How 4 Government Unions Helped Hillary Clinton Beat Bernie Sanders In Iowa

By bringing members to Iowa, public-sector unions saved Clinton from a loss.

It is well known that, without unions, there would be no Democratic Party to speak of.
It is also well known that, without union ground support and the billions spent on politics in direct and indirect contributions, most Democrats—including Barack Obama—would never be elected to public office.
No one know this better than Hillary Clinton and her advisors, which explains her flip flops on issues like trade (TPP) and immigration.
Yet, in a “Right-to-Work” state like Iowa—with only 9.6 percent of its workforce unionized—how did Clinton pull off a win over her rival Bernie Sanders and his enthusiastic youth brigade in Monday night’s caucuses?

Very simple. Despite Sanders’ own backing from rank-and-file union members, Clinton relied on the big purse strings and political muscle from the “Big Four” government unions who have already endorsed her, according to The American Prospect.

The linchpins of Clinton’s labor support are the nation’s four giant public employee unions: the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); the American Federation of Teachers (AFT); the National Education Association (NEA); and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). (No more than half of SEIU’s roughly two million members work in the public sector, however.)
These “Big Four” alone represent more than 7.5 million union members—roughly, half the nation’s union members. While the AFL-CIO, labor’s omnibus federation, has not yet endorsed a candidate (a few of its largest unions, such as the Steelworkers, remain holdouts), the Big Four have been known to coordinate their election work without the AFL-CIO’s assistance—a necessity, in this case, since the NEA and SEIU are not AFL-CIO members. This year, on Clinton’s behalf, they are pooling their vast member ranks and substantial political coffers to animate a coordinated offensive in Iowa and beyond.
On the Sunday before caucus day, the Machinists Hall in Cedar Rapids was filling up with union members, quickly turning into a sea of green (AFSCME), blue (teachers unions), and purple (SEIU). It was canvass launch day for the Big Four unions and in coordination with the Clinton campaign, volunteers were planning on hitting more than 11,000 homes in the area.
Since its endorsement for Clinton in November, SEIU has steadily been building a legion of member-volunteers in Iowa to canvass and phone bank. By the weekend before the caucus, the union had more than 100 members in from surrounding areas—nurses from Minnesota, home care workers from Detroit, Fight for 15 activists from Memphis, and even a Headstart teacher from West Virginia. [Emphasis added]

Aside from the fact that Clinton’s tight victory be attributed to six very lucky coin tosses, it would appear that, were it not for the “Big Four” unions, Sanders’ supporters would have been awakened Tuesday morning victorious.

Image credit.

1 comment

  • As one to often be enlightened, and as monitened before, there can be some good out of some bad. And thanks UJ for an eye opening situation. Although I still question, if you enjoyed what you were doing, and knew there were financial gains within the field why didn’t you look at other educational facilities? That is really what our country stands for. Unfortunately our local University (UNCW) has a similar situation, more than 15 administrative/executives make more than the professors. More than $140k per year and they aren’t teaching!!?? I completely agree this is a flawed system and why our professors aren’t the higher of the paid positions I’ll never understand. Unfortunately this is the demise of our republic. Our government officials can vote themselves a raise, every year. This not only happens in universities and schools but city, county and state government positions. So what did the Union do? Increased your pay as you mention, but what else did it do? Brought attention to to the university, more grant money requested from the state, most likely increased will affect tuition for many years to come. Unfortunately I also worked for a Union, when I was hired for xx amount of dollars per hour during college, I thought to myself, heck ya! But then I on my first pay check, I noticed Union dues, well there went my heck ya feeling. And what does the company have to do when a they pay for the Union, increases their prices to compete in the market. And to my original point, While to some extent, I can see where a Union may be of benefit, I mostly have the stance, there should be no unions. If you feel your pay or benefits are inadequate, go find another job. But if our government is being run properly, a similar position regardless of location, race or gender, should equal the same pay (Unions shouldn’t be required to implement this theory). But here again were in a republic and elected officials can easily vote themselves pay increase without public consent. While I’m happy for you personally, is it really the right thing for our government to write a check to the Union execs? And while a professor in a teaching position is of high stature I also question government position in general, political representatives and their intent? longevity? The government offers quite the pension, which is a rarity in the private sector these days. Even the folks who work for the road system, maintenance crews, and administrative staff who work for the government are getting better financial securities than privately held positions. Which seems a bit contrary to the way it should be. The company I work (pharma) has the same pay for a new person coming into sales regardless of location, gender or race. In addition, we don’t get paid on tenure, contrary to government teaching positions. Meeting objectives, both performance and peer observations is the only way for us to increase our pay. The harder you work, usually come with results and the more you get paid. Again, contrary to the government teaching positions, the longer you work the more you get paid, regardless of any objectives. Unfortunately it sounds like it quite specific to different locations throughout the US. Here again, if I like what I do, but my company were limiting my opportunities and pay, I would look outside the company, but to keep quality and hard working individuals they know what they need to do. The government tenure teaching position is a bit flawed in general and should be evaluated.To our state colleges: My UJ’s point, why are administrators, staff and assistants making more than our professors? Maybe our chancellors and a couple executives (and unfortunately a few coaches), but in reality its our professors that make the difference! God Bless America and our Freedom.

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