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Business (as usual)

By Michael J. Smith on Thursday August 17, 2006 10:29 AM

From the Speaks For Itself file:
One year after labor groups vowed to punish 15 Democrats who joined Republicans in the U.S. Congress to approve a Central American free trade pact, most have easily won their party's nomination to run again....

... 11 of the CAFTA 15 have already won their party's nomination to face a Republican party candidate in the November congressional elections. In most of those party primary races, the CAFTA 15 candidates ran unopposed.

Two of the remaining primary races are in New York, where Rep. Gregory Meeks... is running unopposed and 24-year House veteran Rep. Edolphus Towns... faces two opponents on September 12.

The New York AFL-CIO voted this week not to endorse Meeks and Towns because of their CAFTA vote.

"It basically means we're sitting out the race," said Mario Cilento, communications director for the New York AFL-CIO. "Delegates to the convention felt strongly that a message had to be sent and not take labor support for granted."

"Sitting out the race," huh? Now there's a thunderbolt from Olympus if ever I've seen one. Fear the wrath of organized labor!

Comments (7)


What are you saying, Michael? That labor is so weak it doesnt matter what they say; or that "sitting out this one" is a tacit signal to its members to go ahead and vote Democratic.


Bobw -- Neither one of those things, really, though they're both true. I guess my point was more that labor has not really undertaken any serious effort to "punish" the CAFTA 15, as they threatened to do when the atrocity passed. Labor hasn't even run primary opponents against these sellouts, much less third-party spoiler candidates. Until they're willing to do at least that much, they can expect to be taken for granted.


You're basically right that labor is, yet again, proving itself to be a sad joke when it comes to electoral politics. But there is a minor exception: a guy named Bill Scheuer is taking on Melissa Bean on an independent party line. The machinists, I think it was, gave him something like $10,000 to help with petitioning for ballot access.

His website is here:


Not sure if he'll manage to spoil Bean-it will be tougher now that the Repugs have achieved NAMBLA level public approval ratings. Giving a few bucks to his campaign might make be an appropriate expenditure for those genuinely interested in "the destruction of the Democratic Party."


js paine:


yes indeed melissa B
would be a nice "wack"

but 10k is a pathetic token

i hardly blame the iam though

the house of labor itself must
strike the blows

even the stub end
clinging to the label
could mobilize
whatever it needed
to take "the Beanbag " down

try learning
from aipac
you clowns

to be effective
really effective
not as mjs suggests " taken for granted"
you must
not cast your puny rewards
apon the water
but inflict highly focused
brutal punishment

a few high profile
electoral kill shots
create maximum fear and awe

js paine:

from said article

"labor unions risk marginalizing their influence by taking a hard line on trade pacts"


one can't begin to express
how replete with irony that line is


I'm sure we all remember that labor (AFL/xxx) was an important pillar of the Cold War and American interventions in those days. Those kind of habits (or venal ties) die hard.

Really, it's simple. The Union bigwigs will always love their cozy, well-paid perches more than they love the people they're supposed to represent. Just like the big-name Democratic proggies.

(Whiiiiiiiine !!! Running your own candidate is haaaaaaaaaaaarrrd !! And Greens are scratchy and smell funny !!)

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