the national interest

Romney: Unions Are Buying Up Politicians

ROCKFORD, IL - MARCH 18: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses supporters in an overflow crowd outside the Machine Shed Restaurant March 18, 2012 in Rockford, IL. Romney is campaigning in Illinois three days before that state’s primary elections March 21, when 54 GOP delegates are up for grabs. With Romney in the lead on delegates, fellow candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum continues to compete for the 1,444 necessary to secure the nomination before the last primary, in Utah on June 26. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
There is a vast force corrupting our politics: organized labor. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/2012 Getty Images

Here’s another interesting line from Mitt Romney’s new stump speech. In calling for a ban on union political spending, he asserts, “unions should not have the power to take money out of their members’ paychecks to buy the support of politicians favored by the union bosses.”

Now, one interesting aspect here is that Romney wants to make it practically impossible for unions to spend on politics, at the same time he wants to make it far easier for businesses and rich people to spend on politics. Business already donates vastly more money and wields vastly more political influence than labor, and Romney, for understandable reasons, considers that gap far too small.

Romney here endorses the view that union donations to politicians “buy[s] their support.” If that is true — and I’m sure it is at least somewhat true — wouldn’t it also be the case that business donations to politicians buy their support? Is there any possible way to argue that labor donations are inherently corrupting while business donations are pure as driven snow?

It would also seem to follow that the enormous sums Romney has raised from K Street and Wall Street is at least somewhat problematic.

Romney: Unions Are Buying Up Politicians