Saturday, January 30, 2010

Parity -- Corporate vs. Union

With the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, it’s been bugging me that I hear an implied parity between the corporate community’s spending on political goals and unions.

A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled yesterday that labor unions and corporations can spend unlimited amounts to influence federal elections,... “

I’m not trying to make light of union influence in politics, I just can’t abide by the idea that anyone might think union money comes anywhere close to corporate money in buying influence. It doesn’t. Unions aren’t even in the same league. Even “Ideological“ groups (whatever they are) outspend unions.

A visit to OpenSecrets provides me with the comparison I need. Down at the bottom of the page -- in the “How to read this chart” section -- you’ll see this:

”The broadest classification of political donors separates them into business, labor, or ideological interests. Whatever slice you look at, business interests dominate, with an overall advantage over organized labor of about 15-to-1.

Even among PACs – the favored means of delivering funds by labor unions – business has a more than 3-to-1 fundraising advantage. In soft money, the ratio is nearly 17-to-1.“

You can visit the page to see the numbers for yourself. And don’t be fooled by the charts showing businesses give as much to Democrats as Republicans. It’s not a Party issue. It’s an influence issue. The corporate crowd has enough money to cover all the basses. They give more to Democrats than unions do -- substantially more. And when it comes to giving to Republicans -- Fuhgeddaboutit. The percentage given to each Party shifts each election cycle to the Party in power. Scroll through the election cycle button and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

"Money is the mother's milk of politics."

Don Brown
January 30, 2010


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