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AWOL WI Senators Rely On Union Cash

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Missing senators rely heavily on union campaign dollars

By Daniel Bice and Ben Poston of the Journal Sentinel
Feb. 28, 2011

The 14 Wisconsin Democratic senators who fled to Illinois share more than just political sympathy with the public employees and unions targeted by Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill.

The Senate Democrats count on those in the public sector as a key funding source for their campaigns.

In fact, nearly one out of every five dollars raised by those Democratic senators in the past two election cycles came from public employees, such as teachers and firefighters, and their unions, a Journal Sentinel analysis of campaign records shows.

"It’s very simple," said Richard Abelson, executive director of District Council 48 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "We have interests, and because of that, we attempt to support candidates who support our interests. It’s pretty hard to find Republicans who support our interests these days."

In other words the unions bought these Senators and they expect them to stay bought.

According to records compiled by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, the 14 Senate Democrats have raised a total of $1.9 million in campaign dollars since the start of 2007. Out of that sum, public-employee unions and individual government workers contributed at least $344,000.

In truth, the figure may be even higher, but candidates don’t have to identify the occupations of those giving $100 or less.

Which is exactly the same reason why Mr. Obama had a record number of less than $250 donations.

Still, remember all this when you hear these politicians talk about how they are hiding out because of ‘principle.’ — There is also some ‘interest’ involved.

Of the 14 missing lawmakers, none has received a greater share of his campaign donations from public unions and employees than Spencer Coggs of Milwaukee.

Since January 2007, about two-thirds of his campaign donations came from those in the public sector. In addition to winning an easy re-election bid, he was defeated in the September Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.

On Friday, Coggs said he is not surprised by his support from government workers.

"What do you expect?" he said. "I’m a labor guy."

That’s fine. (Except perhaps when you realize how few people actually belong to unions.) But where are the ‘taxpayer guys’ among these Wisconsin Democrat Senators?

Before being elected to the Legislature nearly three decades ago, Coggs was a city inspector and the treasurer of his AFSCME local. He remains a member of the union because he is technically on leave from his municipal job, and he is active with two other unions.

But the veteran lawmaker said he wasn’t driven to flee to Illinois by his financial ties to those targeted by the legislation. He said he is upset that the bill would harm public unions and their ability to negotiate. He credited these groups with maintaining public safety and protecting workers.

We all know what dangerous jobs teachers and government workers face.

As for the impact the bill would have on union giving to Democrats, Coggs said he would survive just fine without his support from these groups.

"I know how to raise money," said Coggs, one of the few Senate Democrats not currently the subject of a recall effort.

Yet.

Even more important than the money unions give directly to candidates, the Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said said, is the cash the unions spend on their own buying TV and radio ads in support of Democrats. By his count, Fitzgerald said the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state teachers union, dropped nearly $1.6 million in independent spending in four Senate races last fall. Democrats won only one of those races.

Maybe the poets are right, and money can’t buy you love. Not always, anyway.

In addition, two national unions – AFSCME and the Service Employees International Union – gave more than $1.3 million since 2008 to the Greater Wisconsin Committee, a liberal group that advocates on behalf of Democratic candidates

We suspect these sums are just the tip of the iceberg. And bear in mind what we are talking about here is taxpayer dollars going into the union coffers – so as to be kicked back to these Democrat ‘representatives.’ It really is simple money-laundering. And it is taxpayer money that is being laundered.

Moreover, this article doesn’t even mention the untold ‘contributions in kind’ that unions provide. Such as when their foot soldiers man phone banks and knock on doors and pass out ‘walking around money’ — on the behalf of their hirelings candidates.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “AWOL WI Senators Rely On Union Cash”

  1. proreason

    In the spirit civility and integrity, I predict these senators will return all Union contributions.

  2. Liberals Demise

    I wanna know when they meet Jimmy Hoffa and if the concrete
    shoes is a “one size fits all” kinda thingy!

  3. Rusty Shackleford

    Public Union Cash=tax dollars. No more!


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