Torqued at Dems, Unions Sit on Wallets

Support to House Democrats drops nearly 50% in first quarter
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2011 7:36 AM CDT
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka speaks during a luncheon at the National Press Club Friday, May 20, 2011 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Angry at lack of support by the Democratic Party in the face of Republican attacks, unions have sharply cut back their financial support, reports the Washington Post. Union political action committee spending for House Democrats dropped nearly in half for the first quarter of 2011, compared to the same period in 2009—to $3.1 million from $5.8 million. “It doesn’t matter if candidates and parties are controlling the wrecking ball or simply standing aside,” said the president of the AFL-CIO Friday. “The outcome is the same either way."

The biggest drop comes from the International Union of Operating Engineers, which gave $1.6 million to House Democrats in 2009, but so far in 2011 have not given any money to either party. “Where are our friends in Congress?" said the president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which has suspended all federal donations. "Where have they been to fight back on our behalf with the same voracity and the same discipline of our enemies?”

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