Former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) was one of the more labor-friendly Republicans in Congress. Those close ties are paying off for him as labor unions are a major donor to his “Defending Main Street” Super-PAC, which is targeting conservatives in upcoming primaries. So far, unions have contributed $765,000 to support LaTourette’s efforts. The figure represents 86% of the PAC’s current cash-on-hand.
“Main Street is committed to electing solution-oriented, center-right Republicans to the House. We are grateful to the unions who want to help us do that and to paraphrase Rhett Butler — ‘Frankly, I don’t give a damn’ — about the criticism,” LaTourette told The Hill.
In recent months, segments of the GOP establishment have vowed to battle conservatives, especially those aligned with the Tea Party, in Republican primaries. There is a widely shared view in Washington that the Tea Party is making “governing” difficult for the GOP. Never mind that they wouldn’t even be in the position to govern without the Tea Party, it seems short-sighted to attack one’s core base of voters.
Given the scale of the union contributions to “Defending Main Street,” it isn’t likely that an endorsement from the group would be particularly helpful to a candidate in a Republican primary.