Western Pa. Unions Split Over Corbett Joining Pittsburgh Labor Day Parade

Filed under: Featured News,Latest News,Pols on the Street |

COUNCILMAN Jim Kenney, right, was honored guest at fundraiser in Margate, N.J. Among guests were former Councilman Frank DiCicco and his daughter-in-law Diane DiCicco.

COUNCILMAN Jim Kenney, right, was honored guest at fundraiser in Margate, N.J. Among guests were former Councilman Frank DiCicco and his daughter-in-law Diane DiCicco.

BY JOE SHAHEELI/ Gov. Tom Corbett did well with scattered organized labor support the first time he ran for governor. But this time around he finds some of that support unravelling. The Governor got a taste of the disaffection Labor has for him when union leaders decided against allowing the Governor to join them in Pittsburgh’s Labor Day Parade.

Phil Ameris, Laborers’ District Council of Western Pennsylvania president, said, “We did invite the Governor, like we invite a lot of our political friends … we wanted him to march with us but we were told by Jack (Shea) that he wasn’t welcome.” Jack Shea is the president of the Allegheny Co. Labor Council.

Shea corroborated Ameris’s statement. “I told them he wasn’t invited,” Shea said. “You can’t be trying to do away with us for 364 days a year and then want to march with us.”

The decision not to invite Corbett has opened a split in the usually unified union camp.

”We didn’t want to have labor against labor, Ameris said. “I know some of the unions are upset with the Governor’s policies, but I was a little shocked that they wouldn’t have a sitting Governor in the parade … Jack and I stand on the same team on a lot of issues, but not on this one.

Ameris went as far to say that his organization is “150% behind the Governor.” The Laborers and Boilermakers Local 154 are two unions that have endorsed Gov. Corbett. Obviously, other union leaders disagree, arguing that Corbett’s education policies and attempts to privatize the liquor trade are anti-union.

As of now, cynical political advisers are concluding both gubernatorial campaigns have lost traction to the point both campaigns are preaching different ways to hold down the vote. They want voters to stay home.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, from Allegheny Co., has a strategy for winning back the majority to the Democratic Party … making Republican voters stay at home by tying their GOP senatorial candidates to an unpopular Governor. Republicans, for their part, are doing the same thing in this cycle by tying as many Democratic candidates to unpopular President Obama as they can.

That strategy boils down to who will convince the other candidates’ voters to stay home.

But in both strategies lies an element of ugly truth about the cold arithmetic of modern political campaigns: If you can persuade one of the other guy’s voters to stay home, it’s the same as getting someone else to vote for you. The conditions are ripe for a low turnout vote.

Both gubernatorial candidates combined $14 million in the gubernatorial primary with Democratic turnout a mere 20% and a Republican turnout of 17%.

Democrats need to flip three GOP seats for control of the chamber.

4TH DIST. Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. joins neighborhood block captains, Congressman Chaka Fattah, Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr. and community volunteers at community block captain boot camp in Overbrook. Photo by Rory McGlasson

4TH DIST. Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. joins neighborhood block captains, Congressman Chaka Fattah, Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr. and community volunteers at community block captain boot camp in Overbrook. Photo by Rory McGlasson

PROGRESSIVES MAKE ENDORSEMENTS
The Keystone Progress Political Action Committee has announced endorsements, including three candidates running for seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. They are Frederick Sheeler, (D, H5, Berks), Rep. Stephen McCarter, (D, H154, Montgomery) and Susan Rzucidlo, D, (H158, Chester).

Earlier they announced for Christine Tartaglione (D, SD 2, Kensington), and Linda Small (D, SD 28, York).

For State House they earlier endorsed State Reps. Ed Gainey, Mike Schlossberg, Vince Rongione, Mike O’Brien, Brian Sims, Liz Forrest and Mark Cohen. Each of the endorsed candidates is a strong supporter of quality public education for children; supports a raise in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour; will fight to close corporate tax loopholes; supports a woman’s right to control her reproductive choices; supports marriage equality; and will work to protect our environment, our economy and our democracy.

26TH SENATORIAL DISTRICT RACE SURPRISE LABOR ENDORSEMENT
Delaware Co. Council Chairman and GOP nominee for State Senate Tom McGarrigle won the endorsement of the 88th District Council of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees.

However, with a formidable war chest and receptive voters on the campaign trail, his Democratic opponent John Kane has every reason to walk with confidence. A new and promising entrant to electoral politics, Kane is a Master Plumber and union business manager for Delaware and Chester Cos., a husband and father of four, and lifelong resident of the western suburbs. With endorsements from 33 state and local unions, the Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, and gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf’s strength in the district, Kane remains confident about his success in November.

