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The Symbiotic Relationship that Short Changes Americans

Wealthy democratic donors met with Big Labor and high interest liberal groups in Chicago this week to plot strategy for the 2014 Mid-Term Elections. The approaching elections, however, may very well be the beginning of the end for these symbiotic partners.

The liberal left has already begun to suggest that their pending demise is due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case in 2012 (see Supreme Court Rejects Corporate Campaign Spending Limits). In that case, the Court opened the door for unrestricted corporate spending on political elections stating that, “Political speech does not lose its First Amendment protection simply because its source is a corporation.”

Listening to the democrats’ complaints, one would have thought that the Democratic Party had been put at a tremendous disadvantage. However, statistics show that the fact is that Union money overshadows Koch influence in politics. Big labor and the Democratic Party suggest that it is the Koch brothers, major corporate donors to the Republican Party, who are the largest donors to political causes. This is simply not true. In the 2011 – 2012 election cycle, labor unions donated approximately 91% of its $143 million, or $130 million, in contributions to Democratic candidates for federal office (state and local campaign spending, and lobbying expenditures, are not included in this total); while the Koch’s donated approximately $36 million to conservative candidates. In addition, big labor spent an additional $3.3 billion from 2005 through 2011 on political “ground” activity as exposed in Big Labor’s Expense for Election Foot Soldiers, Finally in Media Spotlight. It is easy to do the math and understand that political spending to support the progressive/liberal cause far out paces conservative donors. These numbers do not include donations from non-union, progressive donors like George Soros or Tom Steyer.

It is no wonder Union Members are Not Happy with Their Leader’s Political Spending. Its political bent is a primary reason why the unions have been declining (see Why the Unions Declined). Big Labor’s identity crisis is directly related to the fact that it continues to utilize an outdated business model to politically bribe Democrats to pass new laws and regulations that would allow big labor to force unionize employees through Corporate Campaigns instead of providing true value to its membership outside the realm of politics.

The fact is, big labor is The elephant in the political spending room. In cooperation with the Democratic party, they continue to use a Divide and Conquer strategy against the American people as they are desperate to reinforce their failed strategies such as the minimum wage hike and bribing politicians (see Democrats See Doomed Minimum- Wage Plan as Election Boost and Dem Honda’s Silicon Valley Campaign Office is Inside SEIU HQ).

Conservatives need to wake up and utilize the one weapon unions fear most, which is personal contact with people/voters of all stripes. Discussion with, and education of the people ultimately served as the demise of the SEIU’s Death by a Thousand Cuts Corporate Campaign against my company as chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep.

David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Which Special Interests Are Partisan?

An analysis we published earlier this year, “Is Union Reform Partisan,” documented the fact that about 95% of political contributions by unions go to the Democratic party. But is corporate political spending is less partisan than union political spending? Equally important, to what extent does corporate political spending outweigh political spending by unions?

Parsing data from OpenSecrets.org, again, “a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit research group tracking money in U.S. politics,” what follows is information on all of the top 100 political spenders during the eleven election cycles between 1990 through 2010. These top 100 are divided into four categories; corporate, financial, union, and grassroots. The results were quite surprising, as summarized on the chart below:

The data used to generate these numbers comes from OpenSecrets.org’s “Top All-Time Donors, 1990-2010” table, which were downloaded onto spreadsheets and sorted into the four categories noted, while retaining in the far left column the rank of each contributor within the top 100. So the reader may view the assumptions, all four of these tables constitute the remainder of this post.

Readers are invited to mull the implications of these findings regarding the top 100 political spenders of the last 20 years in America:

1 – The corporate and financial sectors combined did outspend unions, by a ratio of almost exactly 2-to-1.

2 – Unions spent 95% of their contributions on Democrats.

3 – The corporate sector spent 56% of their contributions on Republicans, and the financial sector spent 53% of their contributions on Republicans. Their spending between the two parties was essentially nonpartisan.

4 – Overall, among the top 100 political spenders of the last 20 years, Democrats collected 62% of the takings, and Republicans only collected 38%.

It remains open to interpretation which party might be more beholden to special interests…

Here is the data:

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Union Engineered Voter Fraud?

During the 2004 Presidential election there were allegations of voter fraud; the 2000 Presidential election was alleged to have been “stolen” by the Republicans. If you go further back in history, you can point to evidence the Democratic machine in Chicago manipulated election results to throw the 1960 Presidential election victory to Kennedy. A close reading of American history would reveal election fraud as a challenge to our democracy from the very beginning, and in every decade since then. So it shouldn’t be any surprise that we’re seeing it now.

