Ex-Union Chief and Dem Donor Who Pled Guilty to Embezzlement Tied to PAC Supporting Sen. Peters

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Posted: Jun 04, 2020 4:35 PM
Ex-Union Chief and Dem Donor Who Pled Guilty to Embezzlement Tied to PAC Supporting Sen. Peters

Source: AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

The former president of United Auto Workers (UAW) pleaded guilty to charges of embezzlement, tax evasion and racketeering. Gary Jones conceded that he intended to use $1 million worth of member-paid union dues toward inappropriate expenditures including golf trips, vacation rentals, cigars, liquor and fine dining. UAW is a consistent, high-scale donor to Democratic candidates. 

Headquartered in Detroit, UAW has invested large sums in the Michigan Senate contest between incumbent Democrat Sen. Gary Peters and Republican John James. To date in this election cycle, UAW donated $1 million to Senate Majority PAC, which is directly allied with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as he seeks to flip the majority in the upper chamber. This hefty donation was UAW’s largest thus far this cycle. The union also gave $105,000 to Michigan Senate Victory 2020, a joint fundraising committee that supports Sen. Peters and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Thus far, Senate Majority PAC has spent $3,804,192 independently attacking James as his poll numbers and favorability continue to climb; James has managed to put the Michigan Senate race on the map.

UAW’s disgraced former president’s guilty plea is not the union’s first instance of corruption; a multiyear federal probe into alleged corruption. Even so, Democrats, including Sen. Peters, have yet to comment on the corruption charges, as they are bankrolled by UAW.

“Gary Peters is silent on the UAW corruption and their million-dollar donation to aid his re-election because he is a career politician solely focused on increasing his personal wealth,” said Tori Sachs, a consultant to Better Future MI Fund, a Super PAC working to unseat Sen. Peters. “UAW members are the hard-working backbone to Michigan’s economy and it’s disgraceful that Peters is silent on the corruption taking place with their money and the funds being directed toward his campaign.”

Since the year 2008, UAW has given a total of $11.6 million directly to Democratic candidates. If the union was funding GOP candidates, Republican candidates who received donations would be forced to address the corruption charges.