‘Nothing like’ unions except for Mitt backers

Updated
Mitt Romney speaking at Fenway Park baseball stadium in Boston on Monday.
Mitt Romney speaking at Fenway Park baseball stadium in Boston on Monday.
Steven Senne/AP Photo

A Wall Street Journal reporter standing on a public sidewalk outside a Mitt Romney fundraiser last night overheard Mitt’s not-meant-for-public-consumption speech. Among the details: 

He also… warned that unions would funnel dues to Mr. Obama’s reelection campaign. “The unions will put in hundreds of millions of dollars,” Mr. Romney said. “There’s nothing like it on our side,” he said…

Yes, unions will donate “hundreds of millions of dollars” — assuming they don’t do what they’ve done in the past or Jeffrey Katzenberg joins a bricklayers union. According to OpenSecrets.org, union PACs contributed this much to Democrats in the last three presidential election year campaign cycles:

  • $66,954,390 in 2007-2008
  • $52,356,714 in 2003-2004
  • $54,188,941 in 1999-2000

Considering union membership is at historic lows, don’t expect union PACs to contribute the over $200 million Mitt suggests. Regarding something else Mitt said:

“There’s nothing like it on our side,” he said…

Sure, Republicans have literally “nothing like” union PACs. Yes, they have business PACs, but they’re different in that they have more money. It’s like comparing apples to an orange whose 8-year-old son owns a bag of golf clubs.

In the last three presidential election year campaign cycles, business PAC contributions outpaced union PAC contributions by a ratio of about 4:1. Here is where that money went:

  • 49% Dem, 51% Rep in 2007-2008
  • 34% Dem, 66% Rep in 2003-2004
  • 35% Dem, 64% Rep in 1999-2000

So it’s safe to say business PACs contribute far more than union PACs, and business PACs tend to contribute Republican. I guess what I’m saying is: if you’re sitting under a large white tent at a $50,000-per-person fundraising dinner in the backyard of lakefront estate in Palm Beach and Mitt Romney tells you “there’s nothing like [unions] on our side,” you might want to take in your surroundings.

Labor and Mitt Romney

'Nothing like' unions except for Mitt backers

Updated