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Letter: Unions also benefitting from political donations

Unions also benefitting from political donations

I found Rod Watson’s column in the Jan. 23 News interesting. I must admit that I agree with some of his comments regarding the corrosive effects of money in current-day politics. I am, however, amused by his omission of a significant part of the story.

As is the case with virtually every liberal scribe who has opined on this topic since the Citizens United case, the words “corporations,” “developers” and/or “wealthy” appear prominently in each of these articles, including Watson’s, giving the impression that big business is the only beneficiary of government largess purchased with campaign contributions. If Watson, and others of his ilk, were being intellectually honest, they would mention the role of union contributions in the political process, rather than trying to dupe the reader into believing that it is only the rich who make large donations seeking some form of payback from their favored candidate.

According to the Heritage Foundation, through July 2010, unions had spent significantly more money in political campaigns than all corporations combined. The Center for Responsive Politics states that eight of the top 10 all-time political contributors are labor unions.

Now I realize that information such as this does not fit into the progressive diatribe against America’s sinister corporate empire, and it would obviously be inconvenient for Watson to mention it. If, however, you are going to try to convince readers that public funding of campaigns is a good idea, it might be useful to present all of the facts.

After all, not all readers believe that capitalism is an evil creation to be continually decried. And many taxpayers do understand that unions, both private and public sector, are often the beneficiaries of the huge sums of their members’ money they spend to buy political favors.

Thomas R. Augello