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Trumka: Unions Are Taking A New Approach To The Next Elections

Looks like unions have found the silver lining in the Citizens United ruling - namely, Super PACs and the ability to go after non-union voters: But the ruling also changed the rules for unions, effectively ending a prohibition on outreach to

Looks like unions have found the silver lining in the Citizens United ruling - namely, Super PACs and the ability to go after non-union voters:

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.

As part of this overhaul, Richard L. Trumka, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., has said organized labor will be more independent of the Democratic Party, sitting out races where unions are disappointed with the Democratic candidate’s positions on issues important to them and occasionally financing primary challengers to Democratic incumbents.

The unions said they even intended to back a few Republicans they judge to have been generally supportive of their agenda, like Representative Steven C. LaTourette of Ohio.

Mr. Trumka said unions were tired of Democratic politicians taking them for granted after labor shoveled millions of dollars into Democratic campaigns. In distancing themselves, at least a bit, from the Democrats, unions are becoming part of a trend in which newly empowered outside groups build what are essentially party structures of their own — in this case, to somewhat offset the money flowing into conservative groups that are doing the same thing.

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