#GOTV: Unions Working Overtime To Get The Vote Out For Democrats

Richard Trumka fingerpointing 2

With the mid-term elections a week away, Democrats are relying on union bosses to get boots on the ground to minimize their expected losses and, perhaps, push a few high-profile Republicans–including six governors–out of office.

Although unions spend an estimated $500 million to $1 billion every election cycle and traditionally have thousands of union members working to turn out the vote for Democrats, more emphasis is often placed during presidential election years.

Not this time, however. In addition to huge financial commitments, during this mid-term election, unions are pouring a vast amount of resources into their GOTV operations.

As the Barack Obama noted, although he is not on the ballot this time, his policies are. And, it is his policies that are casting dark cloud on the Democratic party. This has union bosses fearful of a repeat of the 2010 mid-term elections when Democrats lost a significant number of House seats.

“Voter turnout is going to be the deciding factor,” AFL-CIO boss Ruchard Trumka told reporters earlier this month.

To that end, the AFL-CIO launched a page on its website to encourage members to vote. Nearly every other post on the union federation’s blog is blasting Republican candidates.

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Meanwhile, individual unions are also devoting vast amounts of time and money in defeating Republicans.

The American Federation of Teachers, for example, is spending more than it ever has on any election–including presidential elections–all in an effort to oust six Republican governors union targeted earlier this year.

The AFT plans to spend more than $20 million to ouster Republican governors Rick Scott (Florida), Rick Snyder (Michigan), and Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania), and secure Democratic incumbents Dan Malloy (Connecticut) and Pat Quinn (Illinois).

The government union, AFSCME, has had its troops working to get the vote out for several weeks.

In Florida, where Governor Rick Scott is on the union’s target list, the union is using Trayvon Martin’s mother to urge women to vote and its phone banks have “made more than 100,000 calls to Floridians in recent weeks, encouraging them to vote on or before Nov. 4.”

Over the weekend, where government unions are trying to save unpopular Decmocrat governor Daniel Malloy, AFSCME boss Lee Saunders rallied to get out the vote for November 4th.

The most important thing that we can do is make that personal contact, knock on doors, …read more    

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