According to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, the top lobbying group in Wisconsin for the 2009-2010 session of the legislature was the Wisconsin Education Assocation, which as of August 20, 2010 had spent 10,462 hours and $2,143,588 lobbying state lawmakers.
At the Washington Examiner today, Tim Carney writes about how the WEA is also one of the largest political donor groups in the state, making the vital point that unions aren't representative of "the workingman," but are merely entrenched special interests that represent a small minority of Americans:
In the retrograde liberal way of thinking, though, populism is about class warfare, in which the wealthy and corporations are the "special interests" arrayed against the poor working man. But in today's Wisconsin skirmish, the "working man" is implausibly the Wisconsin Education Association, the third-largest political donor in the state last election cycle.
Union-funded lawmakers take money from taxpayers and give it the government unions, who kick some of it back to union-funded lawmakers. It's not too different from banks or defense contractors donating to politicians who bail them out or give them no-bid contracts.
As long as Democrats think they're on the side of "the people" because the unions agree with them, they're politically lost.
Read the whole thing here.