Wednesday, November 02, 2005

 

Union endorsement

Allow me to attempt to keep this from sounding like sour grapes, at least as far as the DFL gubernatorial race goes.

However, the rant-iness of this poll goes beyond races I've had a hand in myself. I have it on very good authority that the major union endorsements that have been coming out recently (Steelworkers, SEIU, MN Nurses) have been executed while bypassing or only giving the thinnest of lip service to those very organizations' screening processes.

If you didn't understand a word of that: Labor unions and large non-profits and political action groups (like Emily's List) give out political endorsements. Before these endorsements are given, most undertake a screening process - an interview, a questionnaire, which focuses on the issues facing the union's membership. This process is applied to each major candidate in the race, and the organization makes a decision on who to endorse based on the results. For whatever reason, that process has been circumvented here in Minnesota for the sake of...well, you would have to ask the union bosses.

Far be it for me to go along with tactics like what we've seen from the Governator in California in his attempts to screw with the unions and their endorsements. But what we're seeing here in Minnesota is preposterous. The whole idea of union endorsements goes back to due diligence - making sure that a candidate agrees with the ideals upheld by the endorsing organization. I have nothing against Amy Klobuchar, but for SEIU to not even call Patty Wetterling smacks of favoritism when due diligence is called for. If they were to actually undertake their own screening processes in good faith, there's at least a decent chance they would come out with the same answer they were looking for - but perhaps not. I know that if I were a candidate, I would feel better knowing that I really am fighting for the interests of unionized laborers, instead of fighting for a news headline and a few fundraising dollars.

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