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Union vs. Business Contributions:
In another analysis, Sunlight’s Jacob Fenton examined the $61.8 million in organizations’ contributions to super PACs from the beginning of last year through the end of June, and found that businesses have given more than $33 million to super PACs since the beginning of this campaign cycle. Trade unions gave at least $15 million in the same time period. The $33 million that businesses contributed to super PACs likely represents a fraction of their efforts to influence the outcome of the November elections. That’s because donations to super PACs are just one avenue for corporations and labor unions to give to groups trying to sway the results of this year’s elections, and for many it is the least attractive option.
Republican-aligned super PACs received the lion’s share of business contributions, taking in just under $30 million. That dwarfed the $3.8 million that their Democratic-leaning counterparts received from business. Yet the gap may be narrowing ahead of the general election: Left-leaning super PACs raised almost $1.2 million from business in June, while super PACs siding with the GOP raised $4.5 million.
Notably, a number of well-known brands have given to GOP-allied super PACs, including:
- Waffle House ($100,000 to American Crossroads)
- 7-Eleven ($25,000 to Hoosiers for Jobs)
- White Castle ($25,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund)
- Borden Dairy Company ($25,000 to Congressional Leadership Fund).
There’s no comparable set of businesses donating to left-leaning super PACs, but Working Assets, a phone service affiliated with CREDO mobile that bills itself as donating to “progressive” causes, has given over $440,000 to Credo Super PAC.
The biggest union donors have given exclusively to left-leaning super PACs:
- the National Education Association ($5.1 million)
- the AFL-CIO ($2.2 million)
- Communications Workers of America ($1.7 million)
- the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees ($1.4 million).