Unions to Clinton: Please Tell Penn We Don't Like Him

Mayor Quimby's response to Mr. Burns blocking out the sun:
People, take it easy. We're all upset about Mr. Burns' plan to, uh, block out our sun. It is time for decisive action. I have here a polite but firm letter to Mr. Burns' underlings, who with some cajoling, will pass it along to him or at least give him the gist of it.

Union leaders to Hillary Clinton on Mark Penn's union-busting:
The presidents of two large labor unions have written to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to complain that Mark Penn, her pollster and chief strategist, is chief executive of a public relations firm that is helping a company fight a unionization drive.(...)

"If Hillary is pro-worker and pro-union, she will certainly take steps to rein in Mr. Penn," Mr. Hoffa said in an interview. "He cannot serve two masters, working for a pro-union candidate and working for anti-union companies."

In the letter, Mr. Hoffa and Mr. Raynor said, "It is with distress that we write you today," adding that they valued Mrs. Clinton's positions on many worker-related issues.(...)

In interviews, Mr. Hoffa and Mr. Raynor stopped short of calling on Mrs. Clinton to disassociate herself from Mr. Penn.

Mr. Raynor said, "She ought to send a clear message to this guy Penn that she is unhappy about this union-busting stuff and that he shouldn't be associated with it."
Wow! Way to rock the boat and challenge the status quo! A couple of unions would like Clinton to "send a message" to Penn on their behalf. That's pretty strong stuff. I wonder what that message would be? Perhaps they can look to Quimby for more advice on how to organize a union in the company where Penn's firm in conducting the union busting:
"I propose that I use what's, uh, left of the town treasury to move to a more prosperous town and run for mayor. And, uh, once elected, I will send for the rest of you."
Wouldn't want to play hardball or anything. After all, the company Penn's firm is seeking to keep non-union only employs 17,000 workers.

TarHeel has more in the diaries.

Tags: Culture, Hillary Clinton, Labor, Mark Penn (all tags)




   Kent: Kent Brockman here, with Campaign '96: America Flips A Coin. At an appearance this morning, Bill  Clinton made some rather cryptic remarks, which aides attributed to an overly tight necktie.

   Kodos: I am Clin-Ton. As overlord, all will kneel trembling before me and obey my brutal commands. [crosses arms] End communication.

   Marge: Hmm, that's Slick Willie for you, always with the smooth talk.

   -- "Treehouse of Horror VII"

by enarjay 2007-06-05 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton
One of my favorite episodes!
by Chris Bowers 2007-06-05 10:25AM | 0 recs
...If unions endorse Clinton I will say they deserve everything they get...

Yeah, that's just the attitude toward working people which will endear you to them.
by Michael Bersin 2007-06-05 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Unions

I'm wondering if this is a backlash instigated from the union workers rather than the union leaders...

Union workers starting to the read the news articles and blogs on just how bad Penn is.

I mean isn't most of our manufacturing unions -- military based, which might give the leaders a reason to keep quiet?

Just wondering.

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-06-05 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Unions

Look at the the AFL-CIO affiliates, especially manufacturing. While there are quite a few defense industries which are unionized, to assert that labor as a whole is somehow beholden to the military industrial complex is a gross overstatement.
For instance, look at the UAW, GMPIU, Ironworkers, Boilermakers, IUEC, SMWIA, and, my personal favorite, AFM.

The nation's largest union is the NEA, with 3,200,000 members.

Now, for the premise that unions (even "manufacturing" unions) are beholden to the military industrial complex belies the fact that the labor movement (including "non-manufacturing" unions) is diverse and much too large to be dictated to by an allegiance to a single consumer entity.

by Michael Bersin 2007-06-05 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Unions

Beholden by their jobs maybe?

I don't think the education unions are worried about the Clintons when she's supposed to be into kiddies... and doesn't like vouchers.  Also the oursourcing issue isn't going to be an issue.

But you're right I don't know enough about the dynamics of union leadership and the Democratic Party (including I see one member who is on the board of the DNC) when it comes to say the manufacturing sector, including leverage etc... as I said I was just wondering.

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-06-05 04:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Unions

Not the case. This came straight from the leadership as soon as their caught wind of The Nation article.

by Teamsters 2007-06-05 05:41PM | 0 recs
Most unions will not

endorse Clinton.  This is just one of many problems.

by littafi 2007-06-05 11:03AM | 0 recs
Hoffa looks weak

What a joke, why can't he just say what everyone is thinking?

by Bob Brigham 2007-06-05 12:38PM | 0 recs
by William Domingo 2007-06-05 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: At Wal-Mart, Clinton didn't upset any carts

Hillary wants to be seen again as inevitable so unions shut up and endorse her. So many want to go in a different direction than the Clinton's and Mark Penn knows it, that's why they keep stressing dem primary polling and fight so hard to keep the inevitability perception, they fear if Obama is seen as having a real good shot, the wheels would come off.

by nevadadem 2007-06-05 02:24PM | 0 recs
Re: At Wal-Mart, Clinton didn't upset any carts

If unions shut up and endorse her, they're crazy. Both she and her husband have been pro-corporate all their lives. Bill's pro-corporate legislation down in Arkansas while Governor helped make Wal-Mart into the labor crushing monster it is today.

by William Domingo 2007-06-05 02:31PM | 0 recs
I am impressed...

