8-Year Analysis: Labor unions spend more than $1.6 billion in dues on liberal politics

Despite representing hundreds of thousands of public employees who fall all along the political spectrum, government unions are notorious for almost exclusively financially supporting one political party and its affiliates.

A helpful analysis by Center for Union Facts determined that union officials sent more than $1.6 billion in union member dues over an eight-year period to hundreds of liberal advocacy groups aligned with the Democratic Party.

In fact, 99 percent of political contributions from labor unions since 2010 have gone to Democratic causes, even though almost half of union households voted Republican in 2016.

The top two major recipients of union money were American Votes and the Democratic Governors Association, receiving $16.7 million and $16 million, respectively.

America Votes

America Votes is “the coordination hub of the progressive community” working to “advance progressive policies” and “win elections,” according to its website.

The organization is registered as a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” nonprofit organization, and its political involvement is limited by the IRS to include only “some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity.”

Because of this threshold, America Votes cannot donate directly to candidates or candidate committees, but it can pass along the money it receives from the organization’s PAC—America Votes Action Fund—and/or individual members.

America Votes has used funds from individual contributions to support only Democratic candidates, according to available data released by the Federal Election Commission and reported by Center for Responsive Politics.

Besides labor unions, other “partners” of America Votes include Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the House Majority PAC  (“help[s] Democrats win seats in the House”), and the Senate Majority PAC (“solely dedicated to building a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate”).

Democracy Alliance

Democracy Alliance (DA) is the “largest network of donors dedicated to building the progressive movement in the United States” and advancing a “progressive agenda.”

Founded in 2005 by Rob Stein­–Democratic operative and former Clinton Administration official–Democracy Alliance has been financially supported most notably by George Soros and Peter Lewis and quickly became a hub of the biggest names in liberal politics.

Membership into the DA is by invite-only, and donors pay annual dues and agree on a set amount of money to give to “recommended” liberal organizations each year. Not surprisingly, many of the organizations DA supports are listed in the data from Center for Union Facts as receivers of big money from union political contributions.

Essentially, Democracy Alliance is a political network of liberal donors who plot how to use their money to advance the left’s agenda in American politics.

More than $458 million went to groups aligned with the Democratic Party, including the Clinton Foundation and Planned Parenthood. Another $385 million supported organizations focused on progressive economic causes. And $252 million went to left special interests groups. (To view other top donation categories, click here.)

Source: Center for Union Facts

Union members not interested in having their hard-earned money support organizations and causes that conflict with their own beliefs and principles can resign from membership. Teachers can get help opting out here, and other public employees can get help here. Make the union work for you and not take your money for granted by letting them know they need to refocus their priorities to better serve your professional needs.