Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Union backing in Arkansas a touchy subject

Arkansas’ Senate seat is just one battle ground against moderate Democrats who have not lived up to Big Labor’s EFCA expectations. Lt. Gov. Bill Halter released a press statement detailing more than $500,000 in campaign contributions by labor groups to Blanche Lincoln.

The same release calls Blanche’s accusations that Halter’s debt has been paid off to be “lies.” This was in retaliation for Lincoln’s statements that Halter’s previous campaign debt had been retired by the unions.

According to the AP in December:

“The Service Employees International Union said it is soliciting contributions to retire the debt along with the help of other labor unions. Halter reported in October that his campaign still owed him more than $444,000 that he had loaned it. SEIU has met with Bill Halter, and finds him to be a great voice for working families with an extremely bright political future,” said Jon Youngdahl, the union’s national political director. “That’s why we’ve solicited contributions to retire his campaign debt and support his re-election campaign.””

The amount retired by the SEIU is nowhere near $444,000 thanks to a legal cap of $6,000, according to blogger Tolbert Report, but their “solicitation” of more aid hasn’t hurt at all.

In fact, maybe Halter has a “bright political future” because “Several unions and the liberal grassroots group this week have pledged more than $3 million to Halter’s campaign, greatly boosting his ability to compete with Lincoln, who had $5 million in campaign cash at the end of December,” according to the Arkansas News.

Three million is well more that $444,000….and more than Blanche’s $500,0oo. I find amusing that union backing is being used as a weapon on both sides.

Anyway, labor’s promise to get very involved in Democratic primaries is proving to be very amusing. As I am sure will be the next two months in Arkansas leading up to the May 18th primary vote.

Categories: AFL-CIOCenter for Union FactsCrime & CorruptionEFACNewsPolitical MoneySEIU