Union spending on the mid-term elections exceeded $2 billion, even more than the 2016 election, according to a new report.
According to a new report by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR), labor unions spent more than $2 billion on “electioneering and lobbying during the 2018 election cycle.”
Of the $2 billion spent, 65 percent (or $1.3 billion) came from the general treasuries of union, which means the moneys spent came from union dues and fees collected from union members and not from PACs.
In many of those cases, the moneys collected came from workers who are required to pay union fees as a condition of employment.
Using data compiled from U.S. Department of Labor union financial disclosure (LM-2) forms, Political Action Committee (PAC) filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), 527 group reports to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and state campaign finance reports, NILRR researchers can confidently say union officials spent over $2 billion on electioneering and lobbying during the 2018 election cycle. This amount represents an increase of nearly $300 million over the 2016 presidential election cycle spending.
Of the $2 billion in political spending, over $1.3 billion comes from union general treasury funds. Union general treasury funds consist primarily of money paid by workers to the union as dues or fees, mostly from workers who would be fired for refusing to pay. This expenditure is self-reported by the unions on the U.S. Department of Labor union financial disclosure reports (LM-2), although unions without any private sector members are not required to file such reports meaning the total is actually considerably higher.