Saturday, February 23, 2013

Good News: The Building Trades Unions Aren't Endorsing A Republican In Massachusetts

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A few days ago Nate Silver warned in his NY Times column that Ed Markey doesn't have Kerry's Senate seat in the bag. He shows the states as "likely" Democrat. Only likely... when the GOP can't even find a plausible candidate and after Obama won 61% of the state against Massachusetts' former governor. He won every county and every congressional district. The closest Romney came was in John Tierney's 6th CD where he took 43.9% of the vote.

Most everyone, though, has written off Markey's primary as a bit of practice for the main event. He's running against ConservaDem and anti-Choice fanatic Stephen Lynch and "everyone" says Markey will wipe the floor with him. We hope so we and encourage progressives to contribute to Markey's campaign at the Blue America Senate page. But the conservative building trades unions are solidly backing Lynch. Better than them backing a Republican, for sure, but these are unions that often look for conservatives to get behind.
The Massachusetts Building Trades Council AFL-CIO, the statewide coalition of 74 construction unions representing 75,000 workers, formally endorsed Congressman Steve Lynch on February 21st. Joining the state Building Trades Council in endorsing Lynch that same day was Painters & Allied Trades District Council #35, a New England-wide union representing commercial and construction painters, glaziers and public sector workers. Two days earlier the Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589, and its parent union the ATU, endorsed Lynch for US Senate with a unanimous membership vote at its morning and evening meetings. Last week, the 20,000 member New England Regional Council of Carpenters endorsed Lynch after having both Markey and Lynch address the Union.
The United States Senate is full of professional politicians and millionaires. It’s about time we sent someone to Washington who doesn’t just talk about representing the interests of working people. We need to send someone to Washington who understands the challenges facing working families. Steve Lynch understands that because he’s lived it. He knows the value of hard work and he knows what it’s like to collect unemployment when the work dries up.
...The reality check here is that Organized Labor can deliver a 2-4 % bump for a candidate on election day BUT that candidate has to have his/her own creditable campaign operation in place to win. The most recent example would be on the North Shore where Labor support for Congressman Tierney, combined with Tierney’s and the Democratric Party’s GOTV operations, resulted in a Tierney win in a tough campaign. Inside Tierney’s CD, the State Senate race with now Senator Joanne Lovely and former Rep and MA AFL-CIO endorsed candidate John Slattery saw Lovely score a convincing win. Slattery failed to develop his own GOTV structure and Labor was fighting outside its weight class as Slattery’s only field operation.

Lynch will continue to earn Labor endorsements from a majority of Unions in the state that will give him a statewide outreach and introduce him to voters outside his CD. A Massachusetts AFL-CIO endorsement remains a high hurtle for Lynch with several progressive unions on the sidelines or endorsing Markey. A 2/3 vote at the AFL-CIO’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) may be out of reach for Lynch. Congressman Markey remains the frontrunner financially and in all polls that have been released. Lynch faces an uphill battle going into April 30th.
Nationally, during the last cycle the Carpenters & Joiners Union was one of Labor's political heavy hitters, contributing $8,739,974, just over the $8,474,714 from the AFL-CIO and the $8,449,327 from the American Federation of Teachers, though not as much as the SEIU ( $13,379,921) or the United Auto Workers ($15,750,686). Over all, Labor contributed $54,664,560 to Democratic candidates for Congress and $5,627,484 to Republicans. But the Carpenters & Joiners were far more generous to Republicans than most of Labor. Their top recipient was mob-affiliated Staten Island corruptionist Michael Grimm ($20,000). Other right-wing, anti-union Republicans who saw big contributions from the Carpenters & Joiners were David McKinley (WV) who got $15,000 and then $10,000 pops for John Boehner (OH), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Jo Ann Emerson (MO), Richard Hanna (NY), Steve LaTourette (OH), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Tim Murphy (PA), Peter Roskam (IL), Paul Ryan (WI), Aaron Schock (IL), John Shimkus (IL), Steve Stivers (OH), Pat Tiberi (OH), Michael Turner (OH), Fred Upton (MI), Greg Walden (OR) and Don Young (AK). And at the $7,500 level we find some real doozies, like racist psychopath Lou Barletta (PA), Rodney Alexander (LA), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Chip Cravaack (MN), Michael Fitzpatrick (PA), Jim Gerlach (PA), Chris Gibson (NY), John Kline (MN), Leonard Lance (NJ), Patrick Meehan (PA), Tom Petri (WI), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Jon Runyan (NJ), Bill Shuster (PA), Chris Smith (NJ).

Of course, these Republicans had Democratic opponents, pro-Labor Democratic opponents. And you may recognize many of the names from the list about a week and a half ago of Republicans who must be defeated if Alan Grayson's Medicare for all legislation is ever going to pass-- or even get out of committee and brought up for a vote. Building Trades Unions tend to be politically conservative. When they're not helping cut their own members throats by underwriting Republicans, they're just as likely to finance extremely right-wing Democrats-- Blue Dogs, New Dems and Democrats who vote with the GOP on issues crucial to working families.

Stephen Lynch is right up their alley. If you're a progressive and if you would like to see the U.S. focus on Climate Change legislation, it's Ed Markey who's right up your alley. Again, you can contribute to his campaign here.

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2 Comments:

At 12:41 PM, Blogger John Arlo said...

Good news!

 
At 1:54 PM, Blogger trog69 said...

As a union retiree, I am not that surprised to see so many workers voting as their local managers/business agents tell them to. Most construction workers do not read the op-ed columns or much of anything political on TV. And the few that do have a percentage that are somehow still Conservative Republicans while they are union members. I have no idea how to reach them, as they only believe what has been drummed in their heads from Fox News when they sit in the bar after work.

 

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