Speaking of unions and MSNBC, Host Ed Schultz who likes to beat the union drum on his show was paid more than a quarter of a million bucks by union groups between 2012 and 2013, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Politico says that those payments — which came from AFL-CIO electrical workers, postal workers, and others — were designated for either "political" or "representational" activities. Union auto workers alone paid Ed Schultz Broadcasting LLC a total of $72,000 in 2012.
In a statement to POLITICO, MSNBC spokesperson Lauren Skowronski said the payments were for advertisements on Schultz's radio show and website and for speaking engagements. She also said that all funds from speaking engagements were donated to charity, in keeping with company policy.
“Independent from MSNBC, Ed's radio show and website sell advertising to a variety of clients — both union and non-union," Skowronski said. "Also as previously noted, Ed has donated the honorarium from speaking engagements to charity, per network policy.”
Early last year, after reports that Schultz was paid $199,900 by unions in 2011, Schultz said on his show that all the money he received for speeches went to charity; in this case, the American Cancer Society. A letter from the Society shows that it received $100,000, roughly half the total Schultz received from unions.
The Department of Labor database does not show the union payments to Ed Schultz Broadcasting in 2011. It shows $177,000 from unions in 2012 and $75,000 from unions in 2013, as well as a $10,000 payment from a local, state, county and municipal workers union in Fargo, N.D., in 2009. All of the payments identify the payee as Ed Schultz Broadcasting LLC.
Schultz frequently promotes union workers and causes on his MSNBC show and on his radio program. He also has representatives from unions as guests on his show. This week, Teamsters leader James Hoffa and Larry Cohen, the president of the Communications Workers of America, both appeared on the show.