A top union boss spoke out in favor of Democratic U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud’s gubernatorial campaign on Wednesday as media reports indicated the United Steelworkers will dump another $230,000 into the congressman’s gubernatorial campaign.
USW Works, the United Steelworkers Union’s super political action committee (super PAC), has reportedly purchased $230,000 in television advertisements.
Details of the ad buy have not yet been reported to the Federal Communications Commission Website as required under law, but the dollar amount of the purchase was reported on Wednesday afternoon by the liberal-leaning Portland Press Herald.
On the same day, AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka made a scheduled campaign appearance with Michaud and took to Twitter to attack his Republican opponent, Gov. Paul LePage.
— Richard L. Trumka (@RichardTrumka) October 1, 2014
The money bomb follows a $300,000 contribution from the USW to the Maine Democratic Party.
Michaud, himself a member of the USW, has benefited hugely throughout his political career from organized labor’s contributions to his campaigns. According to The Center for Responsive Politics, Michaud has received more than $1.5 million in donations to his congressional campaign committee from labor unions since 2001.
LePage has frequently clashed with labor bosses during his tenure in Augusta. Most recently, lobbyists for the union objected to the governor’s proposal to create Open For Business Zones at decommissioned military bases in Limestone and Brunswick.
That proposal was designed to lure large businesses to Maine. It included a “Right-to-Work” provision that would have prevented workers within the OFB zones from being compelled to join a union or pay fees to a union as a condition of their employment. The bill ultimately failed to pass the Democrat-controlled Legislature.
The Maine Republican Party blasted Trumka in a Wednesday email to media. The email contained links to several news stories regarding Trumka’s controversial tenure at the top of one of the world’s largest unions. According to the email, Trumka made $322,121 in fiscal year 2014 and has been described as a “union gangster” and a “thug.”