Big union prepared to spend big during midterms


AFL-CIO deputy political director Mike Podhorzer said that the union was not capping its spending during the midterm elections at the $53M total it had previously announced. He told reporters that the union was prepared to dig deeper into its warchest, and was also narrowing down its field of play.

The move comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling which many believe will unleash unprecedented political spending from corporations and other interested parties.

The AFL-CIO strategy, according to a Huffington Post report, is to protect key Democratic incumbents, and do what it can to prevent a Repubican takeover of the House of Representatives.

HP’s Sam Stein noted that AFL-CIO’s principal counterpart, the US Chamber of Commerce, is set to spend $75M and that adding in planned expenditures from other conservative organizations means there may be as much as $300M spent on behalf of Republican candidates.

For that reason, AFL-CIO says it will spend whatever it has, and going over the $53M amount is pretty much a foregone conclusion. “We plan on spending what it takes to communicate with every member in every district that is at stake and to get the vote of union members back where it has been for the last six cycles,” said Podhorzer.

RBR-TVBR observation: Battleground status is a wonderful thing – a hot election is definitely the driver behind a bank-account-enriching political revenue windfall. And when one group takes an interest in a particular race, it usually inspires an equal and opposite reaction from the other side. All signs continue to point to a very healthy election season for broadcasters located in the right places.