Unions Are Contributing To Anti-Worker Republicans And Rich Republicans Are Contributing To Hillary
Every election cycle I've been writing about how certain unions-- usually the building trades-- contribute a great deal to Republican candidates running against Democrats. I won't have to this cycle; ThinkProgress already did a good job at it. Despite the fact that 'Right-to-work' laws "have been proven to not only reduce the number of people who are part of a union, but also the average wages and benefits for workers in those states... more states are considering their own right-to-work laws and scores of members of Congress want to see similar legislation enacted on a national level... Congressional Republicans have proposed a National Right-to-Work Act (NRWA), which would make it the policy in all 50 states. So far in this Congress, 29 U.S. Senators and 127 U.S. Representatives have signed on." And Señor Trumpanzee is, predictably, on board. So unions are fighting the politicians pushing 'right-to-work' laws right? Well, some are, but some are actually spending large sums of money supporting those politicians.
Union officials say the hundreds of thousands of dollars in political action committee donations to these lawmakers since the start of 2015 come despite, rather than because of, their support for national anti-union legislation-- but at least one labor expert warns that the unions might someday regret that spending. After Republican majorities in historically pro-labor states like Wisconsin and Michigan snuck through anti-labor legislation, it is entirely plausible that a GOP Congress and Trump White House could do the same on a national level.But fear not... while unions are helping finance a Republican jihad against working families, anti-union Republicans are helping fill Hillary Clinton's campaign coffers. Politico's Alex Isenstadt reported yesterday how Harry Sloan, a former MGM CEO who has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the RNC, NRCC, NRSC, Republican state parties and candidates like Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, and Sam Brownback, says Trump is unfit and, as a conservative, Clinton is his choice. On June 30 Sloan wrote 6 checks: $19,600 to the NRCC and two to Paul Ryan for $2,700 each, two to Hillary Clinton for $2,700 each and a $33,400 check to a Clinton joint fundraising account. Sloan has previously been on the national finance committees for John McCain and Mitt Romney and was a Kasich backer this cycle.
...Unions have been clear about the existential threat to their future posed by a national right-to-work law. Bill Samuel, director of government affairs for the AFL-CIO, the umbrella federation for 56 unions representing more than 12 million workers, emphasized that federal NRWA is designed to undercut unions across the country. “It’s meant to weaken the ability of unions to organize and bargain,” he said. “And that’s the point: it’s freedom for corporations to exercise total control and avoid having to deal with the collective voice of their workers.”
...But in the face of this attack on the rights of unions, at least 31 union political action committees have contributed a total of more than $534,000 to 82 members-- all Republicans-- who signed on as supporters of the NRWA in the 113th Congress. According to campaign finance data through June 2016, posted by the Center for Responsive Politics, most of the legislation’s sponsors and co-sponsors have received some labor union financial support.
...While national right-to-work legislation indeed seems unlikely to move this year, things could drastically change if Republicans win the White House in November. And some labor experts warn that unions are underestimating the disastrous threat that having a pro-NRWA majority in Congress could pose should Trump win. It’s happened before.
...“I like right-to-work. My position on right-to-work is 100 percent,” Trump said in a February radio interview. “I love the right to work… I like it better because it’s lower,” he added. His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, co-sponsored the NRWA during his time in Congress and has fiercely defended his state’s right-to-work law as Indiana’s governor, though under the law the state’s economy has fared worse than the nation’s as a whole.
In addition to nominating an anti-labor candidate, the 2016 Republican National Committee’s platform, adopted at their Cleveland convention in July, affirms the party’s support for making right-to-work the reality across the country: “We support the right of states to enact Right-to-Work laws and call for a national law to protect the economic liberty of the modern workforce,” it states.
Jefferson Cowie, a history professor at Vanderbilt University, said that these unions backing pro-NRWA incumbents “are probably less concerned than they should be about right-to-work.” Their support, he added, “could certainly come back to haunt them, but that’s why God invented [the Senate’s filibuster rule].”
But that’s only true as long as the filibuster remains in place.
Should Trump win, the AFL-CIO’s Samuel predicted, “the Congressional elections would not turn out well either for us. I don’t know if the Republicans would have 60 [Senate votes], but if they change the rules or not is hard to predict.” Much like Democrats changed the Senate rules in 2013 to allow most confirmations to require a simple majority, a simple majority of Senate Republicans could eliminate the filibuster entirely. And some prominent Republicans have advocated doing just that.
While Cowie was unsure whether Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) would actually support such an effort, he said, “I would put nothing past that guy. Nothing.” And that could mean, with little fanfare, that what happened in Wisconsin and Michigan could happen to America.
Labor scholar and author Michael D. Yates predicted that should Republicans win full control in November, labor would have to “try to work with Trump and the Republicans, offering some labor cover to these scoundrels,” in hopes that they’d stop the bill. But, he added, the willingness of some unions to support anti-labor candidates is quite risky. “For the working class as a whole, such thinking and acting are disastrous,” he said.
[I]n a statement, Sloan said he could not support Trump, who he contended, “does not embody the values that have made me a lifelong Republican. He is unprepared and temperamentally unfit to be our President. Most of my Republican friends feel the same way. As a businessman, a father, and a conservative it is clear to me that Hillary Clinton is the right choice in this election."And that brings us to Adam Pearce's big NY Times article, Donors for Bush, Kasich and Christie Are turning To Clinton More Than to Trump. Short version: GOP establishment contributors are more likely to give to Hillary than to Mr. Trumpanzee. But the donors who have to the Tea Party candidates like Cruz, Dr. Ben, Scott Walker and Rubio are writing checks to Trumpanzee. So far Clinton has received $2.2 million from donors to candidates who dropped out of the Republican presidential primary, about $600,000 more than Señor Trumpanzee has received from such donors. In fact, donors to Trumpanzee’s primary opponents "are backing him at a historically low rate."
I will love to see if Bernie's huge small contributor base is giving to Hillary or not. What do you think? And who will she be listening to when she's in the White House... and thinking about her 2020 reelection bid? My suggestion: don't waste your money on the presidential election; contribute to proven progressives running for Congress. There aren't that many of them.