Labor-Dem money-go-round

The Washington Examiner references Ivan Osorio on the Amalgamated Bank union's endorsement Democratic candidates and cash offerings to PACs.

Ivan Osorio, editorial director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said the union-controlled bank's lending in electoral politics is far less transparent than the typical political activity of unions.

"One major difference is that union political donations are done directly. That's very clear. They collect so much money in dues, they give so much money to candidates … It's pretty straightforward," he said. "With a bank, it's supposed to be run like a business, so it's not a direct donation. Whether that kind of campaign lending constitutes undue risk, that's for the bank to decide."

Osorio said Amalgamated's boardroom activism separates it from most other banks.

"It's driven by a political agenda in a way that banks generally aren't," Osorio said. "If there is a pattern of shareholder resolutions that seek to advance some sort of political agenda, clearly there are considerations other than what's best for the pension fund coming into play."