The once rock-solid relationship between labor unions and the Democratic Party is drifting apart.
At a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told a group of reporters Thursday that unions plan to scale back their direct involvement with the Democratic party, Politico reports.
You're going to see us give less money to build structures for others, and more of our money will be used to build our own structure, Trumka told reporters.
The AFL-CIO has recently set up what is known as a super-PAC, allowing labor to have a more direct influence on their campaign spending, Politico notes. Trumka believes the new, less-party centric campaign operation will allow the unions to hold candidates more accountable for their stances.
The relationship between Democrats and labor has traditionally been strong, with unions overwhelming endorsing and donating to Democratic candidates, including then Sen. Obama in his presidential campaign. Yet, the relationship between the Obama Administration and labor has cooled over his tepid support of card-check legislation, his support for some free-trade policies and his failure to press harder for tax increases for wealthy Americans.
The Wall Street Journal reported that in both the 2008 and 2010 elections, the AFL-CIO spent over $50 million, mostly supporting Democratic candidates.