While unions don't have nearly the spending power of ultra-right-wing companies like Koch Industries, they do have the ability to create Super PACs and move money into the process to try and counteract some of the influence these despicable corporate interests are wielding.Labor unions had initially assailed the ruling, known as Citizens United, for allowing corporations and wealthy donors to vastly expand their spending on campaigns. That has indeed happened, with the proliferation of a new generation of political action committees, known as Super PACs, that can accept unlimited donations.
But the ruling also changed the rules for unions, effectively ending a prohibition on outreach to nonunion households. Now, unions can use their formidable numbers to reach out to sympathetic nonunion voters by knocking on doors, calling them at home and trying to get them to polling places. They can also create their own Super PACs to underwrite bigger voter identification and get-out-the-vote operations than ever before.
One nice thing about this process is that the unions are going to force Democrats to come to them, both financially and politically. No longer will unions contribute blindly to the Democratic party, instead, they will use their money to support the interests of their members.In an interview, Mr. Trumka said the A.F.L.-C.I.O. would initially inject $10 million into its still unnamed Super PAC — far less than the $100 million that some conservative Super PACs have — in large part to build a year-round political structure for labor.
“The way we used to do politics is we’d set up a structure six months before the election, and after Election Day we’d dismantle it,” Mr. Trumka said. “Now we’re going to have a full-time campaign, and that campaign will be able to move, hopefully, from electoral politics to issue advocacy and accountability,” meaning holding union-backed lawmakers accountable.