Organized labor makes up 12 of the top 20 political donors in the last 20 years and nearly all of that money has gone to Democrats. Labor leaders have also been less than subtle in their criticisms of Republicans over the years. However, with public sector unions the target of voter outrage and the radical union agenda increasingly becoming a liability for Democrats, suddenly the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka is now talking about creating an "independent labor movement":
AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka will outline his view of the 2012 landscape in an appearance at the National Press Club this afternoon, and pledge to “spend the summer holding elected leaders in Congress as well as the states accountable on one measure: Are they improving or degrading life for working families?” In his address, Trumka will amplify recent signals from organized labor that unions don’t just want to be an arm of the Democratic Party in 2012. “We are looking hard at how we work in the nation's political arena,” Trumka will say, according to prepared remarks. “We have listened hard, and what workers want is an independent labor movement that builds the power of working people-in the workplace and in political life. Our role is not to build the power of a political party or a candidate. It is to improve the lives of working families and strengthen our country.”
So organized labor won't spend $400 million in 2012, like they did electing Barack Obama and Democrats in 2008? Don't bet on it.