Over the past couple of months, AFL-CIO volunteers have made more than 3 million voter contacts in Pennsylvania, the heart of organized labor’s efforts to lift President Obama, Sen. Bob Casey (D) and Democratic congressional candidates in the state.
The campaign reflects AFL-CIO’s expanded reach in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that freed corporations and unions to spend unlimited money advocating for or against candidates for office.
Before the 2010 ruling, the nation’s largest labor federation was allowed to communicate political messages to its membership but limited to general-issues advocacy when it came to other voters. Now, AFL-CIO has its own super PAC, Workers’ Voice to connect with voters who might not be union members but are sympathetic to labor’s causes and candidates.
“We’re now hitting every single door in our targeted universe,” said David Driscoll-Knight, Pennsylvania state director for the labor federation. “We know with a very strong likelihood who’s going to be a supporter in a given area.”