Union boss Andy Stern to run his own candidates!
by skeptic06, Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 10:03:39 AM EST
The SEIU boss and leader of the Change to Win group of unions who broke away from the AFL-CIO is saying that his union
will actively recruit and finance its own candidates, even if that means running them against Democratic incumbents in primaries or backing Republicans in general elections.
On the performance of the two parties,
Stern says Democrats haven't done enough to keep American jobs from going overseas, and while many Americans have lost faith in the Republicans to run the country, "people don't yet believe electing Democrats will make that much of a difference.''
Stern also says that Republicans are more adept at reaching ordinary voters. "The Democrats think elections are 'Jeopardy' or 'College Bowl' and Republicans think they are 'American Idol,''' he said.
Of course, it wouldn't be the first time the unions have worked both sides of the street. The UMW's John L Lewis endorsed Wendell Willkie back in 1940, I believe.
But I had the impression that, amongst the majority of lefty bloggers, Stern was the new face of unionism - smart, an organizer, a leader, a negotiator, untainted by past labor connections to corruption, organized crime and the like.
Is this a general shot across Dem bows? Or does he want something in particular from the party? Or are we going to start get some NARAL/Chafee situations with the SEIU?
Or has he in mind a sort of shadow Labour Party (along British lines), still within the Democratic Party, but an alternative central source of cash and support to the DCCC, say, for House candidates.
Our old friend Rahm Emanuel may well think that. In reaction to the Stern quote, he says
I don't know how he can say that. The candidates I recruit are strong advocates for working, middle-class families across the country.
What do folks here with union connections think, I wonder?