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Union Gives $205,000 to Va. Democrats

Tim Craig

Organized labor continues to dump unprecedented amounts of money into the Virginia Democratic Party.

Last Tuesday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association donated $205,000 to the party's state account. The air traffic controllers appear to have made the largest contribution to any Virginia political committee in at least a decade.

On the same day, the Communications Workers of America also donated $50,000 to the party.

"We appreciate the gift," said Levar Stoney, executive director of the Virginia Democratic Party.

Last month, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union donated $100,000 to the party's state account. Under Virginia law, individuals and organizations are not restricted on how much they can donate to a state political committee.

But only a portion of the money can be used to influence the outcome of this year's presidential and congressional races. The bulk of money the party spends on those races has to come from its federal account, which is governed by contribution limits.

Numerous unions, including the American Federation of Teachers and the United Mine Workers, have been making direct contributions to the party's federal account this fall to help Democrat Barack Obama and U.S. Senate Candidate Mark R. Warner. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association also donated $5,000 to the state party's federal account in July, according to campaign finance reports.

As of last week, the Virginia Democratic Party party had already raised more than $10 million for its federal coordinated effort, although a significant portation of that total came directly from Obama's campaign.

By Tim Craig  |  October 30, 2008; 7:08 PM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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