According to a new report from The Center for Union Facts (CUF), labor unions are dumping millions of dollars of union dues into leftwing organizations like Planned Parenthood and the Clinton Foundation.
Here’s how much each organization received between 2010 and 2017:
- America Votes: $15.1 million
- Democratic Governors Association: $14.5 million
- Planned Parenthood: $1.1 million
- Clinton Foundation: $1.5 million
- Clinton Global Initiative: $1.7 million
In broader terms,
- Democratic groups earned $401.4 million
- Special interest groups earned $177 million
- Civil rights groups earned 34.6 million
- Environmental groups earned $20 million
- Liberal media outlets earned $9.8 million
“For decades, union officials have exploited working Americans to advance a left-wing political agenda - without their affirmative consent,” argues CUF communications director Luka Ladan. “Union leadership provides a reliable ATM for the Democratic Party and liberal special interest groups across the country, whether employees agree or not,” continues Ladan. “Union members are right to support the Employee Rights Act, which would protect their paychecks and hold union officials accountable.”
Statistics suggest that nearly 40% of union households vote Republican in a given election, but union officials are not beholden to the views of their constituents. Under federal law, unions can spend dues money on political advocacy without first obtaining permission from members.
Unions have helped the Democratic Party win full control of the federal government three times during the past 40 years. In that same time period, union membership has dropped from 26% to just 10.7%.
While some of this decline can be blamed on factors like technological advancements in shipping and resurgent economies in other countries, there is much the feds could have done to mitigate the effects.
Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama all failed to pass labor reforms to benefit the union cause, and this failure contributed to a dramatic weakening of the labor movement which no doubt played a role in Democratic Party’s devastating losses in 2016.
While Democrats have all but ignored the unions on which they depend for funding, Republicans have been on the offensive with “right-to-work” laws which allow employees of a unionized workplace to enjoy union benefits without paying dues. Such laws encourage other workers to stop paying dues, which then drains the union of the money it needs to survive.
If right-to-work reforms are “enacted in a dozen more states, the modern Democratic Party will cease to be a competitive power in American politics,” predicts anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist.
Six state governments have passed “right-to-work” laws since 2010. Missouri and Kentucky joined the club in 2016. Republicans prioritized these reforms because they understood how devastating they would be for unions and for the Democratic Party.
According to a recent report from the National Bureau of Economic Research, "right-to-work" laws can decrease Democratic votes in a presidential election by as much as 3.5% and can reduce voter turnout by up to 3%. This margin is easily big enough to change the winner of a swing state in a presidential election.
Editor's note: With the dual trends that unions are becoming less influential, and unions becoming disillusioned with the influence they are getting, the Democrats could face more and more trouble in upcoming elections.