Trouble in Dem-land as unions freeze cash contributions

For decades, labor unions have floated the Democratic Party with massive contributions (based on money taken out of the paychecks of members who are forced to join as a condition of employment) and donations of manpower, expecially useful in get-out-the-vote efforts.  And for decades, private-sector unions have shrunk in the face of competition from overseas, as the Democrats court fat-cat donors from Wall Street.

Is that era coming to an end?  Emily Cahn and Emma Dumain of Roll Call report:

The AFL-CIO, along with some public sector unions, announced a campaign finance freeze in March. Unions hoped the threat of withholding contributions would scare Democratic lawmakers out of supporting President Barack Obama’s Trade Promotion Authority, or “fast track,” to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade agreement labor groups say would hurt manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

The freeze is across the board, intended to punish the party as a whole, not individual members.  This must reflect frustration over being taken for granted and withering on the vine.  Naturally, there are howls of protest:

“I could understand withholding money from people who are on the fence — sure, great,” said one House Democratic chief of staff who asked not to be identified. “But for the people who are with them who also really need the help, I just don’t know that’s a smart strategy. I think that there’s plenty of people who they trust to be with them who could really use their help in deterring an opponent by showing some strength at this point in the cycle, and they’re not helping with that.”

Other Democrats are beginning to lose trust in unions coming through with campaign contributions at all, as House Democrats look to make inroads into a historic House majority.

Opposition to the TPP cuts across party lines.

I hope the unions continue to withhold their contributions.  They are the very junior members of the Democrats’ coalition, ranking well below Wall Street, blacks, Hispanics, feminists, and gays.