Top Unions Give Millions To Anti-Republican Group
Since its start in 2010, some of the most powerful unions is the country have contributed millions of dollars to the group American Bridge, an organization dedicated to attacking Republicans.
The group claims its mission is to hold elected officials accountable for saying one thing but doing another. Despite this, it targets Republicans exclusively. To accomplish this American Bridge has engaged in opposition research and information campaigns.
“[We’re]a progressive research and communications organization committed to holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions and helping you ascertain when Republican candidates are pretending to be something they’re not,” its website states.
Its opposition research and media campaigns are often used by unions to support their own arguments. The AFL-CIO has used American Bridge to go after conservative millionaires the Koch Brothers, the United Steelworkers used its research to attack minimum wage critics, and its attacks on Republican presidential candidate Gov. Scott Walker were used by the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. Additionally, its main criticism of Walker is his policies which reined in union power.
Already in 2015, the National Education Association (NEA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have donated $100,000 each to the group according to recent financial disclosure reports. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) also gave $100,000 in 2015.
Last year AFSCME and the SEIU gave a combined $150,000, while the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the United Food And Commercial Workers gave an additional $150,000. In 2013 the NEA, AFSCME, AFT and SEIU gave $100,000 each. In 2012 the NEA gave 200,000 while AFSCME and the SEIU gave 100,000 each. In 2011, AFSCME gave a total of $475,000 in the first and second half of 2011.
American Bridge is a super PAC and therefore can accept unlimited donations. It is primarily funded by major Democratic donors and labor unions.
Besides some progressive news outlets like Politico, the media has been highly critical of the group. The nonpartisan fact-checker Politifact called American Bridge’s attack on Sen. Marco Rubio mostly false, Roll Call called it a hub of the left and Watchdog warned its founder David Brook has a long history of being a political “hit man” and still very much is one.
Brock was a self-described hit-man for the right who found redemption with the Democrats. He detailed his conversion story in a series of Esquire articles from 1997 to 2002 and in a book. American Bridge Vice President Eddie Vale worked previously for the AFL-CIO.
American Bridge, the NEA, the SEIU, AFT and AFSCME did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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