Socialist Cook County Board Candidate Brandon Johnson has been the largest recipient of AFSCME worker dues this year, | Youtube
Illinois' largest public employee union has given 98 percent of its political donations this year to Democrats, according to an analysis of state filings by Prairie State Wire.
The Springfield-based American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union (AFSCME) has given $398,515 in member dues to political campaigns since the beginning of 2018, per Illinois State Board of Elections filings through June 27.
Of the total, $389,515 has gone to Democrats and $9,000 to Republicans.
The one-sided political advocacy of AFSCME and other large public employee unions, in part, prompted the recent Janus decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. It effectively bans the long-standing practice of forcing government union workers to fund political campaigns as a condition of their employment.
AFSCME currently collects such dues from approximately 35,000 State of Illinois employees.
Those dues, many of which come from Republican employees, have been used this year to back dozens of Democrat state legislative and county board candidates.
Candidates receiving the most support from AFSCME this year include Cook County Board candidate Brandon Johnson ($56,750), State Rep. Christian Mitchell of Chicago ($52,400), Attorney General candidate and State Sen. Kwame Raoul ($50,000), State Rep. Natalie Manley of Joliet ($25,000), Senate President John Cullerton's Senate Democratic Victory Fund ($25,000) and State Rep. candidate Lamont Robinson ($20,000).
All are Democrats.
Johnson is a socialist Chicago Teachers Union official who challenged and defeated incumbent Cook County Board Member Richard Boykin (D-Oak Park) after he opposed Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's deeply unpopular soda tax.
Robinson is running to replace lieutenant governor candidate State Rep. Juliana Stratton (D-Chicago), whose heavily gerrymandered fifth district tracks Chicago's State Street from the Gold Coast to Washington Park on the far south side, more than 10 miles away.
Mitchell, Manley, Cullerton and Raoul have been major AFSCME allies in Springfield, opposing pension reforms while lobbying for higher salaries and less accountability for unionized state employees.
Republican State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and failed downstate Republican state Senate candidate Rafael Him have both received $3,000 from AFSCME this year.
Him finished third in a four-way primary to replace outgoing State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), whose district includes parts of the Metro East. Business executive Jason Plummer easily won the race with 57 percent of the vote.
AFCME also gave $2,500 to Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana and $250 each to two Winnebago County board candidates.
Which candidates are getting AFSCME member dues?
AFSCME's top 30 candidates for office in 2018 have all been Democrats.
|Cook County Board candidate Brandon Johnson||Democrat||Chicago||$56,750|
|State Rep. Christian Mitchell||Democrat||Chicago||$52,400|
|Attorney General candidate Kwame Raoul||Democrat||Chicago||$50,000|
|State Rep. Natalie Manley||Democrat||Joliet||$25,000|
|Senate Democratic Victory Fund/John Cullerton||Democrat||Chicago||$25,000|
|State Rep. candidate Lamont Robinson||Democrat||Chicago||$20,000|
|State Rep. Lance Yednock||Democrat||Ottawa||$11,200|
|State Sen. Andy Manar||Democrat||Bunker Hill||$10,000|
|State Sen. candidate Gregg Johnson||Democrat||Rock Island||$10,000|
|State Rep. candidate Laura Myers||Democrat||Donnellson||$8,000|
|Cook County Board member Stanley Moore||Democrat||Chicago||$7,800|
|Cook County Board member Deborah Sims||Democrat||Chicago||$7,500|
|State Rep. candidate David Bonner||Democrat||Matteson||$6,050|
|Cook County Board candidate Bridget Degnen||Democrat||Chicago||$5,000|
|State Rep. Robert Rita||Democrat||Blue Island||$5,000|
|State Rep. Robert Martwick||Democrat||Chicago||$5,000|
|State Rep. Justin Slaughter||Democrat||Chicago||$5,000|
|State Sen. Iris Martinez||Democrat||Chicago||$5,000|
|State Rep. Mary Flowers||Democrat||Chicago||$5,000|
|Cook County Board candidate Kevin Morrison||Democrat||Elk Grove Village||$5,000|
|Cook County Board member Dennis Deer||Democrat||Chicago||$5,000|
|Cook County board candidate Bill Lowry||Democrat||Chicago||$5,000|
|State Rep. candidate Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz||Democrat||Glenview||$5,000|
|State Rep. candidate Daniel Didech||Democrat||Buffalo Grove||$5,000|
|State Sen. candidate Ann Gillespie||Democrat||Mount Prospect||$5,000|
|State Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez||Democrat||Chicago||$5,000|
|State Rep. Kelly Cassidy||Democrat||Chicago||$5,000|
|Secretary of State Jesse White||Democrat||Chicago||$5,000|
|State Rep. Thaddeus Jones||Democrat||Calumet City||$5,000|
|Illinois Democrat County Chairs' Assn.||Democrat||Springfield||$5,000|
Source: Illinois State Board of Elections