After the United States Supreme Court handed Citizens United a great victory for free speech with its historic decision in Citizens United v. FEC in 2010, the AFL-CIO was aghast. In a statement released the day of the decision, the AFL-CIO said, “…the Supreme Court further tilted the playing field in favor of business corporations in public elections.”
My how times have changed. Yesterday the AFL-CIO announced its plans to form a Super PAC (a federal PAC that only makes independent expenditures in support of or in opposition to candidates, made possible because of the Citizens United and Speech Now cases.) In making the announcement, AFL-CIO’s Political Director said, “The essential idea is that changes in the law for the first time really allow the labor movement to speak directly to workers, whether they have collective bargaining agreements or not.”
The core of Citizens United v. FEC has always been to give every American – whether they are conservative or liberal – a voice in the political system. We welcome the AFL-CIO into the process because we know that at the end of the day the American people will thoroughly reject what the AFL-CIO stands for. Case in point is the recent defeat of big labor in Wisconsin. The AFL-CIO poured $5 million into the recall efforts and came up short in the state that started collective bargaining. The AFL-CIO and its allies in the Obama Administration will not win the battle of ideas and no amount of money can change that.
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