Labor unions give to Obama’s inauguration

Several unions have contributed to President Obama’s inauguration.

At least nine unions are listed as donors to the inauguration, according to the latest update on the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s website. The committee has been releasing donors’ names to the inauguration every Friday for the past several weeks.

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The unions that have donated to Obama’s second inauguration include the American Federation of Government Employees; the American Postal Workers Union; the International Association of Fire Fighters; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; the Laborers International Union of North America; and the United Food & Commercial Workers.

Labor was a key ally of the president and Democratic candidates last election. Unions revved up their political operation and helped get voters to the polls in November for Obama in several vital battleground states.

Several unions endorsed Obama for reelection over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Labor’s relationship with the White House, however, has grown tense at times — the latest episode being unions’ concerns over the president offering to cut Social Security benefits during “fiscal-cliff” negotiations with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last month.

Many corporations, including Bank of America, the Coca-Cola Company and FedEx, also appeared on the Inaugural committee’s donor list for the first time on Friday. Almost 20 corporations have now given to the inauguration.

Brand-name companies like AT&T and Microsoft already had been listed as contributors to the inaugural festivities.

Obama did not accept contributions from corporations as well as unions for his first inauguration. Donations were also capped at $50,000. Obama raised more than $53 million for his first inauguration.

This time, there is no cap on contributions or ban against corporate or union donations for Obama’s second inauguration. Donors are also being offered several packages priced between $75,000 and $1 million to gain access to select events, including the inaugural ball and parade.

Lobbyists and political action committees are not permitted to give Obama’s second inauguration, which was also the case in 2009.

The New York Times reported on Jan. 11 that the Presidential Inaugural Committee was struggling to meet its fundraising goal of $50 million. Representatives for the committee, however, have contended that they will have enough funds to meet the inauguration’s needs.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is disclosing less information about its donors when compared to 2009. The committee has released the donors’ names online this time, but not the contribution amount or the contributor’s occupation and city like they did for Obama’s first inauguration, according to the Sunlight Foundation.

More information about the inauguration’s donors will be released in a Federal Election Commission report. The committee must file that report 90 days after the inauguration takes place.