The Union Candidate in SC's Third

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, AFLCIO,. 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)

 Contributor Total 
Plumbers/Pipefitters Union $10,000
Teamsters Union $10,000
Air Line Pilots Assn $5,000
Aircraft Owners & Pilots Assn $5,000
American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees $5,000
BRIDGE PAC $5,000
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $5,000
International Longshoremens Assn $3,000
Allied Pilots Assn $2,500
FedEx Corp $2,300
Air Line Pilots Assn International $1,000
European Aeronautic Defence & Space $1,000
General Electric $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)

Contributor Total
Club for Growth $80,250
Credit Union National Assn $10,000
Every Republican is Crucial PAC $10,000
Scana Corp $10,000
Titan Farms $9,125
Subway Franchise $5,800
American College of Emergency Physicians $5,000
Freedom Project $5,000
National Auctioneers Assn $5,000
Reynolds American $5,000
Eledeco $4,800
American Dental Assn $2,500
American Hospital Assn $2,500
Petroleum Marketers Assn $2,500
Thrift Development $2,500
Aaron Industries $2,400
Eoe Inc $2,400
Palmetto Auto $2,400
PO&G Resources $2,400
Research Affiliates $2,400
Thomas Mechanics $2,400
Winday Capital $2,400
Windway Capital $2,400

 

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