Missing Wisconsin senators rely heavily on union campaign dollars

Daniel Bice and Ben Poston:

The 14 Wisconsin Democratic senators who fled to Illinois share more than just political sympathy with the public employees and unions targeted by Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill.
The Senate Democrats count on those in the public sector as a key funding source for their campaigns.
In fact, nearly one out of every five dollars raised by those Democratic senators in the past two election cycles came from public employees, such as teachers and firefighters, and their unions, a Journal Sentinel analysis of campaign records shows.
“It’s very simple,” said Richard Abelson, executive director of District Council 48 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “We have interests, and because of that, we attempt to support candidates who support our interests. It’s pretty hard to find Republicans who support our interests these days.”
Critics of Walker’s budget-repair bill say it would mean less union money for Democrats. That’s because the legislation would end automatic payroll deductions for dues and would allow public employees to opt out of belonging to a union.

Related: WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators.

One thought on “Missing Wisconsin senators rely heavily on union campaign dollars”

  1. The last paragraph of this post is less than truthful. It implies that union dues money goes to political campaigns. It does not. The money that goes to campaigns is from additional voluntary donations from union members through a program such as SEIU’s COPE (Committee on Political Education). It is a contribution which is not tax-deductible, as it goes to political campaigning. As far as “opting out” of belonging to a union, represented employees can currently make a “fair share” payment in lieu of dues. It is calculated as the portion of dues which goes directly to negotiating a contract. In other words, they are paying only for the benefit they are receiving – the cost of bargaining on their behalf.

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