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Unions That Criticized Citizens United Now Embrace the Campaign Finance Ruling

Posted Sep 26, 2011 10:41 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Unions initially criticized the U.S. Supreme Court decision finding that corporations have a First Amendment right to expressly support political candidates for Congress and the White House.

But now the unions are following the lead of corporations and taking advantage of the 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the New York Times reports.

The ruling effectively ended a ban on using union dues to reach nonmembers, the story says. “Now, unions can use their formidable numbers to reach out to sympathetic nonunion voters by knocking on doors, calling them at home and trying to get them to polling places,” the story says. “They can also create their own Super PACs to underwrite bigger voter identification and get-out-the-vote operations than ever before.”

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka tells the Times his union plans to fund a Super PAC with $10 million to create a year-round campaign emphasizing issue advocacy and political accountability.

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