Democrats and Labor Fundraising
Nationally, labor is one of the Democrats most loyal constituencies and one of there biggest donors. Labor supplies Democratic candidate with campaign groundwork in the form of union workers volunteering to go door-to-door, man the phone banks, etc in addition to generous funds. In return, national Democrats are generally very supportive of labor and I think it is fair to say that we have the most pro-labor administration in the White House since LBJ (and possibly FDR).
So how much is labor spending in Mississippi? While Gene Taylor and Travis Childers may be on the conservative side of the Democratic caucus, they are both taking money from labor.
In the First District, labor has donated $24,000 to Travis Childers this election cycle. (Although labor makes just a fraction of Childers’ PAC donations with about $343,000 from business and $117,000 for ideological PACs). This includes $10,000 from the Operating Engineers Union and $5,000 from Carpenters & Joiners Unions (among others). However, this is way down from $267,000 Childers got from labor during the 2008 election cycle. Childers received generous checks from around 30 different unions last time around. I suspect some of the drop off may be from Childers opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act- labor’s key legislation they were hoping the expanded Democrat majorities would produce.
As you would imagine, Alan Nunnelee has not received anything from labor.
For the Fourth District, Gene Taylor has received a very similar $23,000 in this election cycle. But this makes up a much higher percentage of his PAC money than Childers. As you would imagine with the industry on the Coast, Taylor has received money from several different transportation unions (although certainly not exclusively). In 2008, Taylor received around $35,000 from labor so his fundraising has not dropped off. Of course, labor knows what they are getting with Taylor. He was one of just a few Democrats to oppose EFCA in 2007.
In the First, on the other hand, there was some thought that Childers might support the legislation before his 2008 election.