A paraphrase of the title question might read, “Who’s the most evil force in American politics?” The kneejerk answer — the Koch brothers — is so reflexive among liberals that the mainstream media frequently writes articles like this one published yesterday at USA Today titled “Dems fight back against Koch brothers in e-mail campaign.”
But are the Kochs really the score to beat when it comes to campaign donations? A piece at today’s Washington Examiner (via OpenSecrets.org) suggests that evil brothers Charles and David Koch don’t even place in the top 50 on the list of all-time biggest donors. In fact, Koch Industries doesn’t appear until the 59th slot, with $18 million in donations, 90% of which went to Republicans.
So who occupies the 58 spots ahead of the Evil Koch Bros? Six of the top 10 are … wait for it … unions. They gave more than $278 million, with most of it going to Democrats.
These are familiar names: AFSCME ($60.6 million), NEA ($53.5 million), IBEW ($44.4 million), UAW ($41.6 million), Carpenters & Joiners ($39.2 million) and SEIU ($38.3 million).
In other words, the six biggest union donors in American politics gave 15 times more to mostly Democrats than the Evil Koch Bros.
Far and away the largest donor is ActBlue, which describes itself as “the online clearinghouse for Democratic action.” Between 1989 and 2012, the group contributed $97,192,340, with 99% of it going to Democrats and “0%” to Republicans. (Even the Koch brothers earmarked 8% of their total campaign contributions to Dems.)
The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, which is next on the list, donated $60,667,379 (about 60% of ActBlue’s contributions), with 81% going to Democrats and 1% to Republicans.