How did unions come to wield so much power and influence over American politics? How did union leaders gain more access to the White House during the Obama administration than administration officials, Democratic senators or family members? The answer is simple: money.
The most frequent visitors to the Obama White House were Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, and his second lieutenant, Anna Burger. Also at the top of the list was president of AFL-CIO Richard Trumka. Trumka admitted that he visited the White House two or three times a week and had conversations every single day. In the 2012 election, according to The New York Times, labor leaders expected unions to spend $400 million on national, state and local elections.
The left loves to accuse the Koch brothers of buying elections, claiming they surpass any other political donors on the right or left, but the claim is ludicrous. The Koch brothers have personally given $3.2 million to politicians and parties over the past 15 years. The Huffington Post estimated union spending on elections and lobbying at $1.7 billion.
According to OpenSecrets.org, the number one political donor in American politics since the 1990 election is SEIU, with total contributions of $234 million — all but $2 million went to Democrats.