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Unions Shift Into Advocacy Mode

by News on October 20, 2011

in State and Local, Union Politics and Transparency

By Jacob Gershman/The Wall Street Journal

Major New York labor unions are pouring millions of dollars into previously little-used political accounts that allow them to spend unrestricted amounts of money to help influence state elections.

Leading the way is New York State United Teachers, a labor federation with about 600,000 members. The union has channeled $2.6 million into a special committee that can spend unlimited amounts on campaign-style advocacy for candidates and issues, as it attempts to rebound from a tough year of budget cuts in Albany, according to election board filings.

“After the midterm elections, the political landscape changed. We adapted to the changing landscape,” said Carl Korn, a spokesman for NYSUT.

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