I’m confused: is there too much money in politics, or not? President Obama whines incessantly about excessive campaign spending by his opponents. He invents easily debunked fairy tales about his past political races to portray himself as a perpetual underdog. It has become an article of faith among the Left that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, protecting corporate political spending, is the Higgs boson particle of political evil.
However, on Tuesday the Wall Street Journal published a study showing that labor unions “spend far more money on a wider range of political activities, including supporting state and local candidates and deploying what has long been seen as the unions’ most potent political weapon: persuading members to vote as unions want them to.”
Unions reported $1.1 billion in direct political spending and lobbying efforts from 2005 through 2011, but “the unions’ reports to the Labor Department capture an additional $3.3 billion that unions spent over the same period on political activity.” (Emphasis mine.) Union employees working on politics “were equivalent in 2010 to a shadow army much larger than President Barack Obama’s current re-election staff.”
Has anyone heard President Obama criticize this enormous political spending by his union allies, financed through compulsory union dues, which are often extracted from employees’ paychecks by government agencies? How can liberals honestly insist on overturning Citizens United to shut down political spending by certain corporations, while remaining perfectly comfortable with a billion dollars a year in spending by unions, which are corporate entities that sell labor to other corporations?
Meanwhile, liberals have decided to level frenzied criticism at Mitt Romney for raising money in the Hamptons, that notorious enclave of super-rich aristocrats. The idea of blissfully ignoring Obama’s fundraisers with the Hollywood glitterati, while hammering Romney for getting money from other rich people, is hilarious on its face. Do you suppose the $20,000-per-ticket guests at George Clooney’s Obama fundraisers in France and Switzerland will spend a lot of time complaining about “outsourcing?”
But you don’t have to go to Europe to find a steaming pile of liberal hypocrisy on this point. Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner totaled up the numbers, and found that Obama has outraised Romney in the Hamptons by 38.6 percent.
So tell me, liberals, is Hamptons money good or bad? Note: no self-respecting citizen of a free country will accept the answer that “it depends on which party the recipient belongs to.”