National

MSNBC Host Al Sharpton Rakes in Union Cash

Organizations Al Sharpton

MSNBC host and world-renowned race hustler Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN), which paid Sharpton $241,402 in 2012, has received over $3.6 million from labor unions since 2005.

Unions reported paying NAN, founded by Sharpton in 1991 and self-credited with “coalescing Black and Brown communities to fight for immigration rights, and education and labor reform,” a total of $1,159,500 during their 2013 fiscal years.

Based on annual expenditure reports, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) paid NAN $300,000 and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) gave NAN $216,500 last year alone.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders, who was paid $353,580 by the public employee union in 2012, sits on NAN’s board of directors.

“NAN has worked on advocating at a federal, state and city level for job programs and to create jobs in the public and private sector,” the nonprofit boasts. Sharpton advocates bigger government and attacks its critics on his MSNBC show, as well.

The 20 largest individual payments to NAN that labor unions reported to the U.S. Department of Labor for 2013 were:

Organization NamePayee NamePurposeExpenditure
TEACHERS AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNational Action NetworkMembership Organization$250,000
STATE COUNTY & MUNI EMPLS AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNational Action Network, Inc.Civil Rights Organization$216,500
NATIONAL EDUCATION ASN IND NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORKCivil Rights Organization$100,000
AUTO WORKERS AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORKNON PROFIT ORGANIZATION$50,000
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AFGE AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORK INCCOALITION/CONSTITUENCY GROUP$50,000
SERVICE EMPLOYEES LOCAL UNION 1199NATIONAL ACTION NETWORKNon-Profit$50,000
SERVICE EMPLOYEES NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNational Action NetworkNon-Profit Organization$50,000
TEACHERS AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNational Action NetworkMembership Organization$50,000
NEW YORK HOTEL TRADES COUNCILTHE NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK INC.CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION$35,000
TEACHERS AFL-CIO LOCAL UNION 2NATIONAL ACTION NETWORKGENERAL VENDOR$35,000
UNITE HERE NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORKCharitable Organization$30,000
AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORK INCCivil and Human Rights Group$25,000
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AFGE AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORK INCCOALITION/CONSTITUENCY GROUP$25,000
LABORERS NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORKPOLICY POLITICAL ORG$25,000
POSTAL WORKERS, AMERICAN, AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORKCIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION$25,000
SERVICE EMPLOYEES LOCAL UNION 6434THE NATIONAL ACTION NETWORKCOMMUNITY NON-PROFIT$25,000
MACHINISTS AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORKNON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION$22,000
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AFGE AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORK INCCOALITION/CONSTITUENCY GROUP$15,000
SHEET METAL WORKERS AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORKADVOCACY ORGANIZATION$15,000
UTILITY WORKERS AFL-CIO NATIONAL HEADQUARTERSNATIONAL ACTION NETWORKNON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION$15,000

President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack are all featured guests at NAN’s annual convention, which ends tomorrow.

Sharpton no doubt hopes that having the president and three members of his Cabinet at the event will help NAN improve its financial footing. Despite raising over $4 million in 2012, NAN ended the year more than $1 million in the red.

Al Sharpton is not the only MSNBC host to benefit from union bosses’ generosity with member dues: Ed Schultz has received more than $500,000 from union bosses since 2011.

[Editor’s note, 06/19/2014: Corrected a typo in Ag. Secretary Vilsack’s title]

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