bond after being accused in connection with the St.... More >>
22 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:38:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Two semi trucks and two cars were part of a wreck Saturday that closed westbound I-70. The... More >>
22 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:23:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Republican-led Missouri Legislature will get back to a business-friendly agenda when it returns from... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 12:35:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:54:00 AM CDT in News
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — An activist who helped shut down a St. Louis-area freeway during protests commemorating the first anniversary... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:45:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 15-year-old boy was killed and six other people were critically wounded... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:41:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – A group of local artists hosted a fundraiser Friday night, giving people people the chance to view works... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:40:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia businesses are coming together to encourage community members to lead healthy and balanced lives. Keystone Chiropractic... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:28:00 AM CDT in News
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Officials in a Kansas City suburb where a fire destroyed a multimillion-dollar apartment building under... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:30:30 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police say a man arrived at a Missouri hospital with his lips apparently glued together after coming... More >>
1 day ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:19:00 AM CDT in News
COLE COUNTY - Deputies arrested a man Friday evening for shooting a gun near Rainbow Hills Road, the sheriff's office... More >>
1 day ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 8:39:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 53°
2pm 53°
3pm 54°
4pm 55°
5pm 58°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
NHL Hockey
2:00p
PGA Tour Golf
6:00p
Little Big Shots
1:30p
Mommie Dearest
4:00p
La Bamba
6:00p
Mystic Pizza

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:00p
Chicago Justice
9:00p
Shades of Blue
6:00p
Mystic Pizza
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld