10.24.2011 0

Big Labor’s political clout begins to wane

AFL-CIO members with cardboard ObamaBy Adam Bitely — In 2008, Big Labor played a key role in electing Barack Obama to the presidency. The purple shirts of the SEIU became almost synonymous with his election. And the death grip that Big Labor has long held over the Democratic Party was completely visible to the American electorate.

But could Big Labor have guessed wrong when they bet the house on tying themselves to all levels of the Obama presidency? Recent developments show that the political clout of Big Labor is declining at a significant pace.

The 2010 election cycle may have started the beginning of the end for public employee unions. Big Labor spent monstrous sums of money on elections that were widely lost. As of late October 2010, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees had spent over $87 million on political activities in the 2010 midterm election cycle. Big Labor spent $10 million in just one primary in 2010 in an effort to unseat Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln — an effort that one Obama administration official said was the equivalent of flushing union members’ money down the toilet.

But when the results came in on election night, those allied with Big Labor paid a heavy price — especially those whose salaries are shanghaied due to compulsory union dues.

Just a few months later, Big Labor waged a political war in Wisconsin in an effort to protect powerful union bosses. This fight proved costly for the unions, and was a fight they ultimately lost. The showdown in Wisconsin gained much national media that has begun turning public opinion against the unions. In hotly contested recall unions, Big Labor was declared the loser by the voters as Republicans that opposed the status quo of Big Labor political power inside of government were able to hold onto enough seats to maintain a majority and stop the Big Labor power grab.

Now, as 2011 begins to draw to a close and the election cycle for 2012 starts to warm up, it appears that Big Labor is in a fight for its own survival.

Since Obama was elected, Americans have woken up to the stranglehold that public employee unions have quietly placed over governments at all levels. A 2009 poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports showed that 45 percent of Americans think labor unions weaken America. In September of 2011, 48 percent see no further need for labor unions with only 30 percent disagreeing.

As federal, state and local government budgets suffered from out-of-control spending, Big Labor opposed public sentiment in favor of sensible drawbacks in spending. This has had the result of turning many Americans that were apathetic about labor unions against them — as well as turning the union’s own members against the very organizations they are compelled to belong to.

A recent poll conducted by the polling company, inc. on behalf of Americans for Limited Government shows that 62 percent of private union member households pinpoint labor unions as playing a significant contributing factor in the overseas exodus of American jobs. These are the very people whose paychecks are reduced due to compulsory dues taken by union management while being told that the money is put towards keeping their jobs viable in America.

As Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson said, “If unions didn’t have compulsory dues payments which are funneled to Democratic Party political operations, Big Labor would be a non-entity in politics.”

Labor union members are coming around to the realization that the organizations that pilfer their paychecks may not be the vehicle towards prosperity. America as a whole is finally coming to the realization that Big Labor has long been working for the greed of the labor bosses and against the workers they claim to represent and the taxpayers who pay for the public sector.

If the present trend of Americans turning against Big Labor continues, the 2012 election could be the nail in the coffin to the political death grip that Big Labor holds over not only the Democratic Party but over our nation’s entire political system.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @AdamBitely.

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