Friday, October 22, 2010

Bark and Bite

Following up on the yesterday's thoughts about the lessons we should heed from the current troubles in France about the dangers of a country's public sector becoming a dominant political force comes news that the when it comes to the 2010 election, the Public-Employees Union Is Now Campaign's Big Spender (WSJ-sub req);

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is now the biggest outside spender of the 2010 elections, thanks to an 11th-hour effort to boost Democrats that has vaulted the public-sector union ahead of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and a flock of new Republican groups in campaign spending.

The 1.6 million-member AFSCME is spending a total of $87.5 million on the elections after tapping into a $16 million emergency account to help fortify the Democrats' hold on Congress. Last week, AFSCME dug deeper, taking out a $2 million loan to fund its push. The group is spending money on television advertisements, phone calls, campaign mailings and other political efforts, helped by a Supreme Court decision that loosened restrictions on campaign spending.

"We're the big dog," said Larry Scanlon, the head of AFSCME's political operations. "But we don't like to brag."

You better believe that if the dog gets its way in November, it will make sure its food dish is always full.