Kane’s record is impressive, having been elected three times to serve as business manager for Local 690, and successfully managing over $240 million in investments for nearly 2,000 members.

RONGIONE TAPPED BY AFSCME DC 88
The largest union of state, county and municipal employees in Southeastern Pennsylvania and another major supporter of retiring State Rep. Nick Micozzie (R-Delaware) threw its support to Vince Rongione for State House.

“This isn’t about politics. Vince has deep roots in the district and the experience to represent our workers well in the State House,” said Tom Tosti, director of AFSCME District Council 88. “As the son of two teachers and a product of local public schools, we trust him to look out for middle-class families and always fight for us.”

Rongione’s widening lead in labor support is unprecedented in the 163rd, given Micozzie’s long tenure and good relations with labor. He also carries the endorsement of the statewide AFL-CIO and the statewide AFL-CIO Building Trades Council. Rongione has established himself as the clear choice for middle-class families in the race for the 163rd.

STACK HAS BIG BOOSTERS IN N.E.
State Sen. Mike Stack (D-Northeast) is seeking the Lieutenant Governor’s seat and he has three heavy-hitting political vote-getters beating the drum for his victory in Philadelphia’s Northeast.
They are FOP President John McNesby, State Rep. Frank Sabatina, Jr., and Ward Leader Shawn Dillon.

Under Stack’s mentorship, the 5th Senatorial Dist. has become a Democratic-leaning district.

A successful Stack run will mean the 5th Dist. will be decided in the city’s next primary by a special election. The nominee for both parties will be the candidate endorsed by their respective causes. Ward leaders representing seven full wards and two partial wards will name the candidates to appear in the special election, with the winner vying for the State Senate in the general election. The Republicans have yet to announce interested candidates.

Of the three, McNesby has been handed an ace card by the Courts. The police union can now raise PAC money. Need we say more?

ENJOYING fundraiser for Senatorial aspirant John Kane were Emmett Harrity, Delco Democratic Vice Chair; Kevin Fei, owner of Ocean City Restaurant.; and Kane.

ENJOYING fundraiser for Senatorial aspirant John Kane were Emmett Harrity, Delco Democratic Vice Chair; Kevin Fei, owner of Ocean City Restaurant.; and Kane.

BUGLECALL.ORG IS LAUNCHED
Scott Adams and Leonora Cravotta, two members of the 5th Ward GOP, have launched a new media company, Buglecall.org, which is dedicated to national and local politics with political commentary, original editorial content, live radio and political information resources.

BugleCall’s radio show “Common Sense Politics”, which will feature political commentary on national and local politics, will debut on Sep. 5.

PHYSICIANS SUPPORT MIKE FITZPATRICK
Donna Baver Robito, the political publicist for PA Physicians, is marshaling doctors in Mike Fitzpatrick’s 8th Congressional District to support his reelection.

Her reasons are many. Most of all, she says “pro-physician Mike Fitzpatrick faces a formidable challenge in a swing district with outside forces involved to push his opponent. Let’s reelect Mike so he can continue to advocate for physicians and patients.

“Mike champions fair Medicare physician payment. A highly regarded voice in Washington, D.C., he urged House and Senate leaders to repeal SGR. He cosponsored vital measures.

“Mike promotes medical liability reform. He understands this helps ensure physicians are here to provide healthcare to our community.

“Mike is accessible and responsive to physician issues, meets with physicians during the year, and contacts us prior to key votes that affect our profession.”

THREE TO TANGO IN 4TH SENATORIAL
While Democrat Art Haywood is still smiling from his upset primary victory over State Sen. LeAnna Washington, he and Republican opponent Brian Gralnick need to now look over their backs instead of at each other. Now officially in the race as an independent is independent Ines Reyes, who managed to meet the deadline with the required number of signatures for her petitions. She’s asking for support. Her number is (267) 217-1304.

OSCAR BEATS DRUM FOR NELSON DIAZ
Former Judge Nelson Diaz, now a practicing attorney with the Dilworth-Paxson firm, was the youngest judge elected to the City’s Courts and the first Latino judge in Pennsylvania history.

He has a host of public service roles under his belt, including the role of City Solicitor. He remains politically active, which is why the drums are being sounded for his entry into the Democratic primary for Mayor. Beating the drums is longtime activist Oscar Rosario. When Oscar drums, many listen.

Share
Create PDF    Send article as PDF   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>