No union ‘loophole’ in campaign fund law

 The Massachusetts State House
The Massachusetts State HouseDAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF

There is a glaring contradiction in the recent editorial, “Mass. should close campaign finance loophole for labor unions,” (March 9).

The editorial rightly characterizes Citizens United as an “awful” Supreme Court decision for taking the already outsized influence of corporations in politics and putting it on steroids. However, the Globe’s prescription is to give corporations and wealthy individuals even more power by eliminating one of the only remaining avenues for poor and working people to make their voice heard in politics: through unions and community organizations. This would bring Massachusetts one step closer to finishing the job that Citizens United started.


The Globe incorrectly characterizes existing campaign finance rules as containing a “union loophole,” only once mentioning that these rules are also used by nonprofit community organizations, mainly through in-kind contributions such as candidate training.

There is no shortage of avenues for business interests to make their voices heard. Corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money through super PACs; business owners, executives, and their families can donate thousands of dollars to individual candidates; and secret donors can finance barely disguised partisan organizations under the guise of “political education.”

With all of these avenues for the wealthy to influence our political process, how can average workers possibly hope to compete? Right now, they can’t. But through their unions and community organizations, they are at least allowed to play on the same field.

Steve A. Tolman


Massachusetts AFL-CIO