After spending record amounts (over $1,000,000,000) of workers’ dues money on the last congressional campaign, Big Labor has set its sights on electing a president who will sign its agenda — with no questions asked.
The Hill newspaper is reporting that union militants are revamping their presidential-endorsement process, admitting that in 2004, the bosses didn’t take into account their members’ views before backing a candidate.
Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), spoke of his union’s endorsement of failed presidential candidate and current Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean early in the nominating process. As McEntee put it, the union had not done due diligence with its membership in selecting a candidate capable of winning.
“I think in the final analysis . . . we didn’t drill down far enough,” McEntee said. “We didn’t get down to the real activist level.”
Setting their sights on 2008, the labor bosses
. . . also cited the lessons of 2006, praising the impact of the 13.6 million union members who “mobilized” in 32 states. These members plan to have an even bigger effect in 2008, the officials added.
“This level of activity by union members early in the process will lay the groundwork for the greatest involvement by working people ever in electing the president of the United States,” [AFL-CIO boss John] Sweeney said.
It also promises to lay the groundwork for more compulsory union dues being spent on politics — even over the objections of union members.