This is the latest installment in a series of posts detailing the 2011 political spending by California state workers' unions. The records are downloaded from the California Secretary of State's office and reflect activity filed as of Jan. 31, 2012.
The 12,000 or so skilled craftsmen, maintenance staff and equipment operators in Bargaining Unit 12 are represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers, Craft Maintenance Division, California locals 3, 12, 39 and 501.
Last year IUOE Local 12 received a half-million dollars in donations and spent about $213,000, state records show. Of that, $186,000 went to political campaigns and causes. The union's PAC ended the year with $1.35 million in the bank.
The single largest payee, Nationwide Printing Services Inc., did $26,540 worth of printing work for candidates the local supported, but the payments were in-kind contributions, not cash, according to state filings. The California Democratic Party received $25,000, Local 12's largest cash expense last year.
State employees in Unit 12 make up a small part of the IUOE membership. Collectively, the four locals represent some 250 city, county, special districts, and schools bargaining units, according to the Unit 12 website, some outside of California. State workers are assigned to a local based on job class and geography.
As you look through the tables that follow, remember that expenditures show everything a union PAC spent on political activities, including operating costs. Contributions pages break out donations received (usually from members) and donations made to political campaigns and causes. In some cases, tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheets open tables with more detailed information on the union's political spending.
To get a sense of similar spending in California by other interest groups, check out Maplight.org. The California data on that site run through December 2010.