The country’s leading firefighters union says it has ended all campaign contributions to Democrats in Congress and the White House because they’re not protecting firefighters’ interests, The New York Times reports. Upset by federal budget cuts to public safety programs and by state laws curbing public employee unions, the 300,000-member International Association of Fire Fighters said the contributions ban will stay in force indefinitely.
“We’re feeling taken for granted,” union president Harold A. Schaitberger said of the relationship between firefighters and their traditional Democratic allies.
In the last campaign cycle the union gave $1.9 million to Democrats and less than a quarter of that amount, $408,500, to Republicans. Public and private unions overwhelmingly support Democrats. But some labor leaders say President Barack Obama and his party in Congress have done too little in return for union support, although none has thrown a public tantrum quite like the firefighters union display.
Schaitberger said firefighters will redirect their money, endorsements, and resources to state and local races.
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