The AFL-CIO is set to be the newest arrival on the burgeoning “super PAC” scene.
The labor group plans to form an independent expenditure committee to bolster its year-round political operations, the Associated Press reported Monday. The committee will be able to accept unlimited contributions from union members and outside supporters but will not be allowed to make contributions directly to candidates.
“The essential idea is that changes in the law for the first time really allow the labor movement to speak directly to workers, whether they have collective bargaining agreements or not,” AFL-CIO political director Michael Podhorzer told the AP. “Before, most political resources went to our own membership.”
Labor groups, which have long been stalwart supporters of the Democratic Party in federal elections, have recently signaled their intent to focus on state legislative races, especially in light of battles over collective bargaining in Wisconsin and Ohio.
“As far as our ability to hold folks accountable for next year’s state legislative battles, we hope this will make a difference and that’s why we’re pursuing this,” Podhorzer said regarding the planned super PAC, which awaits final approval in the coming weeks.