Email date: 5/29/07
In this update:
1. Business donates $12 to campaigns for every $1 from unions
2. What would the founding fathers say?
Conventional wisdom makes the political duel between business and unions out to be a battle of evenly matched heavyweights. For at least the last decade, management and labor have not been in remotely similar weight classes, a Democracy Campaign study released today shows.
Our analysis also shows that another political orthodoxy – that business bankrolls Republicans while labor unions fund the Democrats – is a myth. Corporate interests are indeed the GOP’s major benefactors, but Democrats also are getting five times as much campaign money from business than labor is giving them.
This explains a lot. For example, it certainly provides insight into why Jim Doyle agreed to a business tax break – so-called single factor taxation – that even Tommy Thompson wouldn’t support. It also puts Joe Wineke’s divided allegiances in a new light.
Campaign donations to candidates is not the only place where the rise of corporate influence within the Democratic Party is plainly visible. The Democrats’ leading "issue advocacy" group in Wisconsin also is being fed by a pipeline through which major corporate donations flow. When this fact is pointed out, the group’s leadership gets a little touchy.
The Democracy Campaign specializes in watching the goings-on at the State Capitol and rarely has the time to be an avid Washington watcher. But no one with more than a passing interest in democracy could help but notice a White House directive known cryptically as NSPD 51 and HSPD 20.
The mainstream media have yet to pay it much heed, but it did catch the eye of Progressive Magazine editor Matt Rothschild. To read Matt’s commentary, go here. And that rumbling sound you hear is surely more than a few of our nation’s founders stirring in their graves.