No one can argue that Joe Biden and his handlers have successfully developed a road map to get there, which previous candidates had either not considered or didn’t have the audacity or courage to use.
The Biden campaign team correctly concluded that, in addition to assembling the right voting blocs for him, he would be able to focus on the only interest group that really matters — Big Labor.
Biden’s unions, in particular those in the public sector, began to lavish their support on him after he promised during his 2020 speech before the AFL-CIO that he would be “the most pro-union president” you’ve seen. He rarely left his basement to answer tough questions during the rest of the campaign.
Biden was open about his loyalty as soon as he became president. He allowed the American Federation of Teachers to dictate to his health officials when COVID shutdown schools could be reopened. He also bailed out multi-employer union pension plans using public money.
Biden also unveiled the $400 billion American Jobs Plan, which is designed to force thousands of Medicaid home healthcare providers who declined union membership following the 2014 Harris v. Quinn ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Biden, unofficially, waited for weeks before visiting Hawaii to assess the damage caused by fire. He has also yet to visit East Palestine, Ohio where a train crash last February that involved 38 cars created a hazardous waste catastrophe. He did, however, decide to get involved in a private-sector labor dispute and sided with the striking United Auto Workers. This made him the first president to ever join a picket.
In June, the Biden Administration appointed the head of the teachers’ union Randi Weingarten to the Department of Homeland Security School Safety Committee, but it would take months for administration officials to admit that there was a problem with our southern open border. In case anyone forgets, Weingarten has inexplicably visited Ukraine multiple times for “diplomatic meetings” and videos demanding additional aid to defend Ukraine’s border.
The unions are essentially controlling this administration and Americans are increasingly viewing it as a failure.
The Biden formula, however, has inspired new imitators.
In fact, Govs. Gavin Newsom (CA), J.B. Pritzker (IL), and Josh Shapiro (PA) — all reputed to be eyeing a future run for the Oval Office — have taken the game to the next level by leveraging millions of their own state’s tax dollars to score points with the unions preemptively.
Newsom signed a bill in California two years ago that required the taxpayers of the state to pay $400 million for the dues of government union members. He’s supporting a bill this year that empowers unions to stop the “… passage of any statute that negates, diminishes or interferes with the right of employees, to organize and negotiate collectively about their wages, hours, and other terms and circumstances of employment, and workplace safety.
Newsom also announced that Laphonza Butler, a long-time leader of the Service Employees International Union(SEIU), would succeed Feinstein as senator after Feinstein passed away. Butler, the senator-designate, organized healthcare workers in Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia, before moving to California, in 2009. She served as president of SEIU Local 2015, and California SEIU State Council. Butler was also an advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris during her then-presidential election campaign.
Newsom was so determined to fill the seat with an ally of labor that he selected a candidate who lived in Maryland just one month before Feinstein passed away.
Pritzker’s new collective bargaining deal with AFSCME in Illinois gives its 35,000 members a nearly 20% pay increase over four years, including a 4% raise this year. This is a 61 % better deal than what they received during their previous round of negotiations.
Shapiro, a Pennsylvanian politician, signed a new pact in September with AFSCME that called for a 22.1% salary increase over four years. This would mean a $1.9 billion annual cost to Pennsylvania taxpayers in 2026-2027, for a workforce of 55 556 workers.
You can call it an investment, with money from someone else.
A report from the National Institute for Labor Relations Research shows that unions have spent a minimum of $1.7 billion during the midterm elections in 2022.
This figure includes spending by Political Action Committees (or “PACs”) controlled by unions. OpenSecrets is an independent government watchdog that claims PACs contributed $55 million in political contributions between 2021 and 2022.
A total of 183 union-sponsored political action committees donated $7 million to Republican candidates while $48 million was given to Democrats.
NILRR’s report also points out that unions often hide their political activities under accounting headings like “Union Administration,” “Gifts, Grants, and Contributions,” and “Representative Activities.”
You can get away with it if you bet on the winning horse.
It’s possible that in Biden’s situation — and other people are betting the scheme will also work for them — if he hadn’t been one, he couldn’t have become the second.