The summer IAM (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO) Journal featured a 9-page cover story entitled “JOBS NOW!” Looking at this statement, how can anyone disagree? No one could argue that having a job is a bad thing; it allows an individual the opportunity to make choices in life. The disturbing aspect of this particular issue of the IAM is the union’s advocacy of a second stimulus package.
When I first read this issue of the IAM journal, I felt at a basic gut level that something was not right. There has to be some intricate piece of the puzzle, I am missing. Through the years I could not remember the union (whether the IAM or TCU or its lowest common denominator BRAC) taking such a forefront advocacy position on this gigantic of new legislation. The union’s promotion of a second stimulus package was re-enforced with tear-out postcards addressed to the “friends” of Labor (sic) Senator Reid and Congresswoman Pelosi.
The more I shake my head at what is occurring in Washington with our elected officials, the more a tiny voice in me says, “follow the money.”
So down the rabbit hole.. guess what I found?
(Via .. www.opensecrets.org )
Of the top 100 donor groups or political action committees with totals from 1989 forward, labor (aka unions) makes up 22 of them. Hmm.. lets take a quick peek at a couple, making the list at…
5.) International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
17.) International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)
Hmm.. what else could I find?
Well, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has done some interesting campaign finance raising for the 2009-2010 cycle. In sector demographics Labor (unions) are number 1(one), with total of $186,000.00; health sector is relatively close second at $149,000.00. Could anyone have questioned that? Going back one campaign cycle to the 2007-2008 period, Labor came in second with $324,200.00, only to Finance, Insurance and Real Estate which brought in $353,100.00. I’m guessing they were better friends with dear old Nancy during that period then Labor.. but labor is making a strong showing now. I don’t remember that part in kindergarten, where you are taught to buy your “friends,” I must have been sick.
Okay let’s take a look at Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, since the IAM thinks we should send him a snazzy postcard. For the most recent campaign finance cycle 2009-2010 Labor ranks at number 2, with a total of $140,000.00. Hope Harry does go snooping around to find out how much Nancy has in her purse from us. The Health sector ranks as number 1 (one) for Reid with $185,000.00 in donation thus far. Going back into the not-so-distant past of 2007-08 campaign fiscal cycle, Labor ranked at number six with total contributions of $131,300.00. Okay it seems Labor is making up for their previously disappointing year by exceeding old Harry’s previous contributions.
Now I understand how campaign finance works in its present form, you give money and ask for favors.. campaign finance reform will be another topic for another day. My contention is that these politicians should not be bought, they should serve with the best interests of their constituents in mind.
And unions should not request their members send any appeal to Congress appealing for a second stimulus package! Are they nuts? Heck only 15% of the first Stimulus package has been spent, and we don’t even know exactly where that money has gone.. plus may I add, there was supposed to be job creation money in that bill, what happened there? During the last political cycle many of us were thrown under the bus for hope and change; now the unions what to put us back on the bus with no driver as we go merrily down the bankruptcy highway, headed for the cliff. This is an irresponsible and negligent act for the union; and demonstrates that it places the rank and file members, below the union’s self-centered quest to increase membership, regardless of the consequences to the worker or this nation.
The union’s narcissistic ramblings of how a second stimulus package is going to help the country is as realistic as any of us walking on water and I’ll promise you one thing, the unions won’t help you when you go under.