A union-funded political action committee has been steering money to Republican candidates in Congressional races in the Midwest and beyond, upending the popular assumption that organized labor’s support always goes to Democrats.
The group, known as the Lunch Pail Republicans, is backing GOP candidates who generally aren’t considered champions of labor unions. Yet, according to the group, these candidates have been friendly to workers, particularly in the building trades. They include Reps. Joe Walsh (Ill..), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Judy Biggert (Ill.).
Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 150 launched the Lunch Pail Republicans in Indiana earlier this year to combat the GOP-backed right-to-work legislation that ultimately became law in the state. Since then, the group has launched a PAC and started wading into elections with seed money from the IUOE’s national PAC, so far disbursing more than $400,000, according to records with the Federal Election Commission. [Emphasis added.]