Big unions will be opening up their wallets in support of Democrats this fall.
Two of the biggest unions, The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), plan to spend $96 million between them backing Democrats, reports The Hill. The AFL-CIO declined to disclose its plans, but they are also expected to spend big money supporting Democratic candidates.
Union officials told The Hill that AFSCME plans to spend $50 million during the 2010 elections, less than the $67 million it spent in 2008, but more than any previous mid-term. AFSCME President Gerry McEntee said the money will be used for “a massive incumbent protection program.”
Meanwhile, the SEIU, which spent $85 million during the 2008 cycle, plans to spend $44 million for 2010. “In the past, we have not paid as much attention to incumbent protection as we have this year,” Jon Youngdahl, national political director for the SEIU told The Hill.
For their part, AFL-CIO officials in Nevada say they will focus on supporting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s campaign. “It’s our single focus. Harry Reid has done more for the state — more than anyone in history,” Danny Thompson, executive secretary-treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO, said.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com