Unions Top the $1 Billion Club in California Political Spending

by Warner Todd Huston | March 11, 2010 1:47 pm

The California Teachers Association spent $211,849,298 on lobbying and political spending to get its way in California in 2009. Along with the CTA, the Calif. State Council of Service Employees and 13 other organizations spent a total of one billion dollars on political lobbying of the State House at Sacramento. All of these special interests have helped push California to the brink of insolvency.

But, according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission[1], the two unions mentioned above far and away top the spending of the other top lobbying spenders in California. The next closest in spending was the Big Pharma clocking in at $104,912,997 on its political spending with various and sundry Indian casino groups whose spending was in the less than $85,000,000 range.

Commission Chairman Ross Johnson said in a press release, “This tsunami of special interest spending drowns out the voices of average voters and intimidates political opponents and elected officials alike.”

The FPPC fully details of the spending of these special interests and unions evoking outrage and proving why voter’s will is meaningless to politicians, not just in California, but across the country.

Here, for instance, is how the FPPC breaks down the teachers union spending:

On one level, one might ask why such spending is so wrong? After all, even The Federalist Papers spoke of “factions,” “interests,” and associations of voters getting together to influence their representatives in Congress. Why should a real American be all upset over such spending meant to influence Congress? Shouldn’t lobbying be considered a quintessentially American political convention?

There is one reason and one reason only that this situation is detrimental to our Republic and it isn’t that lobbying exists. It is because government is too powerful and has been allowed to take on too much authority. Lobbying wouldn’t be the problem it is if government didn’t have the power it has to warp and destroy our lives, the power that these lobbying groups court.

Of course, where it specifically relates to the teachers and the service employees unions we are talking about organizations that shouldn’t even be allowed to exist at all. There should be no such thing as a public employees union as the existence of these entities is wholly against the health our Republic. Still, that aside, if government didn’t have so much power, even these illicit public employees unions wouldn’t be as destructive as they are.

Of course, California, as always, is just the worst, most obscene example of this outrage of Big Government. The truth is that every state in the union is drowning in this sort of morass to one degree or another.

The solution to all of this is to take power away from government.

  1. California Fair Political Practices Commission: http://www.fppc.ca.gov/index.php?id=526
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