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Latest News - October 2012

October 25, 2012
Capital Eye Opener, Oct. 25: Unions Worry Support Could Be in Vain, Giants Make Eponymous Contributions, and More
Source: Open
By: Michelle Merlin

Labor union super PACs are among the largest spenders benefiting the campaigns of President Barack Obama and other Democrats in this election, with the AFL-CIO Workers’ Voice PAC, the NEA Advocacy Fund and the Service Employees International Union among the most active super PACs in the country.

In spite of their spending, union groups and others fear that Obama and congressional Democrats might agree to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits after the election, according to The Hill, and are looking into forming a coalition to lobby against such a move.

Labor groups are overwhelmingly supportive of Democrats. Union PACs have contributed $41.1 million to Democrats and only $4.7 million to Republicans, according to Center for Responsive Politics data. Examples: The SEIU PAC has given $1.2 million to Democrats and nothing to Republicans, and the NEA's PAC has given $1.3 million to Democrats and just $58,000 to GOP candidates. Independent expenditures tell a similar story: The AFL-CIO Workers’ Voice PAC, for instance, has spent $3.2 million, almost entirely to benefit Democrats.

Just one day after Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) called for an investigation of Republican voter registration activities in his state, his son was caught talking about how to commit voter fraud on tape and forced to resign from his position as field director.

Luckily for the Morans, the race for Virginia's 8th isn't competitive, with Moran holding a 13-point lead over his opponent Patrick Murray. His seat is so guaranteed that there has been no reported outside spending in favor of Murray and only $11,000 for Moran. Moran himself has raised and spent about $1 million and his opponent raised less than 20% of that amount.

The timing of the incident is less fortunate. Earlier this week, Moran called for an investigation into Republican National Committee voter outreach efforts. The RNC employed the firm Strategic Allied Consulting, which is being investigated in Florida after dozens of suspicous voter registration forms turned up.

AT&T Park isn't the only place where the San Francisco Giants have beaten the Detroit Tigers. Despite the Motor City team's 8-3 loss in Game One of the World Series, the Giants also are beating the Tigers in total campaign contributions for the 2012 election cycle.

Coming in at No. 2 for MLB playoff team contributions, the Giants have donated $277,600, with 93 percent of it going to Republican candidates. However, owner Bill Neukom and his wife, Sally, have donated to Democrats, including $5,000 each to President Barack Obama and $10,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last year.

The Tigers are fourth on the list of playoff team donors, with $146,450 in contributions. Although the team favors Republicans 78 percent of the time, owner Mike Ilitch has been very generous to candidates of both parties.

Ilitch and his wife, Marian, have given a combined $10,000 to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, $10,000 total to Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and $30,800 each to the Republican National Committee.



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