Labor Union PACs Give $12.6 Million in Political Contributions in 2013

Labor union federal political activity continues strong in 2013 with PAC contributions to candidates, donations to super PACs and lobbying activity.

Labor union federal political action committees have given out more than $12.6 million to candidates so far in 2013, with 87 percent (or $10.5 million) of the contributions going to Democrats. In the full 24-month 2011-2012 cycle, labor union PACs gave candidates $60.7 million, with 90 percent (or $54.6 million) going to Democrats.

The top 2013 labor union PAC donor to candidates is the Engineers Political Education Committee, which gave out $1,022,500. The American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, Committee on Political Education, gave out $932,500. The International Brotherhood of Electrical WorkersPAC gave out $728,700. The Carpenters Legislative Improvement Committee gave out out $593,000. The American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees PEOPLE gave out $560,500.

In terms of receipts, the Service Employees International Union Committee on Political Education had receipts of $9.4 million. American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees PEOPLE had receipts of $4.9 million. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters'Democrat, Republican, Independent Voter Education had receipts of $4.3 million. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Active Ballot Club had receipts of $3.5 million. The American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education had receipts of $3.1 million.

The labor union PAC with the largest cash on hand is the Service Employees International Union Committee on Political Education which has $10.3 million. The International Longshoremen's Association Committee on Political Education has $8.4 million. The Engineers Political Education Committee has $6.2 million. The American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education has $4.7 million. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Active Ballot Club has $4.4 million.

Besides federal PAC activity, labor unions also make expenditures out of their union treasury for such things as independent expenditures, donations to super PACs, and lobbying.

For example, in 2013, the top labor union making independent expenditures is the Service Employees International Union. Their super PAC, the Service Employees International Union  PEA-Federal account, spent $1.6 million. Their PAC, the Committee on Political Education, spent $1.4 million. An affiliated PAC, the 1199 Service Employees International Union Federal Political Action Fund, spent a little over $308,791. View top 2013 independent expenditures by all groups.

The top union donating to Super PACs was the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, which gave at least $1,897,292. The AFL-CIO COPE Treasury gave at least $1,500,000. The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees gave at least $1,500,000. The National Education Association gave at least $650,000. The UNITE HERE TIP State & Local Fund gave at least $500,000.

For the first two quarters of 2013, labor unions have spent $22.4 million on lobbying. The AFL-CIO reported spending $2,060,000 on lobbying the executive and legislative branches. The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees spent $1,410,000. The National Education Association spent $1,295,637. The United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers spent $1,210,000. The Airline Pilots Association spent $1,150,000. View labor union 2013 lobbying amounts.