Unions step forward to balance conservative PAC spending


In the wake of the Citizens United decision, we’ve noted the formation of new political action committees forming cash caches to participate in the 2010 midterm elections, along with renewed promises from established groups. Most have been aiming to help Republican candidates, but now unions are promising a big presence as well.

According to The Hill, the focus this year will be on defense. Unions plan to assist endangered incumbents who voted for politically-difficult but union-supported legislation. Certain House freshman in particular will get a helping hand.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is planning to spend in excess of $50M this year. That’s down from what it spent in 2008, but is a new record for expenditures during a midterm. The union says it will be spending on eight key Senate races and 34 key House races.

Service Employees International Union is planning to spend $44M, which is just over half what it spent in 2008. It is said to be focusing on 15 House races where Democrats face difficulty.

The Hill said that the AFL-CIO also plans an active role this year but declined to get into specifics.