Unions Gear Up in a Big Way to Support Obama in 2012

Katie Pavlich

3/14/2012 8:03:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

As democrats continue to slam Republican Super Pac funding, union leaders like AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka are gearing up for a major election fight and plan to throw hundreds of millions of dollars behind President Obama:

Labor unions, saying they can't hope to compete with the new breed of conservative fundraising groups, plan to spend less money this year on specific candidates and political party organizations and more on door-to-door canvassing, phone banks and registration drives to help President Barack Obama and other Democrats.

The shift, outlined at the AFL-CIO's annual executive council meeting near Disney World, marks a change from two years ago, when roughly two-thirds of organized labor's campaign spending went to political parties and candidates.

"We're not going to ever raise anything like the kind of money that our opponents have," said AFL-CIO political director Mike Podhorzer. "But the power of people talking to each other, friends talking to friends, friends talking to neighbors is always going to trump these cheap negative ads."

But is it true that labor unions really can't compete with Super Pac funding? Not exactly. Unions plan to spend at least $400 million this cylce in an effort to keep Obama in the White House.  And in case you were wondering, President Obama is planning to take Super Pac funding in addition to union funds after three years of heavily criticizing their existence in the electoral process.