The Democratic Party may have inadvertently sent a message to organized labor by choosing a non-union venue of Charlotte, N.C., for the party’s nominating convention. And now unions have responded — underwhelmingly — by closing their pocketbooks.
“I think everybody is on the same page politically around a lot of different candidates, but the unions are going to invest in their members before they invest in a convention that’s being held in a place where there are no organized hotels, organized restaurants, etc.,” declared Chuck Rocha, president of the union consulting firm Solidarity Strategies and former political director of the United Steelworkers in an interview with Politico
None of the official Democratic National Convention events next month so far have been sponsored by unions like AFL-CIO, or the International Brotherhood of Teamsters — organizations that have been major contributors in the past, according to the website.
The Service Employees International Union, which recently suffered a defeat in the Wisconsin recall election, reportedly has made a contribution — but not enough to prevent organizers from falling $25 million short of their $36.6 million goal as of late June, Politico reports.
In contrast, unions coughed up $9 million of the $62 million raised to fund the 2008 DNC in Denver and sponsored related events. The absence of labor money this time around has been exacerbated by bans on corporate contributions and caps on individual donations.
Democrats apparently have already had to embrace austerity measures as a result of this year’s smaller contributions, including a decision to drop a planned kickoff event on Labor Day, according to the news organization.
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