Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Strange Bedfellows? Not so much.

Just in time for campaign fundraising season, Democrats are lining up to support unions and fill their campaign coffers. As campaigns file their year-end reports with the Federal Election Commission, it becomes much more obvious who’s in bed with whom.

State Rep. Sal Pace’s (D) campaign for Congress finished 2011 with a surge of money, collecting $207,632 in the final three months of the year. Running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CA), $62,500 of Pace’s haul came from political action committees (PAC) representing labor unions.

Priorities USA PAC – a Super PAC supporting Obama – received a $1 million donation from the PAC arm of the Service Employees International Union and another $215,234 from its non-profit sister organization Priorities USA.

The same Super PAC is also spending vast sums to run ads in Nevada and Florida that accuse Republican Presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney of having “two faces” on immigration issues.

Earlier this week, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) received thunderous applause when he announced that he will continue to work to pass Employee Free Choice Act during the annual legislative-political conference of the Communications Workers of America. Harkin, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said he plans to introduce a comprehensive bill to that includes at least one element from EFCA in the coming weeks.

As the 2012 election season heats up, we expect to see a much closer relationship between Democrats and Big Labor. What for that last couple of years has been and dangerous dance, now looks like it’s intensifying into a torrid affair.

Categories: Center for Union FactsSEIU