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4,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Gentle readers:

On another active 'political' thread there is ongoing discussion about political contributions voluntary vs. coerced. I can’t speak to that issue. However, anyone interested in researching FACTS about who makes political contributions, in what amounts, and to whom, OPENSECRETS.ORG is for you. is the web site for the Center for Responsive Politics. The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-partisan, independent and non-profit organization that researches and tracks political contributions in national politics.

Details of political contributions can be viewed there in a multitude of ways. For example, one can look at presidential or Congressional elections. One can also focus on the donations made by various interest groups including but not limited to bankers, lawyers, labor organizations, business and trade groups, the manufacturing sector and more.

Before I continue, understand that everyone should be free to support the candidates of their choice in any legal manner they choose. That specifically includes financial contributions. However, federal law requires public reporting to provide transparency. is a very convenient way to access that transparency.

With that in mind, I suggest participants and non-participating readers of the other thread to research the size and final recipients of contributions made by organized labor political action committees (PACs). Note the total dollars by international organization and the amounts/percentages received by the candidates of each party. Then ask yourselves a series of questions.

1. How were these PAC dollars accumulated if not from individual union members?

2. If the dollars represent VOLUNTARY member contributions, what does that say about who and what typical union members support?

3. If the dollars are NOT voluntary, why not?

4. Might 'non-volutary' suggest organized and deliberate efforts to circumvent Beck? If so, by whom?

5. If the ultimate recipients of union PAC dollars do NOT represent the core values of a majority of individual union members, what does THAT suggest?

Sincerely yours

recoil sissy

PS: For extra credit, list the number of megadollar PAC contributions made by internationals representing ts.c members. Which candidates and which party did those dollars support - almost exclusively?

8,217 Posts
Recoil, a few questions please.

If a group of 100 pool their money to support a local candidate but one person wants the money to go to another candidate does that mean that the money is not VOLUNTARY?

Why are you singling out only union PAC funds when corporations also contribute LOTS of money to candidates.

Don't you think shareholders have a right to know and decide which candidate the corporation contributes to?

So the difference between the two would be?

4,338 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Good afternoon likes-to-shoot,

You ask very good questions. I’ll address them one at a time.

Question 1:

Whatever assumptions go with your first question (you weren't very specific) have a significant influence on the answer. For example,

A. Let’s assume “Joe” knows before donating the likelihood of the pool contributing to a candidate he supports is nearly nonexistent. If Joe contributes anyway, it would be voluntary and he would be a fool.

B. OTOH, Joe might not have been well informed. Maybe he honestly thought the pool would donate to a candidate Joe supported. Let’s further assume Joe was surprised when it didn’t work out that way.

If the outcome was a 'one off', Joe might pool his money with that group again. If however, the pool's donation was consistent with its previous allocations, Joe would be a fool for pooling his dollars with THAT group again.

How 'bout we cut to the chase. If "Joe" is a union member, he is free under the law to contribute to or opt out of his union's PAC. Either way, Joe should harbor no illusions about the identity and nature of candidates union PACs support. Virtually EVERY union dollar goes to a lib/dem/socialist candidate.
If Joe is cool with that, its HIS decision alone. If Joe is NOT cool with that and fails to opt out, his contributions ARE voluntary and he is VOLUNTARILY supporting lib/dem/socialists and their values.

Question 2

I mentioned union PAC money because that was part of the discussion on the other thread. Corporate PAC contributions, as I recall, were not. However, lists them all. I was pretty clear about that when I wrote, “bankers, lawyers, labor organizations, business and trade groups, the manufacturing sector and more” in my first post.

By all means, look up whomever and whatever strikes your fancy. Then draw your own conclusions based on fact. For example, you might start by listing the number of international unions on obummer’s top 20 contributors in 2008 and again in 2012. See how many union PACs you find on Romney's list. Do the same for other entities and draw your own conclusions about who supports whom.

Make the same sort of comparison for other candidates in other races. Pick you PACs and elections so to speak. The patterns are obvious. Let us know what you find.

Question 3

Shareholders and PAC members are separate and unrelated entities. The rights and limitations of each is defined by laws applicable to it, not the other.

In stark contrast to organized labor, there is NO expectation - overt or implied - for a shareholder of any corporation to contribute to any PAC. When corporations start deducting PAC dollars from a shareholder's dividends or REQUIRES a shareholder to opt out of said deductions, we can discuss the subject again.

Question 4

What’s the difference between “the two”? If by "the two" you mean union members and shareholders, the answer is pretty much ‘everything’.

The Beck case wasn't filed by a shareholder to protect shareholders.

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