UPDATED 8:09 P.M.: A spokesman for Service Employees International Union 775 guided me to a few additional donations that union made, so I updated their chart to include those.
ORIGINAL POST: OLYMPIA — We wrote a story for Wednesday about Republican Party lawmakers’ skepticism over state-employee raises legislators will approve, deny or disregard this session, which comes in a tight year as budgets go. One of the things that’s occasionally popped up in my conversations with legislators is which GOP lawmakers may decide to go ahead and support the contracts. While Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, has been mentioned a few times, I thought it would interesting to look at which Republican lawmakers received political contributions from unions in last year’s elections.
Two things worth noting. First, when you look at Washington politicians getting the most union contributions, as you might expect, the list skews heavily toward Democrats. Second, what I’ve gathered here isn’t a comprehensive tally. I searched for contributions by four of the larger unions, but there are more than two dozen negotiated or arbitrated contracts that lawmakers must consider.
That said, let’s look at some Republicans who have also gotten contributions from unions. The graph below shows contributions from the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE). The union represents about 40,000 general government employees and donated to eight GOP lawmakers. The “H” and “S” in parentheses in the charts stand for state House or Senate.
Two other contracts up for approval are for a pair of Service Employees International unions: locals 1199 and 775. SEIU 1199 donated to both Roach and Sen. Brian Dansel, R-Republic. SEIU 775 donated to all the remaining lawmakers, as well as Roach, which is why she appears twice in the chart below.
Finally, let’s look at the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association. Workers represented by the association are in line to get a 7 percent raise under an arbitrated union agreement. The association contributed to 18 GOP lawmakers, mostly through $950 contributions:
You can see from the list why Roach’s name comes up. But whether she — or other GOP lawmakers — vote to approve the employee pay raises remains to be seen. If you want to dive deeper into this, check out a summary of all the union agreements here.