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Report: Labor unions are funding Republican civil war

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Labor unions are trying to tear down the Republican Party, and according to the National Journal's Scott Bland, they're getting help from the inside...

The Republican Main Street Partnership has emerged as an outspoken, deep-pocketed player in pro-business GOP plans to beat back tea party challengers next year. But the group's new super PAC has an unexpected source for its seed money: labor unions.

The super PAC, called Defending Main Street, has not yet submitted a major donor disclosure to the Federal Election Commission. But documents filed by other groups show that two labor organizations, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Laborers' International Union of North America, directed a combined $400,000 to the Republican group in September and October.

Main Street says it has raised roughly $2 million total between its super PAC and an affiliated non-profit group so far – and that means labor has supplied at least 20 percent of those funds.

For the unions, this is not a surprising move. While both labor groups direct most of their millions to Democrats, they have consistently given smaller amounts to friendly Republicans.

But the scale of these six-figure donations – $250,000 from the Operating Engineers and $150,000 from LIUNA – makes this effort distinct. Plus, they're coming as the Main Street group has been publicly declaring its intent to crush tea party challengers in Republican primaries, going head to head with conservative bankrollers, like the anti-tax Club for Growth.

"Hopefully we'll go into eight to 10 races and beat the snot out of them," Main Street president Steven LaTourette told National Journal in October.

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