New information claims Big Labor was a big spender on "political activities" in the two-year period leading up to the 2016 election.
Citing federal disclosure reports, the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR) says organized labor spent over $1.7 billion on 2016 election efforts. That makes labor unions, says the NILRR, "the only 501(c)5 entities capable of sustaining this kind of political expenditure for the past decade."
"Organized labor, just like anybody else in the public policy marketplace, has the right to speak politically – and some of the money is obviously Political Action Committee (PAC) money and money that goes to political entities," says Mark Mix of the National Right to Work Committee, an affiliate of National Institute for Labor Relations Research.
"[But] one of the most troubling aspects of this $1.71 billion is that $1.3 billion came from the general treasury [funds] of organized labor, as they report to the Department of Labor," he adds.
According to Mix, that general treasury money is dues money that's often collected as a condition of employment by the very employees the unions claim to speak for.
"What that means is that $1.3 billion of union general treasury funds were used for lobbying and politics," Mix explains. "In our experience, many of the workers who are under unions' monopoly power disagree with the positions that union officials take with that money."
The amount spent on the 2016 election cycle was larger than the expenditure during the 2012 cycle that kept President Obama in the White House. And according to the NILRR, it "dwarfed" the combined political spending of George Soros and the Koch Brothers during the 2016 cycle.
OneNewsNow was unsuccessful in obtaining a comment from AFL-CIO.