Democrat Jane Dyer, running for South Carolina’s Third Congressional District seat has received some interesting funding for her campaign. An accomplished professional pilot, Ms. Dyer has, understandably, received endorsements and support from various pilot associations and from FedEx, her employer. But some of her more generous contributions come from curious sources.
Listed below are figures obtained from OpenSecrets.org showing $10,000 each from the Plumbers/Pipefitters Union and the Teamsters. In the last 20 years, the Plumbers/Pipefitters have contributed over $17 million to political candidates nationwide, 95% of which have been Democrats. The Teamsters, probably America’s most notorious union, has contributed over $26 million in the same period, all but 7% to Democrats.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has funneled nearly $43 million to candidates – 99% Democrat. The United Auto Workers (an Obama favorite) gave 99% of its $26.5 million to Democrats over the last 20 years and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers contributed $32.5 million with only 2% going to Republicans.
The more curious contributors are the International Longshoremen’s Association. [The official name of the contributing organization is “International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL–CIO,. Committee on Political Education] Though a little more even-handed in their contributions (88% Democrat and 12% Republican in 2010), the curiosity is why Longshoremen are supporting the land-locked Third Congressional District of South Carolina?
There are no international waterways in the Third District, nor is there a particularly active maritime shipping industry on Lake Harwell or Lake Thurmond. Perhaps the interest has to do with interstate water traffic between Georgia and South Carolina via jet-skis and motor boats. Maybe the Longshoremen are involved in the offloading of bass boats or container shipments of beer and fried chicken on pontoons and other leisure craft.
There is nothing particularly unsettling about traditional Democrat PACs supporting Democrat candidates, but some of the particulars are worth noting. First, why do certain unions – like the Longshoremen – contribute to a candidate that, on the surface, does not represent its core equities? More meaningful, and certainly pertinent to voters, do these unions reflect the politics and values of the Third District?
Jane Dyer (D)
|Air Line Pilots Assn||$5,000|
|Aircraft Owners & Pilots Assn||$5,000|
|American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees||$5,000|
|Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers||$5,000|
|International Longshoremens Assn||$3,000|
|Allied Pilots Assn||$2,500|
|Air Line Pilots Assn International||$1,000|
|European Aeronautic Defence & Space||$1,000|
|National Air Traffic Controllers Assn||$1,000|
|Public Strategies Washington||$1,000|
|United Auto Workers||$1,000|
Here are the list of contributors for Republican Third District candidate Jeff Duncan, also from OpenSecrets.org.
Jeff Duncan (R)
|Club for Growth||$80,250|
|Credit Union National Assn||$10,000|
|Every Republican is Crucial PAC||$10,000|
|American College of Emergency Physicians||$5,000|
|National Auctioneers Assn||$5,000|
|American Dental Assn||$2,500|
|American Hospital Assn||$2,500|
|Petroleum Marketers Assn||$2,500|