Public-Employees Union No. 1 Election Spender

1.6-million member AFSCME spends $87.5M on campaign
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2010 8:44 AM CDT
AFSCME Top Election Spender
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees President Gerald McEntee talks to attendees at the AFCSME convention in San Francisco on Monday, July 28, 2008.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(Newser) – The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees has become the biggest outside donor to the midterm elections, thanks to a last-minute push of funds to Democrats that brings its total election spending to $87.5 million, the Wall Street Journal reports. The organization, which boasts 1.6 million members, pulled from a $16 million emergency fund and took out a $2 million loan last week in its effort to help the Dems.

Some conservatives argue that public-sector unions have undue influence; critics hold they are essentially government-funded, since members’ paychecks come from the state. With “a lot of people attacking public-sector workers as the problem,” said the group's president, “we're spending big. And we're damn happy it's big. And our members are damn happy it's big—it's their money.”
(Read more AFSCME stories.)

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