Unions invented PACs

    Next time unions and their allies complain about money in politics, remind them unions invented political action committees.

    History professor Maury Klein writes for Bloomberg:

    The first organization to call itself a political action committee was formed in July 1943 by the Congress of Industrial Organizations, and it was done to re-elect a Democratic president and friends of labor.

    Devised by Philip Murray, head of the CIO, and Sidney Hillman, president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, the new PAC professed to be nonpartisan, although everyone knew its mission was to back Roosevelt and other New Deal candidates. “Let’s quit blaming the politicians and face the responsibility of full citizenship,” Hillman told the membership. “Let’s become politicians ourselves.”

    According to Klein, the first PAC spent about $600,000.

    There is a simple solution for people turned off by the amount of money in politics. If you want to get the money out of politics, take the money out of government.