What is a surprise is the opportunities for voter fraud, in this age of biometric identification technology and total information awareness, are actually greater than ever. Using California as an example, here are some of the reasons why:

Voters are not required to present a verifiable photo identification when they vote, and if they wish, voters don’t even have to show up at the polling place, they can vote by mail. Voting by mail causes a variety of problems – first, it precludes anyone showing an identification, and second, it prolongs vote counts after the election as workers tabulate the ballots. And the greater the number of ballots requiring post-election, manual counting, the more opportunities there are for political operatives who have infiltrated our election workforce to manipulate results. And because voting by mail is done outside of the controlled environment of the voting booth at the polling place, there is no guarantee that these ballots are not filled out by someone other than the person supposedly voting.

There are horrendous reports coming in since November 2nd from all over the country documenting allegations of voter fraud. An article posted on RedState.com, entitled “How Unions or Their Allies Could be Stealing November’s Election Right Now,” alleges that massive, systemic, union-orchestrated fraud has been implemented across the U.S. this election and could have decided several close races in favor of Democrats. Whether or not this is true, or true at the scale being alleged, should not deter any concerned citizen from considering these charges, because they expose serious weaknesses that challenge the integrity of our voting process. Here are some of the allegations:

The SEIU and others funded the “Secretary of State Project” in 2005, pouring money into races to elect “reform minded” Secretaries of State in battleground states. In nine states since then they have successfully elected their candidates. Since the Secretary of State oversees elections, who sits in that position can potentially have a corrupting influence on election outcomes when there are recounts – or when there is a high percentage of mailed absentee ballots. In California, the employees who count and verify ballots are members of the SEIU. Is this appropriate? Are these people disinterested parties to election outcomes?

The report goes on to claim the SEIU has been attempting to manipulate the electoral system across the United States, engaging in actions ranging from submitting forged initiative signatures, to invalid voter registrations, to hacking into voter machines, to destroying evidence of hacked machines. The report discusses how fake IDs are being used to exploit lax voter registration procedures, that illegal immigrants are being signed up as “permanent absentee voters,” and that early voter “rallies” are being held where voters are instructed, as a group, how to mark their mail-in ballots.

Is all of this true? Are unions engaging in electoral manipulation that eclipses any potential manipulation by the other side? One thing is certain, they certainly have the financial power to do this. Unions, who compel employees to join their ranks and pay them mandatory dues, exercise financial clout that can overwhelm most other special interests, particularly when most other special interests are either terrified of unions or working with them. It is naive to dismiss the idea that big labor, big business, and big government would not have a common interest in colluding to squelch competition by emerging entrepreneurs and disruptive technologies.

If the primary practitioners of voter fraud in 2010 are indeed labor unions, it is an amazing feat to see their interests defeated nearly everywhere in the nation. Because if it is true, that they have gone into legal gray areas – if not engaged in blatant criminal activity – using their millions of well-paid, highly organized foot soldiers to penetrate every race, local, state and national, exploiting every weakness in the system, AND spent literally hundreds of millions of dollars in political campaigning to promote their agenda, why did they lose so badly?

The reason, of course, is because America doesn’t want unions to run their country – their President, their Congress, their State Legislatures, their school boards, their public utilities, their local city councils. American workers don’t want to be forced to pay dues to a union boss. They don’t want to see their upward mobility in the workforce governed by seniority and diversity quotas instead of merit and hard work. They don’t want to see competition erased from our economy. They don’t want to see unions and environmentalists provide cover for each other, as they dismantle our economy. They don’t want to see their taxes turned over to public sector pension funds and gambled on Wall Street, distorting the market and destroying small investors. They don’t want to be deceived anymore by well-heeled leftist politicians, funded through coercive dues instead of voluntary contributions, telling them capitalism is evil, that wealth is inevitably ill-gotten, and that equality of outcome is superior to equality of opportunity – legislating accordingly.

Whether or not unions fraudulently manipulate our election results, they certainly buy them. Any reforms to improve the integrity of our elections or impose yet another restriction on campaign finance must first address this fact – unions compel millions of American workers to become members, impose upon them mandatory dues, and use this illegitimately acquired wealth to exercise far too much influence on our democracy.