Media Ignores Democrat, Union Donors When Decrying Money in Politics
It’s hunting season, and the mainstream media is firing at big conservative donors.
The Koch Brothers are a common target, with Chris Matthews not so much playing “Hardball” as bean ball, devoting a segment called “Dirty, Angry Money,” where he throws an apoplectic fit at any conservative donor with an outsized checkbook.
Rolling Stone’s Julian Brookes picks up the theme in his adoring review of activist filmmaker Robert Greenwald’s "Koch Brothers Exposed," documenting the diabolical activities of the nefarious brothers. Of course, he fails mention George Soros--neither the 15+ million dollars he donated to over 520 liberal organizations dedicated to defeating former President Bush, saying he would sacrifice his entire fortune to defeat Bush “if someone guaranteed it,” nor any mention of his ties to LightSquared and a host of other questionable activities.
Also missing is the fact that Koch Enterprises employs 67,000 people (none of whom seem to be dealing drugs or robbing banks) or that the Koch Brothers have donated over 100 million dollars to MIT for the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, 30 million to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 25 million to MD Anderson Cancer Center, 25 million to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, and 15 million to the Weill Cornell Medical Center (along with a pledge of 100 million dollars to the New York State Theater and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts).
While bashing donors to conservative candidates, the mainstream media fails to mention the 450 million that will be spent by Big Labor in the 2012 elections.
According to AP, one union alone (AFSCME) spent 93 million on the 2010 elections.
“We’re the big dog,” said Larry Scanlon, head of AFSCME’s political operations, “but we don’t like to brag.”
Since AFSCME can pay for political ads using member dues (no matter if the members agree or not), and which amount to roughly $390 per member, it’s easy to come in under the banner of the little guy.
Also absent from mainstream reporting is the fact that public sector union spending on elections, (AFSCME, SEIU, American Federation of Teachers, and the list goes on and on) is that this money is essentially funded with taxpayer cash, since members' salaries and dues come from state budgets.
According to Opensecrets.org, the 2010 elections saw PACs giving $238,450,722 to Democrats and $181,565,844 to Republicans, with public sector unions spending vastly more than any other outside group.
AFSCME and the SEIU plan to spend at least $185 million electing Obama this year.
The class warfare commandos aren’t going away, and big money in politics isn’t earth-shattering news.
What’s notable, however, is the class warfare reporting in the mainstream media, that it’s the big guys, the 1%ers, against the little guy.
But these aren’t the little guys.
This isn’t some loose collection of camp counselors and molecular biologists, sandwich makers, and golf starters who magically coalesced through some grassroots Internet campaign.
“We’re the big dog,” Larry Scanlon said. He said it, not me.
Oh, and way to not brag.