Thursday, June 14, 2012

AFL-CIO Pulling Funds From Obama Campaign??

Protesters gather outside the hotel where Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to the Texas Public Policy Foundation's 10th Annual Policy Orientation of the Texas Legislature, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, in Austin, Texas.

Now this is a major bit of hope and change!

The AFL-CIO, the largest private union group in the country has signalled that it will be 'redeploying' funds away from political candidates, including President Obama.

The union's story is that they were planning this anyway and had nothing to do with President Obama's no show in Wisconsin last week."We wanted to start investing our funds in our own infrastructure and advocacy," AFL-CIO spokesman Josh Goldstein told Whispers. "There will be less contributions to candidates," including President Obama.

"Some candidates will get more, some less, some the same -- but overall we'll be focused more on spending resources to build our own structure [that] works for working people instead of others' own structures."

This echoes a speech back in May at the National Press Club by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka threatening to reduce support for the Democratic party and launch "an independent labor movement" if they didn't receive more support from Democrats for their agenda.

Actually, the AFL-CIO's financial contribution to Democrats is dwarfed by those of the Public employee unions and the UAW, but the AFL-CIO provides vital contributions in kind via phone banks and get out the vote efforts.

How to parse this? Part of it is anger at President Obama for being a no show in don't get your friend's back only when you're sure he's going to win, after all. Part of it is the huge financial and PR hit the unions took in trying to unseat Governor Walker, members oif Wisconsin's State Supreme Court and the Republican state senate.

And part of it may be labor returning gradually to a very old bit of wisdom by labor pioneer Samuel Gompers,who always advised unions to be careful about getting into bed too far with any one political party because they 'could get kicked in the breadbasket'.

It's obvious to me that at least when it comes to private unions, their real home is with conservative candidates who can provide security at home and abroad, grow the economy and provide the jobs and prosperity labor depends on. And it's just as obvious to me that if we're going to bring manufacturing back in America as a part of that prosperity ( and we had better), a big part of it is going to involve a responsible private labor movement and good paying blue collar jobs.

This is by no means as far fetched as it sounds.

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