Organized labor may be hurting, but it would be hard to tell from the amount of money that the four big postal unions are spending on this year’s presidential and congressional races.
According to their most recent disclosure reports filed earlier this month, the four–through their political action committees–had shoveled about $9.6 million into the 2012 election cycle, already ahead of the $8.9 million total for 2010, a non-presidential election year, according to data compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Accounting for more than half of the 2012 sum was the National Association of Letter Carriers, followed by the American Postal Workers Union, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union.
The stepped-up giving comes as Congress is struggling to find a fix for the U.S. Postal Service’s myriad problems that could have far-reaching consequences for rank-and-file employees, particularly if lawmakers agree to the agency’s plan to end most Saturday mail delivery.
In regard to campaign contributions, the bulk of union giving has been directed to Democratic candidates and party organizations, although an occasional Republican does turn up as a recipient. Most notably, the rural letter carriers’ PAC gave $8,500 to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman who wants to eliminate layoff protections from future Postal Service labor contracts.
Here’s the spending breakdown for 2012 and 2010:
Union 2012 2010
NALC: $5,751,165 $5,407,918
APWU: $2,136,855 $2,070,352
NRLCA: $1,258,708 $1,255, 141
NPMHU: $429,575 $198,359
TOTAL: $9,576,303 $8,931,740