Should unions be allowed to fund political campaigns?

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  1. Mighty Mom profile image76
    Mighty Momposted 11 years ago

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Tuesday that he thinks teachers unions should be banned from making political contributions because union leaders often negotiate contracts with Democratic politicians they’ve helped elect, a situation he called “an extraordinary conflict of interest.”

    “I think we’ve got to get the money out of the teachers unions going into campaigns,” he said. “It’s the wrong way for us to go. We have got to separate that.”

    Romney’s argument against political donations by teachers unions appears to be at odds with the Supreme Court’s 2010 landmark Citizens United ruling, in which the court found that corporations and unions have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts on campaigns.

    So what do you all think?
    How is it different -- or is it -- to have teachers unions donating money vs. corporations or industry groups donating money?

    My reaction to the above:
    lol lol lol
    Come ON!

    1. William F. Torpey profile image73
      William F. Torpeyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Romney is clueless!

    2. aguasilver profile image70
      aguasilverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Nobody other than individual voters should be allowed to fund campaigns, that alone may mean that politicians were forced to consider the people rather than vested interests.

      I could have won the last UK election if I had raise $50m to contest it, that's how stupid it has become.

      If you can buy the spin doctors and ad campaigns, afford videos and call centre call ups, and bribe block voters, you can buy the election, and if you can buy the position of POTUS, big corporations and other power brokers will buy you to get you in position.

      30 years ago a group of business folk wanted me to stand for government, "which party" I asked...

      "Either party you want" they replied "We want people in both parties to further our case"

      They said that they would donate $1m to the party of my choice, and I would get a 'safe seat' (i.e. one that even a donkey could win)

      Cheap at half the price, and the very thing that is holding the 99% in slavery to the 1%.

      I have never voted again.

    3. Uninvited Writer profile image79
      Uninvited Writerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Only if they fund Republicans.

    4. American View profile image60
      American Viewposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Unions and businesses should not be allowed to donate to any political campaign.That way the money only comes form the voters. That should be a system that appeals to the left since they claim they get the majority of donations from the public, way more than Republicans.

      But there is an underlying problem to unions, not just teachers unions, and that is there will be a time in the near future when unions will reveal that there retirement and benefits fund is in trouble. Where do you think these tens of millions of dollars they spend comes from? If you believe it is from the monthly dues, I have a bridge I am selling and will give you a great deal on it.

    5. Jeff Berndt profile image73
      Jeff Berndtposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      There is exactly zero difference between a union making political expenditures and a corporation or industry group doing the same.

      If you let one do it, you've got to let the others do it. If you stop one from doing it, you've got to stop them all from doing it.

    6. rhamson profile image71
      rhamsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The dog in this fight is the rights of organizations pooling their resouces to influence lawmakers to vote their way. The recent Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to contribute to a candidate of their choice is result of this policy of campaign contributions for favor. None of it should be legal and can only confound logic when applied to an election.

      Term Limits
      Publicly Financed Campaigns
      Lobby Reform

      This is our only hope to fix this broke system.

      1. Josak profile image62
        Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this


  2. maxoxam41 profile image64
    maxoxam41posted 11 years ago

    Double standard, nothing else!

  3. cat on a soapbox profile image95
    cat on a soapboxposted 11 years ago

    I agree w/ Aquasilver. Neither corporations nor labor unions should be involved in campaign funding. Campaign contributions should go into a neutral fund that is equally shared by all. Perhaps that would be a step to eliminating special interest fraud and to leveling the field for all party candidates.

    1. aguasilver profile image70
      aguasilverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      +1 Good concept, a mutual fund that benefited all candidates, I like that!

    2. Josak profile image62
      Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah agreed, politics should be about the people not small groups.

  4. Mighty Mom profile image76
    Mighty Momposted 11 years ago

    Seems that both "sides" here are in agreement.
    So who here is actively working to overturn Citizens United?

