Right-wing anti-union groups are pouring tens of millions of dollars into an effort to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act. Front groups plan to spend upwards of $120 million on misleading advertising against pro-worker Congressional candidates in the 2008 elections.
According to reports, several anti-union front groups plan to collectively spend almost $100 million in the next year against the bill and those who support it. The breakdown is as follows (from the National Journal):
- Chamber of Commerce: $20-30 million
- Coalition for a Democratic Workplace: $30 million
- Employee Freedom Action Committee: $30 million
- Freedom’s Watch: $30 million (from one anti-union contributor)
- Center for Union Facts: unknown, but in the millions
Sheldon Adelson—a major right-wing billionaire and fundraiser—recentlycalled the Employee Free Choice Act “one of the fundamental threats to society“—the other being “radical Islam.” Adelson is vehemently anti-union, and put up $30 million of his own money into Freedom’s Watch, a conservative advocacy group, as part of an effort take on Congressional candidates in 2008.
But the Employee Free Choice Act just isn’t a cause for anti-union entities to spend money. Republican Senate leadership is trying to use the bill to drum up major contributions: “It’s our No. 1 issue to raise money on,” said Senator John Ensign (R-NV), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.