Unions are the big money in politics. It’s foolish to think otherwise as The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel points out here:
Mr. Reid was quite agitated on the Senate floor about “unlimited money,” by which he must have been referring to the $4.4 billion that unions had spent on politics from 2005 to 2011 alone, according to this newspaper. The Center for Responsive Politics’ list of top all-time donors from 1989 to 2014 ranks Koch Industries No. 59. Above Koch were 18 unions, which collectively spent $620,873,623 more than Koch Industries ($18 million). Even factoring in undisclosed personal donations by the Koch brothers, they are a rounding error in union spending.
Mr. Reid was similarly heated over the tie-up between outside groups and politicians, by which he surely meant the unions who today openly operate as an arm of the Democratic Party. The press may despise the Kochs, but even it isn’t stupid enough to claim they are owned by the GOP. Most outside conservatives groups, including the Koch-supported Americans for Prosperity, back candidates and positions that challenge the Republican line. And in any event, every conservative 501(c)(4) is so terrified of the hay the media and regulators would make over even a hint of coordination with the GOP, they keep a scrupulous distance.