Unions are getting ready to pour money into the 2012 elections. The AP's Sam Hananel reports that AFSCME is planning to spend at least $100 million, the SEIU will spend $85 million or more, and total union efforts will reach at least $400 million. While many of its affiliate unions, such as AFSCME, will spend heavily on advertising and candidates, the AFL-CIO will continue to focus on developing the infrastructure for year-round, grassroots mobilization.
Unions have already had to spend heavily on Ohio's Issue 2 and Wisconsin recall elections, both a prelude to the fight for survival unions will face if Republicans win big in 2012 again. They'll do whatever they can, though, because:
"People are digging deeper," said Larry Scanlon, political director of the country's largest public workers union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "If Republicans take over the presidency, Congress and enough state legislatures, unions will be out of business, pure and simple."That means unions will tap every source of funding they can find, and employ every strategy from advertising against Mitt Romney in the Republican primaries to intensive, in-person outreach to their members in the general election.