The first clue that the real purpose of “Americans for Job Security” may not match its name is its address: 107 South West Street PMB Alexandria, Virginia. Alexandria, just across the Potomac from Washington DC, is the home base for thousands of political front groups, and 107 South West Street is the address of a joint Mail Boxes, Etc. and UPS Store. This organization runs out of a post office box. It’s trying to hide something.
Review official Federal Election Commission records for the two distinct committees officially registered at the same address as the “Americans for Job Security” and it will appear to you as if the group received no contributions from anyone and made no contributions to any candidate. But appearances are deceiving. Tucked away in a separate corner of the FEC website is a listing of “independent expenditures” made in favor of or against the election of candidates by groups whose spending is completely unlimited and who are able to hide the names of their contributors without consequence. According to that database, Americans for Job Security has spent $4,368,528 between September 9 and October 1 of this year, paying for advertisements against the re-election of the following Democratic members of the House of Representatives:
“Americans for Job Security’s” spending also has gone into advertisements against the election of Trent Van Haaften and Bryan Lentz, two non-incumbent Democratic Party candidates running for two open seats in Indiana’s 8th district and Pennsylvania’s 7th district.
The 8 Democratic incumbents against which “Americans for Job Security” is spending millions of dollars of mystery money are hardly left-wingers or even liberals. In our scale of voting and cosponsorship of important bills in this term of the House of Representatives, the candidates score an average of only +5.25 in the range of -100 (right wing) to +100 (left wing).
But the 8 congressmen targeted by “American for Job Security” do have one act in common: each of these members of Congress voted against the Mack Amendment. The Mack Amendment, if passed, would have slapped aside the usual rule for federally-funded projects that construction workers be paid at least the prevailing wage of the area in compensation for their labor. That prevailing wage standard is not high to begin with, at poverty-level compensation in many places. But Republican Connie Mack wanted to push government pay for construction workers down, lower than poverty level. A job that won’t keep your family fed, clothed and safe in your home isn’t a secure job. These eight members of Congress voted against the Mack Amendment and for the preservation of families’ economic security.
On top of that, individual members of this set of 8 have acted in ways that show they support job security for Americans. Larry Kissell is a supporter of the 21st Century Buy American Act, a bill to provide incentives for businesses to keep manufacturing jobs in America. Heath Shuler is a member of the Buy American Caucus, a legislative group promoting the same sort of policies. Altmire, Arcuri, Etheridge, Kissell, Salazar, Shuler and Space all voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Act, a bill that made it illegal again to fire women from their jobs just because they’re women. That’s yet another bill promoting job security for Americans.
If policies that actually promote job security for Americans are not of interest to “Americans for Job Security,” what could possibly be motivating those independent expenditures against these pro-job Democrats?
The latest conservative Cook Political Report, relied upon by Republican party consultants for strategy purposes, lists each of these incumbents as locked in a competitive race with a good chance for a Republican Party pickup. Before it delved into newly-legal independent expenditures in this election season, it turns out that Americans for Job Security had made illegal financial contributions to Republican Party candidates for 10 years. And guess who heads up Americans for Job Security? The former head of the New Hampshire Republican Party. That’s who.
Does that answer the question for you?