- An Engineering News-Record analysis of Center for Responsive Politics and Federal Election Commission data revealed that construction companies and industry groups raised $58.7 million through Sept. 24 to back their chosen candidates, while building trade unions raised $97.8 million.
- Among private industry companies and industry groups, some of the biggest contributors were Tamko Building Products ($2.8 million); Northwest Excavating ($2.1 million); Abc Supply ($1.3 million); National Association of Home Builders ($1.3 million); Associated Builders and Contractors ($1.1 million); National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association ($929,250); American Council of Engineering Companies ($883,850); Suffolk Construction ($835,960); Associated General Contractors of America ($748,771) and the National Electrical Contractors Association ($732,525). The biggest union fundraisers were carpenters ($16.4 million); laborers ($5.8 million); operating engineers ($5.2 million); plumbers and pipefitters ($2.2 million); sheet metal workers ($1.6 million); painters and allied trades ($1.4 million); ironworkers ($969,055); bricklayers ($865,896); AFL-CIO ($158,005) and insulators ($141,605).
- All of the ABC's contributions went toward Republican candidates, with other groups like the AGC and engineering companies splitting their cash between the GOP and Democrats. Trade unions donated more than 80% of money raised to Democratic candidates, down from almost 90% during the previous midterm election cycle. Environmental group League of Conservation Voters contributed most of the $2.4 million it raised to Democrats.
Construction and politics are interwoven in that the policies and regulations that come out of Washington D.C., and state governments have the potential to greatly impact the industry.
For example, those elected to Congress determine how much taxpayer money is funneled into infrastructure and other construction projects, how much financial support career and skilled-trade education programs will get, how much businesses will pay in taxes, regulations around the manufacturing of material and the sort of environmental and other rules that contractors and developers will have to navigate before and during the construction process. Republicans have traditionally been thought of as pro-business while Democrats have looked more favorably on organized labor and pro-worker policies.
As contractors try to sort out which candidates will best represent them before the November elections, some industry groups like the ABC offer legislative scorecards that show how they voted on bills the ABC believes are important to contractors. Candidates not in line with the group's position on issues like project labor agreements, the Davis-Bacon Act and the right to work are not likely to win the group's support.