An early report shows organized labor might be withdrawing its financial support for candidates for federal office:
Union donations to federal candidates for the first three months of 2011 are far lower than donations during the same period in 2009 and in 2007, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Unions’ political action committees have contributed $4.75 million to federal candidates this year through the end of March, according to the Center’s research. In 2009, union PACs donated $8.44 million — and in 2007, union PACs donated $6.77 million — through the same period.
It is still not clear why donations are down 40 percent, although a fraction of this percentage may be due to PACs who have not yet filed any paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. The biggest PACs file monthly campaign finance reports with the FEC, but PACs that file semi-annually in 2011 won’t submit their first reports to the FEC until next week.
Even if Union PAC money were eventually proven to be higher than the sum revealed by the Open Secrets report, the decrease now evident may be the first sign of organized labor withdrawing its financial support for the Democratic Party. This change should not be too surprising given the structural features of the current economy, which promote high-unemployment and low-wages, and the role the Democratic Party has played in the creation of this situation. Why, after all, would labor support a party like the Democratic Party, a party that has adopted anti-labor policies for a while?
It should not support the Democratic Party unless, of course, it supports candidates that promise to support a labor agenda and do eventually deliver on their promises.
I cross-posted this article at All Tied Up and Nowhere to Go