Money Spent on Politics

 In June 2005, Joe Hanson of the UFCW was one of the dissident labor leaders considering leaving the AFL-CIO. One of their chief complaints was that the AFL-CIO was spending too much money on politics.1

At the time, Hansen wanted to place more focus on organizing workers2. But only weeks later, a new Joe Hansen emerged. After the UFCW joined the SEIU and Teamsters in a new alliance, called the Change to Win federation, Hansen changed his tune and said politics were extremely important.3

Since 2005, UFCW has spent more than $21 million on lobbying and politics. This is equivalent to annual membership dues UFCW headquarters receives from 140,000 workers.4

Although Hansen was critical of others spending too much money on politics before the AFL-CIO split, he continued to spend tens of millions on his political agenda. The real question for Hansen is, when it comes to money in politics, how much is too much?


1 Briand Tumulty, “5 Major Unions Form Dissident Coalition,” Gannett News Service, 6/16/09
2 Briand Tumulty, “5 Major Unions Form Dissident Coalition,” Gannett News Service, 6/16/09
3 “UFCW Bolts AFL-CIO,” Grand Rapids Press, 7/30/05
4 UFCW LM-2 Filings, Office of Labor-Management Standards, 2005-2008