Union rift with US Democrats? That is so last year
By Patricia Zengerle
With former executive Mitt Romney likely to win the Republican presidential nomination, tight election races looming in November and attacks on unions by Republicans in state governments, labor is firmly back in the Democratic fold. "The stakes are very, very high," said Marick Masters, Wayne State University professor who studies labor and politics. Unions are deploying hundreds of thousands of members to knock on doors, and are spending big to counter aggressive efforts by Republican Super PAC groups, which have stolen the show so far in fundraising this election cycle. "If you factor in all the personnel at the state and local level and all the costs of using those personnel, all the PAC money, all the independent expenditures ... you are probably going to see labor spending close to $1 billion on political activity, including lobbying at the local, state and national level in 2012," Masters said.