Government Workers Union Spent $20 Million More On Politics Than Representing Members

AFSCME is at the center of a forced union dues case that could be heading to the Supreme Court

One of the nation’s most influential labor unions spent $20 million more on politics than it did representing the interests of its members in 2016, according to its federal labor filing.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) spent $55.3 million on “political activities and lobbying” in 2016 compared to the $36.4 million in expenditures related to “representational activities,” such as contract negotiations and grievance managements for its membership, according to its 2016 federal labor filings. Its political spending accounted for more than 27 percent of all its expenditures for the year.

AFSCME, which represents 1.3 million public sector employees, is one of the most politically active unions in the country. It contributed $14.1 million to political candidates in 2016 and spent an additional $25.2 million on outside spending, putting it among the top 30 spenders in both categories, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Nearly all of that money went to aid Democratic candidates.

The union did not return request for comment.

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