Labor or business: Who in D.C. has the most political cash?

A Washington-area union is sitting on a pile of political cash ahead of election season.

The Annapolis-based Service Employees International Union, MD/DC State Council ended January with $183,413 cash on hand. The political action committee’s closing balance more than doubles that of any other PAC registered with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance.

Of the 49 PACs that filed with the finance office for the six month period ending Jan. 31, fewer than 10 represent labor. The second largest union balance belongs to the Mid-Atlantic Political Action Committee, funded by a coalition of United Food and Commercial Workers International Unions, which closed January with $53,160 on hand.

While one labor organization can claim the single largest PAC balance, the combined cash of various business and professional interests — developers, Realtors, commercial office building owners, lawyers, etc. — holds at least as much sway.

The Metropolitan Washington PAC, the political arm of the Apartment and Office Building Association, closed the period with a healthy $75,548.26 — though it raised only $233.11 during the six month period.

The Washington D.C. Association of Realtors PAC ended the period with $63,810 cash on hand, having raised more than $16,000 the previous six months. Most of those receipts came in the form of $50 and $100 donations from D.C. real estate agents.

The Greater Washington Board of Trade DC PAC spent nothing and raised nothing between Aug. 1 and Jan. 31 and still finished with $62,782.27.

D.C. Legal ended with more than $47,000 on hand, while the Verizon Communications Inc. Good Government Club closed with $44,050.11, having raising $3,000 mostly through small donations ($5, $10 and $50 payroll deductions) from Verizon employees.

In the battle of partisan PACs, the D.C. Republican Committee’s, well, committee started the period with double the cash of the D.C. Democratic State Committee. But the local GOPers ended January with only $89.09 — Dems closed with $8,062 — after transferring more than $27,000 to the DC Republican Committee Federal Account.

D.C.’s primary election is April 3.


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