On Thursday, the AFL-CIO announced Pennsylvania legislators they will endorse this year, providing a valuable asset for politicians in the labor-heavy state.
After endorsing President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in March, the AFL-CIO today announced their support of Sen. Bob Casey and 234 other PA legislators at the federal and state level.
PA AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale said in a press release that the organization’s endorsement shows not only that a legislator supports organized labor, but also government services meant to protect the middle class.
“[The endorsed legislators] have stood with us on the issues that will further grow our economy and expand our middle class, including: protecting and creating good jobs; collective bargaining rights; public education; community services and retirement security,” Bloomingdale said.
For the most part, the AFL-CIO’s endorsement went along party lines, with Democrats receiving endorsements and Republicans not, though there were a few noteworthy exceptions.
In the competitive race for PA-18, Larry Maggi, a Democrat who’s challenging incumbent Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny) didn’t receive an endorsement from the AFL-CIO, providing a potential quandary for voters in the labor-heavy Greater Pittsburgh Metropolitan area.
It’s notable that Murphy’s primary opponent, Evan Feinberg, accused Murphy of pandering to labor unions last March.
The AFL-CIO also chose to not endorse Democrat George Badey in the race against incumbent Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Chester) for PA-7, another urban, labor-heavy area. In addition, the AFL-CIO didn’t endorse a candidate in the race between Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) and his Democratic opponent Missa Eaton for PA-3.
At the state senate level, Democratic challengers Tim Seip, going up against incumbent Rep. David Argall (R-Berks) in SD-29, and Kim Villella, who’s challenging Rep, Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) in SD-47 didn’t receive endorsements from the AFL-CIO.
But Republicans weren’t completely exempt from the list. The AFL-CIO also endorsed 15 Pennsylvania House Republicans, representing a labor-friendly minority in the state Republican Party.
Leo Knepper, executive director of Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania, an organization dedicated to limited government, said the endorsement of the Republicans by the AFL-CIO is a good strategy by the organization since it pits Republican against Republican.
“I’m not at all surprised that the unions have stuck by the Big Labor wing of the Republican party,” Knepper said. “Why go against them when they can stymie much needed reform from within the GOP caucus?”
List of Republicans endorsed by the AFL-CIO:
Rep. Jim Marshall (R-Beaver)
Rep. Gene Digirolamo (R-Bucks)
Rep. Bernard O’ Neill (R-Bucks)
Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks)
Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery)
Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery)
Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-Chester)
Rep. Joseph Hackett (R-Delaware)
Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-Delaware)
Rep. Nicholas Micozzie (R-Delaware)
Rep. William Adolph Jr. (R-Delaware)
Rep. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe)
Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia)
Rep. Mark Petri (R-Bucks)
Their full endorsement list can be found here.
Labor endorsing Republicans is like chickens endorsing foxes.
Republicans don’t support workers, only the bosses. One would think that, by now, labor would have noticed that.
Looks like a good list for primary challenges in 2014.
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