 ...by just how thoroughly the right wing in this country has castrated the leadership of just about ALL of America's nominally progressive institutions.

 We've seen stuff like the Sierra Club and NARAL  endorsing Republicans. Progressive religious leaders don't exist in the national debate. A reactionary like Harold Ford is portrayed as a representative African-American leader. And now we're seeing labor "leaders" shrugging off Hillary Clinton's anti-union staffers.

 Democrats take over Congress on a mandate to rein in Bush -- and instead enable him fully. The list goes on.

 Is there anybody, anywhere, willing to stand up for what he's supposed to believe in? And why aren't any such people in leadership roles?

 The 2006 elections gave us a chance to rip up the floorboards. Who would have known there were so many termites underneath.


by Master Jack 2007-06-05 02:40PM | 0 recs
A parallel...

 If Mitt Romney's chief campaign adviser was an abortion doctor, would the Dobson crowd be so pusillanimous in its objections?

 In recent weeks it's become crystal-clear to me why Democrats lose elections they shouldn't.

by Master Jack 2007-06-05 02:48PM | 0 recs
Hillary - enemy to Unions & the Middle Class


Hillary was just in Silicon Valley talking about how she loves H1B and L1 visas -

She cares nothing for workers in the US - only folks with lots of $'s to donate to her campaign.

I'm a strong Dem but she makes me wanna puke!


by mwfolsom 2007-06-05 03:00PM | 0 recs

This guy (and his cohorts) make me want to puke. Keep some perspective, eh?

by Michael Bersin 2007-06-05 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Really?


Let's see - she was on WalMart's board, worked for an anti-union law firm, loves H1B visas, supports L-1 visas -

Perhaps you should open your eyes and see who she really is -

by mwfolsom 2007-06-06 06:55AM | 0 recs
Hoffa and Clintons

The following is a response from Teamsters Communications Director Bret Caldwell to Marc Ambinder:

Mark, I appreciate your reporting of the Hoffa/Raynor letter to Senator Clinton. However, I want to clarify the Teamsters Union's relationships with President Clinton and Senator Clinton. Immediately after winning election in 1998, Jim Hoffa reached out to President Clinton and established a positive and friendly relationship.

Although Hoffa and the Teamsters vehemently opposed President Clinton's trade policies, it was through this relationship that Clinton's trade agreements during his last two years in office began to include greater labor protections and were closer to the fair-trade deals that Hoffa was seeking. In fact, President Clinton spoke at an event honoring Hoffa in New York in October 1999.

The Teamsters Union has had an extrememly close relationship with Senator Clinton since she first announced her intention to seek elective office. Senator Clinton has a very productive relationship with President Hoffa and Teamsters leaders in New York state, including Gary LaBarbera, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16 in New York.

President Clinton and Senator Clinton each spoke at the Teamsters 100th Anniversary celebration in Washington in 2003. And most recently, Senator Clinton met with our General Executive Board in Washington, D.C. - as did Senator Barack Obama and John Edwards.

Your suggestion that the Teamsters are not fans of the Clintons because they "supported Teamster dissident Ron Carey's presidential bid against Hoffa" couldn't be more off base. First, Hoffa was running to oust the corrupt Carey from office in 1996. Carey was thrown out of the union by a government oversight board in 1997 because of a dues-swap scheme in which he used dues monies in order to cheat democracy in the Teamsters Union. Second, Jim Hoffa and the Teamsters believe that President Clinton and Senator Clinton have fought and continue to fight for working people in this country. While Bush and his cronies have moved to eliminate the middle-class, Senator Clinton has been a leader in the fight for a minimum wage increase and the Employee Free Choice Act. There is no room for mistake here, the Teamsters Union and Jim Hoffa have an excellent relationship with each of the Clintons.

As for the real issue at hand, Mark Penn's company has some unsavory clients and has performed some unsavory work. I'm certain that Jim Hoffa and Bruce Raynor with discuss the issue further with Senator Clinton.

Bret Caldwell, Director of Communications
International Brotherhood of Teamsters

by Teamsters 2007-06-05 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Hoffa and Clintons

OK guys, that's fair.  But when it comes time to endorse, please remember that Bill Clinton is Senator Clinton's right hand and Mark Penn is her left hand.

Son of a union man.

by mboehm 2007-06-05 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Unions to Clinton: Please Tell Penn We Don't L

Let's see... Edwards took his law degree and worked on behalf of patients against insurance companies.

Hillary, who could have worked at the law firm of her choice, went to work at a law firm who says:

"We represent management in all forms of state and federal litigation involving claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the American with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. We practice before governmental agencies, including, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Mine and Safety Health Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other Department of Labor agencies. We also advise clients on union avoidance, organizing campaigns and union representation elections."

http://www.roselawfirm.com/practice/mana gement.asp

Not hard for this Democrat to decide who to support!

by tarheel at the beach 2007-06-05 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Unions to Clinton: Please Tell Penn We Don't L

Before Edwards worked on behalf of patients, though, please remember he represented corporate interests at Dearborn & Ewing in Nashville. Your post makes it sound as though he finished law school and went straight to his practice in Raleigh.

by domma 2007-06-05 08:19PM | 0 recs


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