Libs Against Money in Politics Ignore Unions Corrupting the System
As the left runs around like Chicken Littles claiming that the evil Koch brothers are “buying the country,” they ignore the fact that unions have poured many times more money into the system to buy themselves influence than the Kochs ever have or ever will. The left ignores this fact because unions spend all their money on extremely liberal causes and politicians and they don’t care if they have to break the law to do it.
Firstly let’s get the facts out in the open. A new report by Mercatus finds that the top 25 political donors for the last 25 years is littered with unions donating to left-wing causes. In fact, the number two and number four biggest donors are public employee unions.
As an aside, it is also instructive to note that number one political donor is the hardcore left-wing group ActBlue and not by just a little. ActBlue has donated nearly 100 million dollars to leftists and they have only been around since 2004. By comparison the next closest big donor is the government union the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) which comes in at about the 60 million mark.
Anyway, Mercatus found that of the top 25 donors, 14 of them are left-wing unions. The chart also proves that nearly 60 percent of all donations were made by unions and that’s about $552 million donated since 1989–all gone to the left.
Not only are the rest of the top 25 mostly pro-Democrat donors, too, but this is only the tip of the iceberg as when you get out of the top 25 you’ll find dozens of other unions having donated millions to Democrats.
Now, in a way, I sort of agree with liberals when they blithely say that money is the root of all evil in politics. In a way, they are right. But they are right in a way they don’t mean to be right. The donations are “evil” because all this money is going the left’s way.
Now, in point of fact, money in politics is free political speech and in and of itself it is not a bad thing. Even the Federalist Papers mentions that Americans will naturally gather together in associations and guilds to promote their interests among our various governments. Today we call these lobbyists and lobbyists are nothing else but we, the people. There is nothing inherently wrong or un-American with lobbying.
The problem is that government has taken too much upon itself, so much so that lobbyists are required to gather together to protect our interests in far too many instances in our lives.
Mercatus’ Matthew Mitchell said it well: “When governments dispense privileges, smart, hardworking, and creative people are encouraged to spend their time devising new ways to obtain favors instead of new ways to create value for customers. Privileges depress long-run economic growth and threaten short-run macroeconomic stability. They even undermine cultural mores, fostering cronyism, blurring the distinction between productive and unproductive entrepreneurship, and eroding people’s trust in both business and government.”
If we want to mitigate the influence of money in politics, we need to gut government, eliminate regulations, and fire millions of government workers. Government is the problem, not lobbyists.
Instead, we get situations like that which happened in Michigan last year when the government employee union the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) broke the law to protect automatic dues withdrawals.
To explain what I mean by dues withdrawals, the last Democrat Governor in Michigan passed a rule that forced the state to automatically remove union dues payments from government employee’s paychecks. This meant that the government gave the SEIU a free banking service as the state paid the fees to have the accounting done, the state did the dues collections, and the state created a banking system for the unions. The unions just sat there and took the money.
Not only did the unions get all these expensive banking services free of charge and paid for by Michigan’s taxpayers, they also had the wonderful benefit of having all those dues forcefully removed from members and handed to them meaning they did not have to rely on members to go to the effort to pay their own dues on their own hook–the latter as it should be.
But when the new Republican governor and a Republican controlled legislature took over in Michigan, the unions launched into a major fight to save their taxpayer paid perk. And in their fight to protect their unearned, corrupt bargain with government, they spent nine million bucks to defeat GOP’s efforts to end the special favors. Fortunately, it was a battle they lost.
But, as it happens, the unions spent this money illegally and have now been handed the second biggest fine in Michigan history for such lawbreaking. The SEIU has been levied a $200,000 fine for its illegal activities.
Certainly, there should be no such thing as a government union in the first place. Government unions did not exist until the 1960s. Before that they were actually illegal. They should be again. But that aside, what we see here is that the evil, evil money in politics is overwhelmingly on the left and with the left’s attacks on the Koch brothers, we see the truth that the left’s Koch whoring is 100 percent hypocrisy.
Warner Todd Huston
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, BigJournalsim.com and all Breitbart News' other sites, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.