In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Trumka: DISCLOSE Act Would Be Better For Electoral System


Trumka claimed that the AFL has never in principle opposed disclosure as an objective: "What we did was say if you're going to do it, make sure it applies to everybody -- that we were being totally disadvantaged while other people weren't being disadvantaged."

That's certainly true. However, as recently as three weeks ago, the AFL came out against the DISCLOSE Act in the Senate, stating that "[W]e must reluctantly oppose [the DISCLOSE Act] because it would impose extraordinarily costly and impractical new record-keeping and reporting obligations on thousands of labor and other non-profit membership organizations with regard to routine inter-affiliate payments that bear little or no connection with public communications about federal elections."

With campaign mode in full swing, and a spate of anonymously funded ads running in districts around the country, they may have softened that position.

"What's heartbreaking is there's an imbalance here," said AFL-CIO political director Karen Ackerman. "So there's not an equal playing field with the amount of money that corporate America has to protect their own interests, and protect their tax breaks, and protect their trade deals, and protect their profit-making...there are not comparable institutions or interests -- moneyed-interests -- on the side that represents working people."

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at