    Without even knowing the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    involved, it is beyond dismaying (disgusting) how much money is put into buying elections.
    If even half of that money was put into ______________________ (job creation, education, feeding the hungry, healthcare, infrastructure, veterans' welfare -- pick your cause) imagine how much better off our country would be.

    I'm not faulting one side or the other on this. It's obscene how much money it takes to win elections now. Even more obscene to think of the control that money buys.

  5. profile image0
    JaxsonRaineposted 11 years ago

    IF a corporation or union that donates to a party also gets to negotiate with the government, then yes, it is a conflict of interest.

    I honestly don't know all of the details and implications of Citizen's United, so I dunno there.

    1. Mighty Mom profile image76
      Mighty Momposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Not necessarily just negotiate with. Influence.
      For (a very real and concrete) example, a corporation in a specific energy production field fighting emissions controls.
      Or for another, trial lawyers not wanting their livelihood diminished by caps on (for example) medical malpractice suits.

      Way too much outside influence in Washington that has limited or no benefit to the citizens.

  6. Xenonlit profile image60
    Xenonlitposted 11 years ago

    What bunch of blatant crooks Romney and his cronies are!

    They think that they can have the corporations buying elections and writing laws, but the unions can't make political contributions. Part of union benefits is the ability to influence lawmakers, just as the corporations and the wealthy do. It is pay to play politics these days.

    The only alternative is to run the extremists out of government, to make sure that Romney loses, and to restructure laws that cover lobbying and undue influence. We need a government that carries out the will of the people, not the will of the corporations.

    By the way...where are the jobs?

    1. Reality Bytes profile image75
      Reality Bytesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      “Shovel-ready was not as … uh .. shovel-ready as we expected.”

      Barack Obama

      We are waiting for them to become "shovel ready"!


      1. rhamson profile image71
        rhamsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I guess we will never know as the congress blocked just about anything Obama tried to do. They may get their wish and run him out of office but the same bunch of thieves and slimebags will be in charge and it will be business as usual as they say.

  7. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    Any entity should be able to fund campaigns equally.

    Personally I would put them all on a matched budget and stop all the back door influence entirely.  But if that ain't gonna happen, unions should get to play.

  8. cat on a soapbox profile image95
    cat on a soapboxposted 11 years ago

    It's always helpful to see how the cookie crumbles. Take a look at current election spending, donations, and disclosures:

    1. American View profile image60
      American Viewposted 11 years agoin reply to this


      Thanks for that link, it was very informative. Notice Obama's number 4 and 5 donors, Harvard and the US government. Wonder what those students paying those college loans with interest would think when money they are paying for education is going to Obama and not the school? Wonder how he will explain with all the money Obama is getting donated to him, with all the money he has in the bank, and with our countries national debt now over 16 trillion dollars?

      One key item not reflected in these numbers is the free travel for Obama and accommodation for him on the campaign trail. I know, all past presidents did it, I did not agree with it then either. I believe a current president running or re-election should reimburse the people rather than letting the taxpayers foot that bill. Perhaps if that would be the case, Obama might not travel around so much and have time for those elusive Intelligence reports he keeps missing.

      1. Josak profile image62
        Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        What would the students think? The same as any people who purchase from a businesses that donates politically? Like tens of thousands of businesses and corporations.

        Or you know given this is Harvard I imagine most are pretty pleased about it.

  9. cat on a soapbox profile image95
    cat on a soapboxposted 11 years ago

    If we had a non-partisan policy on campaign contributions where politicians couldn't be bought by special interst groups, just THINK of the multi-millions that would be freed up in public sector unions to use where REALLY needed. Perhaps states wouldn't have to face the threat of bankruptcy due to unsustainable pensions.

    1. rhamson profile image71
      rhamsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Term Limits,
      Publicly Financed Campaigns,
      Lobby Reform.

      It is our only hope to cast the slimiest of the slime from politics.


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