Labor Organization to Launch Political Action Committee

6 years 9 months 2 days ago Monday, August 22 2011 Aug 22, 2011 Monday, August 22, 2011 1:04:10 PM CDT August 22, 2011 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
(CNN) - NFL players must stand during the National Anthem this season, team owners decided Wednesday, a reaction to fierce... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:36:38 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Temperatures are rising, and one expert says animals need more attention when tethered outside. "Heat exhaustion... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:07:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - Cole County deputies say a man accused of having pipe bombs was cooperative when they asked to... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:54:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
HALLSVILLE - The NRA Bianchi Cup happens every year in Missouri, however this year, embattled Gov. Eric Greitens made an... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:40:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department wants feedback from residents on its community policing initiative. A meeting Wednesday gave people... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:25:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The House Special Investigative Committee continued reading the transcript of the testimony of the woman involved in... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A revision to Missouri's amateur sports tax credit program could bring more sporting events to Mid-Missouri. The... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:04:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - The Moniteau County prosecutor filed criminal charges against the former California police chief Wednesday. Former police chief... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:15:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A top official at Missouri's Department of Public Safety had a potential conflict of interest when... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:11:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK- Businesses in mid-Missouri face a steep choice when it comes to having live entertainment -- lose the music... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:53:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A Missouri judge is weighing whether a secretive nonprofit group that supports Gov. Eric Greitens' agenda... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:08:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Prosecutor's Office filed charges Wednesday against a man suspected of having pipe bombs and... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 10:30:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson says he will be ready to step up if Gov. Eric... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:48:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The city of Columbia will hold the first of seven community policing meetings Wednesday evening. Each meeting is set... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 7:34:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
BOLIVAR (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says an 87-year-old man died after a small plane he was piloting... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 6:39:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was pulled over Friday while speeding. Spokesman Parker Briden in a... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:21:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The next phase of a new VA facility in Jefferson City is underway. Jefferson City Council... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:16:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
KAISER - One family says it is facing an immigration nightmare. Jia McDevitt's parents were detained at the Jacksonville, Florida, port... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
11pm 74°
12am 72°
1am 72°
2am 71°