Speaking to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis admitted she was biased toward unions. Unions only account for 11.9 percent of the workforce, but Solis’ favoritism puts them ahead of the other 88 percent of the American workers.
From the Washington Examiner:
President Obama is staying mostly quiet about the union battle going on in Wisconsin. His labor secretary, Hilda Solis, is not.
“The fight is on!” Solis told a cheering crowd at the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting over the weekend in Washington. Giving her support to “our brothers and sisters in public employee unions,” Solis pledged aid to unionized workers who are “under assault” in Wisconsin and elsewhere.
It’s no surprise Solis sympathizes with the unions against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s budget reform proposal. After all, Solis often tells audiences how proud she is that her father was a Teamsters shop steward and her mother belonged to the United Steelworkers union. “Admittedly, I am a little biased,” she told the DNC, “because … I come from a union household.”
But is it the role of the secretary of labor to take sides in a fight that pits public employee union members against workers and taxpayers who support Walker’s reforms? After all, the Labor Department mission statement says its purpose is “to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States.” It doesn’t say anything about unionized wage earners, job seekers, and retirees.
“The Labor Department should not represent only that part of the work force that is unionized,” says Elaine Chao, labor secretary under George W. Bush. “It should be responsible for the overall welfare of the entire American work force.”
While Obama downplays his links to the Wisconsin protesters, Solis’ language is quite similar to the president’s original knee-jerk reaction. Shortly after the protest began, Obama told Milwaukee’s WTMJ-TV, “Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions.”
Further, the DNC’s Organizing for America is actively helping organize protests in Wisconsin. From Politico:
The Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America arm — the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign — is playing an active role in organizing protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to strip most public employees of collective bargaining rights.
OfA, as the campaign group is known, has been criticized at times for staying out of local issues like same-sex marriage, but it’s riding to the aide of the public sector unions who hoping to persuade some Republican legislators to oppose Walker’s plan. And while Obama may have his difference with teachers unions, OfA’s engagement with the fight — and Obama’s own clear stance against Walker — mean that he’s remaining loyal to key Democratic Party allies at what is, for them, a very dangerous moment.
OfA Wisconsin’s field efforts include filling buses and building turnout for the rallies this week in Madison, organizing 15 rapid response phone banks urging supporters to call their state legislators, and working on planning and producing rallies, a Democratic Party official in Washington said.
It is no surprise that the Democratic Party is beholden to Big Labor. Unions are one of the key funders of Democrats across the country.
The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFMSE) spent over $90 million in the 2010 congressional election. They were so desperate to give that they had to tap into a $16 million emergency account and take out a $2 million loan.
The Center for Responsive Politics lists several unions on their “Top All-Time Donors list.” The list calculates campaign donations from 1989 through 2010. Over half of the top fifteen donors are unions. Almost all give over 90 percent of their support to Democrats:
#3 American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSME) $42,619,761 with 98% going to Democrats.
#7 Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $33,056,216 with 97% going to Democrats
#8 National Education Association (NEA) $30,446,880 with 92% going to Democrats.
#9 Laborers Union $30,292,050 with 92% going to Democrats
#10 Teamsters Union $29,319,982 with 93% going to Democrats
#11 Carpenters & Joiners Union $29,265,808 with 89% going to Democrats
#12 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) $29,140,232 with 95% going to Democrats
#13 American Federation of Teachers (AFT) $28,733,991 with 98% going to Democrats
Solis, Obama, and the DNC union favoritism is not new, but the brazen talk of an open bias is shocking. The lack of impartiality shows that business and non-union workers cannot get equal or fair treatment by this administration.