Politics

Labor union money linked to anti-Tea Party Web site

Organized labor may be putting their dollars behind an online effort to take down Tea Party groups and their “radical ideas.”

A new Web site, TheTeaPartyIsOver.org, has connections to unions, including the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The American Public Policy Committee pays for the site, whose self-declared mission is to “prevent the Tea Party’s dangerous ideas from gaining legislative traction.”

According to Opensecrets.org, the top two financial backers of the American Public Policy Committee this year are Patriot Majority West and Patriot Majority, largely funded by union dollars.

During the 2008 election cycle, the AFSCME contributed $5.8 million and the SEIU donated $770,000 to Patriot Majority. Teamsters Union also donated $250,000, United Food & Commercial Workers Union gave $125,000 and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO donated $6,500 to the group.

Attempts to contact the American Public Policy Committee and Patriot Majority were not successful.

The site encourages visitors to call Republicans Randy Hultgren, Arie Friedman and David McAloon — all running for the U.S. House in Illinois — to “reject the dangerous ideas of the Tea Party.”

“This movement is a fad,” the Web site reads, whose “ideas include undermining the legitimacy of the federal government in favor of a radical right-wing form of state’s rights.”