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Joe Walsh is Confused

November 8, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

There’s a lot to be annoyed about in this video of Rep. Joe Walsh [R, IL-8] flipping out at his constituents who are concerned about inadequate financial regulations and screaming, “don’t blame banks! … that pisses me off.” But here’s just one thing.

When one of his constituents points out that the amount of money unions spend on elections pales in comparison to the amount of money that corporations spend, Walsh takes a position that I hear repeated time and time again. “Not true. Not true,” he said, adding: “if you think that, you’re smoking something.” Walsh is flat-out wrong. Unions spend just a tiny fraction of what corporations do on federal campaigns. Take a look at the data from OpenSecret.org — labor is ranked 10th out of 13 sectors :

According to my back-of-the-envelope calculation, unions spend about 3% of the total disclosed industry/interest-group spending on federal elections. The vast majority of the rest of it comes from business interests.

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