So, are most federal and postal workers Democrats or Republicans? In the last election, did they vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or businessman Donald J. Trump? Follow the money.
For as long as politicians have been seeking votes and money to get elected and keep getting reelected, they’ve sought sources of revenue. As in political donations. By some estimates, most members of the House and Senate spend two hours a day making calls to potential donors. In their quest for votes and cash, both political parties have tried to figure out the political leanings of one of the largest, best-educated and best-paid groups of workers — and retirees — in the nation. That would be the nearly 5 million-plus active and retired federal and postal workers.
Feds live and work in nearly every community in the U.S., and in more than 150 outposts overseas. The much-modified Hatch “no politics” Act now allows them to take active roles in political activities off-duty. That includes giving money to candidates.
Unions representing both federal and postal workers generally endorse, and give financial help through PACs to Democratic candidates. When they did help out a GOP candidate — as they did for many years with former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) — they did it very quietly. Legally, but quietly.
U.S. government workers are often generous — with time and cash — in community events, and as part of the Combined Federal Campaign. But when it comes to giving money to a political party or candidate, most of them don’t. The late Rep. Morris K. Udall (D-Ariz.), a staunch friend of federal and postal unions, used to refer to white-collar feds — then called the “classified service” — as the “calcified service” because of their reluctance part with $$$ on behalf of a political candidate. Other Democrats have complained for years that when it comes to ponying up cash, feds hide behind the Hatch Act.
As far as political giving goes, most feds don’t. Period. But of those that do, the vast majority donate to Democratic candidates.
Just before the 2016 presidential election, The Hill reported that “Federal government employees are opening their wallets to help Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump on Nov. 8.”
It checked Federal Election Commission records and reported that of the roughly $2 million given by feds in 14 agencies, “about $1.9 million, or 95 percent, went to” Clinton, the Democrat. It said that Department of Justice political donors gave 99 percent of their money to Clinton, while at the State Department, which she once headed, only 1 percent of the reported political contributions went to candidate Trump. It said that Trump got $8,756 from Justice employees, compared to $286,797 (at that date) for Clinton. Of the political contributions from Internal Revenue Service workers, 94 percent went to Clinton.
The FEC data covered only contributions of $200 or more. And there is no way of knowing how many of the contributors were Democratic political appointees who had a vested — as well ideological interest — in the Democrats retaining control of the White House. Like maybe keeping their six-figure jobs for another four, maybe eight years.
Many people believe that federal workers tend to vote more like their neighbors than on party lines. And others note that while feds have given more to Democrats over the past few elections, GOP candidate Mitt Romney got (slightly) more money from federal workers than President Trump.
Those numbers definitely show (prove) something! The question is what?
So are most feds Democrats? Or does the data paint a confusing picture? The only people who know, for sure, are the folks reading this. Care to comment on or off the record? I’m at email@example.com.