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News Link • Politics: Democratic Campaigns

Two Takes on Political Donations

• Chidem Kurdas

The Wall Street Journal reports that the biggest campaign spender of 2010 is a public sector union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which lavished $87.5 million on helping Democrats. This single union outspent the US Chamber of Commerce, which came second with $75 million.

Reading the WSJ article by Brody Mullins and John D. McKinnon, I thought that AFSCME is giving taxpayer money to politicians who will help it further pick my pocket.  Whereas had I confined myself to reading the New York Times’ front-page piece on the same topic, I would have had no such concern, because there is no mention of AFSCME.  The NYT campaign finance story focuses entirely on the US Chamber of Commerce and says not a word about the public union.

Now, you can tote up political donations in different ways and the amounts change all the time. Nevertheless, the NYT closely follows a script propagated by the Obama White House and Democratic party, according to which business interests dominate political spending and have a corrupting influence on Republicans.  

That storyline is false on two counts. Democrats are deep into taking money from and fostering special interests like unions. But there is a more fundamental hypocrisy.


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