Union Stakes Huge Claim Behind Obama

Washington Matters

Union Stakes Huge Claim Behind Obama

The SEIU, which represents workers in the service industries, today announced it will spend $85 million this year -- about $42 per union member -- to help elect Barack Obama and pro-labor members of Congress. That's $20 million more than the union spent four years ago and $1 million more than John McCain will get from the federal government to run his fall campaign. And the money is only the beginning.

The union also says 100,000 of its members will volunteer their time for canvassing and get-out-the-vote efforts, especially in swing states such as Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Radio and TV advertising will hit McCain's record on families and workers, the union says, and push for the election of pro-labor members of Congress (mostly Democrats) who would likely help push through an Obama agenda.

This is a huge amount of money, adding to what is already expected to be a vast Democratic advantage in spending. And remember, the SEIU is only one union. While the others may not spend quite so much, they certainly will fork out millions on Obama's behalf, too.