OpenSecrets.org on last-minute union campaign spending

It will be a while before the final data are in and a complete picture of campaign spending by outside groups across the political and ideological spectrum can be completed, but Center for Responsive Politics reporter Lauren Hepler posted an important Election Day wrap-up on the OpenSecrets.org blog.

“In the final week before Election Day, several high profile labor unions spent hundreds of thousands — or even upward of a million dollars — in last-minute outside spending on congressional elections across the country, adding to unions’ varied political activity this election cycle, according to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis of federal filings,” Hepler said.

“The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees topped other unions in outside spending last week, doling out more than $1 million from Monday to Wednesday alone, mostly on advertisements opposing Republican House candidates,” according to Hepler.

“In addition, the Service Employees International Union spent $384,000 last week, primarily on phone banks and campaign mailings supporting Democratic candidates,” she said.

“Commonsense Ten, a liberal independent expenditure committee formed earlier this year with significant financial backing from labor unions, spent just shy of $450,000 last week, with a majority of the funds going to campaign materials opposing Ben Lange, a Republican challenger to sophomore Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.”

Helper has provided an excellent roundup of union campaign spending data that is well-worth extended study. She was assisted by Center for Responsive Politics researcher Spencer MacColl. Go here for the complete report.

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