The Spectacle Blog

ASCME Union is “Big Dog” in 2010 Campaign Spending

By on 10.22.10 | 11:00AM

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union has emerged as the largest outside spender of the 2010 campaign season, doling out $87.5 million to help elect Democratic candidates, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"We're the big dog," Larry Scanlon, the head of AFSCME's political operations, told the WSJ. "But we don't like to brag."

Later in the same article, AFSCME President Gerald McEntee, declared: "We're spending big. And we're damn happy it's big. And our members are damn happy it's big—it's their money."

The latest revelations blow a hole in several arguments the White House and their liberal allies have been making over the past year.

For all of President Obama's attacks on the Chamber of Commerce for its political involvement, it turns out that AFSCME has been spending more. And for all of the complaints about the Supreme Court's Citizens' United decision paving the way for more corporate influence, it turns out s that three of the top five spenders during this cycle are unions -- the others being the Service Employees International Union and the National Education Association. And as the article notes, Citizens' United made it easier for the unions to spend money on elections.

Apparently without a sense of irony House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ramped up the rhetoric against the Chamber of Commerce, telling MSNBC, "They give new meaning to the term 'Buy American'…  they want to buy these elections." She went on to say that if they win it would mean America was "a plutocracy and oligarchy" and that “Whatever these few wealthy, secret, unlimited sources of money are can control our entire agenda."

Of course, expenditures by the public sector unions are okay, because they're only trying to elect members who will keep funneling federal tax dollars to projects that increase their membership, allowing them to spend more on Democrats in future elections.

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