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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Saturday | October 12, 2002

Labor targets key races

Bush had made a priority of wooing unions over to the dark side, and had made particular progress with the Teamsters and Carpenters unions. However, even the Teamsters will be working hard to oust Republicans in key races across the country.

Taft-Hartley has energized union activists in ways that may be crucial to Democrats in tight races. In Florida, McBride will be getting a massive boost in union assistance:

In a state with about 500,000 union members and 140,000 union retirees, labor is working to get out the vote for Democrat Bill McBride, a Tampa lawyer, in his race against GOP Gov. Jeb Bush.

More than 300 coordinators from the Teamsters, iron workers, service employees and teachers unions are involved. Members' voter registration is up almost 25 percent from 2000.

In Minnesota, union members working for Wellstone say they are especially energized by Bush's use of Taft-Hartley to order locked-out port workers in the West Coast back to work.

In Colorado, labor unions were instrumental to the Dem takeover of the state Senate. Now, they are focused on ousting Allard in favor of Democrat Strickland.

It's worth repeating that the outcome of off-year elections can depend in large part to voter turnout. Grassroots support from labor can make a huge difference in the outcome of these and many other races and is crucial to offsetting the GOP's massive money advantage.

Posted October 12, 2002 03:49 PM | Comments (2)


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