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Union money overshadows Koch influence in politics


Union money overshadows Koch influence in politics

David and Charles Koch, two billionaire brothers who are notorious for injecting money into American political campaigns, have received much flak for their attempts to influence elections across the country. However, the amount of media criticism and time spent by the left demonizing the Koch brothers’ roll in American politics is apparently misplaced, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Center for Responsible Politics.

According to the new report, labor unions are actually the biggest third party spenders in politics. Unions spent $143 million during the 2011-2012 election cycle, and they supported mostly Democratic candidates. This money came from worker dues and was funneled to various political campaigns via donations.

By comparison, Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers’ infamous 501(c)(4), spent around $36 million on political activity during the same period. All of this money was spent against democratic candidates, reports the Center for Responsible Politics.

The Washington Examiner reports, “A great deal of union spending on behalf of candidates includes not only direct donations but also spending on other activities that aid campaigns. Those efforts often include hiring workers to staff phone banks and staging get-out-the-vote efforts.”

These figures are separate from the typical campaign donations and are reported to the Department of Labor. The National Institute for Labor Relations Research, a think tank that has acquired the spending labor unions have reported to the DOL, claims that labor unions spent an astounding $1.7 billion on lobbying and electioneering during the 2012 election cycle.

“The Big Labor contribution is a large chunk of campaign spending, and there is no one who is their equal in campaign politics,” says Stan Greer, senior research associate with the National Institute for Labor Relations Research.

The amount of money that unions spend influencing elections dwarfs the amount that David and Charles Koch spend.

In fact, the CRP reports that the Koch brothers only rank 59th on its list of top spenders, titled “Heavy Hitters: Top All-Time Donors, 1989-2014.”

There is a massive gap between the amount spent by the Koch brothers and unions, yet those who follow reports by Democrats and the mainstream media are led to believe otherwise, as there is a disproportionate amount of coverage on the spending habits of the two billionaires.

The Koch brothers have become the favorite boogymen of the political left, and Democrats consistently claim that they attempt to “buy” elections.

This criticism reeks of hypocrisy when one considers the massive amount of money that unions spend in their attempts to sway elections. Six of the top ten donors on the CRP list are labor unions, and the total contributions from these six alone exceeds $284 million.

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Patrick Rigney is a freelance writer with experience writing political speeches, radio advertisements, research works, and financial analysis pieces. He has a love of all things involving politics and history.

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