Is Delta Using Its Campaign Cash to Influence the FAA Debate?

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It should come as no surprise that Delta Airlines is using its lobbyists and campaign donations to try to overturn a decision that makes it less difficult for workers at airports to organize. That's what corporate America does, even during times of economic hardship — they maximize profits at the expense of good jobs. But Delta's lobbying has taken it one step further. With millions out of work, Delta's opposition to the legislation to keep the Federal Aviation Administration running has stopped it cold — and Congress will conclude its business for the summer without passing it. That means thousands of workers responsible for the safety and operation of airports all over the country are getting furloughed without pay.

Delta's been spending money wisely to try to overturn the decision to let workers organize more easily. They spent $1.6 million on lobbying during the first half of 2011, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. (Over the past ten years they spent at least $32 million to influence Washington.) Their PAC has given $826,243 to members of Congress since 2000. Adding additional incentive for Republicans in Congress to stand with them, Richard Anderson, Delta's CEO, made a $5,000 contribution to the Senate Republican's campaign committee earlier this year — apparently his first one ever.

It's yet another example where common sense gets a back seat — or perhaps is left on stand-by — to corporate CEOs and the lobbyists lining members' pockets.