Auto Bailout and UAW PAC Contributions


A couple of analyses highlight the contributions of the United Auto Workers PAC to proponents of the auto bailout. The Center for Responsive Politics released an analysis of Senate votes and UAW PAC contributions last week. Yesterday, the conservative Business & Media Institute released their own analysis of UAW PAC giving and the alignment of auto bailout support. After calculating the 2008 UAW PAC giving and matching it up to votes on bailout, I found some differences with the BMI report.

In my review of 2008 UAW PAC contributions, I found that the PAC contributed a total of $1,111,250 to 182 lawmakers who voted “Yes” on the auto bailout. The UAW PAC also contributed a total of $111,500 to 18 lawmakers voting “No”. (Also, seven lawmakers who did not vote received a total of $32,000.)

On average, however, there is little difference between the Yes and No camps in the dollar amount of the PAC contributions received. Lawmakers who received UAW PAC contributions and voted No, received slightly more money on average than those receiving UAW PAC money and voting Yes. On average the 18 No votes received $6,194, the 182 Yes votes received $6,106 on average.

Of all 207 lawmawkers receiving campaign contributions from the UAW PAC in 2008, only two are Republicans (Sen. Arlen Specter, voted Yes; Rep. Frank LoBiondo, voted No). Even more so than voting preference, the UAW’s PAC contributions align with the long time union preference for Democrats.

UAW PAC contributions are definitely a strong predictive force in how a member will vote, but partisan identification appears to be a stronger force here.

(All data comes from the Center for Responsive Politics.)