Future Congressman Abbate?

Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) is stepping down from Congress due to personal indiscretions and Big Labor is salivating at his possible replacement — New York Assemblyman Peter Abbate.

Abbate is “Albany’s steady ally of public employee unions,” according to the New York Sun.

. . . His Capitol office serves as the primary receptacle for hundreds of pieces of legislation drafted by labor unions.

Each year, Mr. Abbate, the chairman of the Assembly’s committee on governmental employees, introduces hundreds of bills — the great majority of which are drafted almost in their entirety by public sector labor unions [officials].

At the behest of labor lobbyists, Mr. Abbate has attached his name to the most costly bills before the Legislature: pension sweeteners, early retirement provisions, collective bargaining enhancements, and expansions of health benefits. One early retirement bill he introduced this year would alone cost taxpayers $200 million a year, according to New York City officials.

More than a dozen of his measures have drawn protests from Mayor Bloomberg, whose Albany lobbying office late last month sent a memo to lawmakers to try to put a stop to them.

“We believe the enactment of any of the following bills … would violate the spirit of no new unfunded mandates,” the memo stated. Mr. Abbate was the prime sponsor of 13 of the 16 bills that were flagged by the Bloomberg administration.

Among his other bills is a measure that would permit public employees to go on strike “after the collective negotiation process has been exhausted,” and one that would that would allow employees to strike without having their pay docked.

“I don’t think he’s ever introduced a piece of legislation opposed by a union,” a fiscal analyst for the Manhattan Institute, E.J. McMahon said.

Mr. McMahon is quick to notice that Abbate is throwing taxpayers under the bus to help the public union bosses:

. . . “He represents a minority of people, the people who belong to the public sector unions. They already have people representing them. It’s called the unions.”

Mr. Abbate has more than $400,000 in his campaign coffers, an amount that is on the high end for state assemblymen. Most of his money comes from organized labor groups (such as the International Longshoremen’s Association, 1199 SEIU, the Civil Service Employees Union, and the New York City Central Labor Council) and a variety of uniformed officer associations.

Public employee labor unions, he says, approach him with bill proposals, and most of the time he introduces them.

The unions take care of the language and the preliminary fiscal analysis. As the New York Times [italics added] reported last week, the actuary who prepared the Assembly’s fiscal bill notes is a paid union consultant.

The sad reality is there are hundreds, if not thousands of Mr. Abbates across the country to carry water for the union bosses in return for political largess from their political action committees. Time will tell whether Mr. Abbate gets to Congress but you know the public union hierarchy will stop at nothing to see him take the next step up. Hold on to your wallets.