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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Unions deny Dems Convention Cash

The Democrats are hitting up unions — their go-to cash cows — for last-minute donations to help pay for next month’s convention in Charlotte.

The response from some big unions? Tough.

Union leaders insisted from the start that they wouldn’t help fill the piggy bank for this year’s Democratic National Convention after the party picked a labor-hostile location and at the same time made fundraising tougher by banning corporate contributions and capping individual donations. And with the event less than a month away, they’re sticking to their guns.

Labor unions aren’t slated to sponsor any official convention events, according to a recent convention itinerary obtained by POLITICO. Unions are also refusing to put up the money to back get-out-the-vote efforts they’ve funded in the past.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America was the top union donor to the 2008 convention, spending $1.5 million. This time around, it’s not giving at all.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters will invest “significantly less” in Charlotte than it has in past conventions and will send only “limited staff” to support the 17 Teamster delegates attending, said spokesman Galen Munroe. The Teamsters donated $250,000 to the Denver convention.

One Democratic lobbyist said the reason unions aren’t reacting to the arm twisting is that the Democratic National Committee and the Obama administration haven’t laid the foundation for a good relationship.

“One of the greatest frustrations with this administration is how they treat members and everyone else. It’s sort of this attitude that they’ll come because they are Democrats,” the lobbyist said.

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