The Real Story is not “Fake News” or the Russians. It’s Labor Union Spending.

Federal filings by labor unions are in for the years 2012-2015. The good folks at Union Facts have combed through the data, finding that labor unions spent $530 million almost exclusively on left-wing candidates and issues aligned with the Democratic Party, including plenty here in Minnesota.

Union Facts noted, “Yet roughly 40 percent of union households vote Republican in any given election cycle. (In 2016, the number was 43 percent.) The disturbing discrepancy points to the gradual evolution of labor unions from worker advocacy organizations to Democratic Party subsidiaries that are increasingly beholden to Democratic elites instead of blue-collar employees.”

That means that almost half of union members are forced to support an agenda they do not agree with, thus violating their First Amendment rights. But all those Democrats or Independents might not like the “labor agenda” either. Just because you are a Democrat does not mean you want more government, less choice in education, boys in the girls locker-room or an unfunded pension. Name your left-wing poison, most union members are not going to like the far-left agenda paid for by their union dues. That is why so many union members broke rank with union bosses and used their right of franchise to vote for Trump.

Here are some of the high points:

  • $5,705,798 for Left-Wing Media: including, I kid you not, Ed Schultz Broadcasting!
  • $260,492,946 for Democratic Party and Aligned Groups: including the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
  • $44,503,716 for Special Interests: including a nemesis of mine in the pension wars, National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS lies about pension math).
  • $21,609,390 for “Civil Rights”: including Rainbow Push Coalition. I added the “quote” marks. How dare they pretend they are helping minorities.
  • $9,991,207 for Environmentalists: including Union Sportsmen Alliance (tell them true sportsmen would not force someone else to pay dues against their will).
  • $187,649,800 for the Economic Left: including Minnesotans for a Fair Economy and Take Action Minnesota.

This is not ALL they spent. It is only what they told us they spent.

The data is always a year old, and because of seriously out of date transparency rules, the reports always includes more information about private sector unions than public sector unions. It should be the other way around! At least with private sector unions the dues are not funded by taxpayers and tax dollars.  Next year we can expect a huge bump in the totals after we get a look at 2016 spending, not just because this was an election year but because labor wanted Clinton elected.

According to The Wall Street Journal, this is what we knew about reportable election spending in October with weeks still to go before election day. “U.S. labor unions are plowing money into the 2016 elections at an unprecedented rate, largely in an effort to help elect Hillary Clinton and give Democrats a majority in the Senate. According to the most recent campaign-finance filings, unions spent about $108 million on the elections from January 2015 through the end of August, a 38% jump from $78 million during the same period leading up to the 2012 election, and nearly double their 2008 total in the same period. Nearly 85% of their spending this year has supported Democrats.”

There has been a lot of talk about “Fake News” and the idea that voters were somehow duped into voting for Trump, that the Russians or Facebook made them do it. What we really had, courtesy of WikiLeaks, was a big look at how the DNC and their affiliates work. This report from Union Facts gives us another look at what the machine looks like and how the machine is funded.

It’s too bad WikiLeaks has not focused on Labor Unions. Imagine the emails between the SEIU and Governor Mark Dayton. Or Education Minnesota and the Teachers Retirement Association. Does anyone know how to reach Julian Assange?

You can view the Union Facts 2012-2015 summary here.