And if that doesn’t work they will start cracking skulls (a favorite union pastime).
WASHINGTON (AP) – Unions say they are gearing up to spend more than $400 million to help re-elect President Barack Obama and lift Democrats this election year in a fight for labor’s survival.
Under siege in state legislatures around the country – and fearing the consequences of a Republican in the White House – union leaders say they have little choice as they try to beat back GOP efforts to curb collective bargaining rights or limit their ability to collect dues.
“People are digging deeper,” said Larry Scanlon, political director of the country’s largest public workers union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “If Republicans take over the presidency, Congress and enough state legislatures, unions will be out of business, pure and simple.”
Scanlon’s union was the biggest overall spender in the 2010 midterm elections, doling out about $93 million to help state and federal candidates, mostly Democrats. This year, AFSCME is expected to spend at least $100 million or more on political action, including television advertising, phone banks and member canvassing. The effort is to help the president, Democrats running for the House and Senate, gubernatorial candidates and key state lawmakers.
With increased spending planned by other labor groups, including the powerful Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO, unions are likely to top the $400 million they spent to help elect Obama four years ago.
And Obama has the nerve to complain about outside money trying to buy elections.