Campaign Ads More Bang for Candidates’ Bucks
Under federal rules, super PACS pay market rates for TV ads, but candidates are guaranteed special lower rates. That helps Donald Trump, who spends via his campaign, while Ted Cruz and others lean on outside groups. ——Tim Higgins $17m $16m $66m $29m
mandatory union fees for publicsector workers covered by union contracts. The deadlock leaves rules allowing such fees intact, but other challenges have already been filed in lower courts. That means the Supreme Court may choose to revisit the question after the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia is filled. Losing mandatory fees, unions say, would drive their share of the U.S. workforce below today’s 11 percent, down from about one-third 50 years ago. “We can’t survive in a world where the oxygen is being cut off,” says Larry Hanley, president of the 190,000-member Amalgamated Transit Union.
Before becoming SEIU’S president in 2010, Henry was head of its healthcare division. Under her leadership, it successfully unionized home-health aides by getting states to treat them as public employees rather than independent contractors and cut deals with hospital chains that made it easier to add more workers to the union. As president, Henry quickly moved to persuade union leaders inside and outside SEIU that the movement was on a trajectory to oblivion unless it could find ways to bring more workers under the umbrella of organized labor. “No matter how successful SEIU will be, it cannot win in the long term unless we create a broader movement,” says Eliseo Medina, SEIU’S former secretary-treasurer. “That was the context.”
Central to Henry’s solution was tethering SEIU, long a reliable source of Democratic campaign volunteers, to a public-advocacy effort against income inequality. In 2011, SEIU created what it called the Fight for a Fair Economy, which aimed at introducing wages into the national conversation before the 2012 election. “We made a decision not to make it an SEIU thing,” avoiding branding the campaign with its signature violet logo, says Neal Bisno, who heads SEIU’S health-care-workers union in Pennsylvania. “We literally took off our purple T-shirts.” In February 2012 an internal SEIU memo outlined a plan to position unions as an answer to income inequality, in part by mobilizing fast-food workers.
While SEIU has been funding and directing the Fight for $15 from the start, local groups such as New York Communities for Change and Chicago-based Action Now served as the campaign’s initial public face. Until the California deal, many of its victories were at the city level. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is also pushing for a statewide $15 minimum for all workers.
Yet to critics, the Fight for $15 amounts to a feel- good distraction from the real problems SEIU faces. The organization, which long touted itself as America’s “fastest- growing union,” reported about 34,000 fewer members at the end of 2015 than in 2011. The problem, some SEIU veterans say, is how to justify the continued outlay for minimum-wage protests on behalf of nonunion workers in light of the decline in dues-paying memberships. Just as AARP relies on the money it makes in royalties from licensing insurance and other products, SEIU needs to find a funding stream to pay for its social-justice work, says Andy Stern, who preceded Henry as SEIU president. The union can’t just keep transferring revenue it makes from bargaining contracts to pay for its social justice work, Stern says, “because collective bargaining is shrinking.”
Trump Trump has also bought fewer ads than other candidates, thanks to his free media coverage
Marco Rubio Number of Ads Trump campaign Pro-cruz super PAC