Tags: unions | target | state | races

Unions Shift Money to Local, State Races

Friday, 27 Sep 2013 09:04 AM

By Cathy Burke

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The nation's largest labor federation plans to shift more of its political resources into state and local campaigns next year.

AFL-CIO political director Michael Podhorzer says mid-term election spending is expected to be at the same or greater level as the 2010 campaign cycle, when the AFL-CIO spent more than $53 million on federal and state races.

Top targets for defeat include Republican governors in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, where unions have fought efforts to curb collective bargaining rights.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the Republican who survived a recall election, is a top target, Politico reported.

Describing the battle for Democrats to retake the House as “steep,” Podhorzer said there will be “more resources” poured instead into state-based races than the group has in other recent cycles.

The recarving of congressional districts has made the challenge of wresting the House back from Republicans harder, he added. But he argued Republicans are hurting their own case with rhetoric as well as potential actions, including the looming threat of a government shutdown, and the potential stifling of an immigration reform bill, Politico reported.

As for congressional races, Podhorzer said, the successes of the GOP in 2010 were part of a “set of circumstances that aren’t going to repeat themselves."

But he said labor's political efforts will also boost Democrats in key congressional districts.
The federation represents 57 unions and about 12 million members.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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