Whose Interests Are Special?

The Hill reports that unions and other liberal groups are vowing to make life miserable for any companies that contribute to Republican campaigns this year:

Liberal interest groups, watchdogs and unions on Monday threatened to boycott, protest and publicly embarrass corporations that spend money trying to sway the outcome of the November election.

Gathered Monday at the Washington headquarters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the groups issued a call to arms for the 2012 campaign, vowing to aggressively challenge companies that contribute to super-PACs and 501(c) nonprofit groups.

“If you secretly contribute and scheme to buy our elections, we’re going to come knocking on your door,” said Aaron Black of the Occupy Wall Street movement. “And it’s not just going to be a couple of us. It’s going to be thousands of us. Everywhere you turn your head.” …

Americans United for Change, a liberal group that has received labor backing, plans to offer a $25,000 cash reward to the first whistleblower who can prove a company has donated to a nonprofit without disclosing it.

What is really going on here, of course, is that unions and other left-wing groups want their near-monopoly on big-time political money to continue. Historically, the vast majority of special interest dollars that have been contributed to political campaigns have been on the left, and most of the money has come from unions. This chart from Open Secrets shows the top 25 donors to political campaigns from 1989 through 2012. You will note a remarkably consistent pattern:

That’s right: you have to get all the way to number nineteen to find a donor that gives primarily to Republicans. Not only that, of the top 20 donors, 12 are unions. Special interest money overwhelmingly favors the Democrats, and the unions and their left-wing allies want to keep it that way. Their desire to maintain their near-monopoly is understandable, I guess, but it is hard to understand how they can seriously object to companies’ joining them in the political money game.

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