Not just endorsements and political involvement, but ratings, follow-up, and holding politicians accountable.
In Oregon, organized labor’s get-out-the-vote campaign propelled Democrat John Kitzhaber to the governor’s mansion. Kitzhaber defeated political newcomer Chris Dudley by the narrowest of margins. Labor-endorsed candidates also fared quite well down the ticket.
Oregon’s freshman Democratic U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley favors reforming a parliamentary procedure known as the filibuster, in hopes that doing so will allow the Senate to get some work done.
Though Republican victories in the 2010 elections will put the union Congressional agenda in jeopardy, labor leaders took some consolation from a pair of election night polls commissioned by the national AFL-CIO.
Oregon voters mostly returned labor-backed Democrats to office, bucking the national Republican tsunami in the midterm elections. But for Washington’s union movement, election night was bittersweet.
Oregon Congressman David Wu (D-1st District), introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives recognizing the 110th anniversary of the Northwest Labor Press. It has one co-sponsor, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-3rd District).
A lot is at stake on the Washington ballot this year, and the Washington State Labor Council, the statewide body of the AFL-CIO, is working to get the word out about ballot measures that will impact workers — like a measure to privatize Washington’s workers’ comp system.
In an Oregon governor’s race close enough to hinge on union member turnout, organized labor is pulling hard for John Kitzhaber, while Chris Dudley lacks any union endorsement. That’s because Kitzhaber’s platform is much closer to what the union movement has been advocating in Salem. It’s also because Kitzhaber has sought union support, and Dudley has not.
In suburban South Salem, career union electrician Claudia Kyle is making an energetic run for state representative. Kyle, a Democrat, is challenging two-term incumbent Republican Kevin Cameron, owner of a 12-location restaurant chain, Cafe Today. Kyle is a licensed electrician and a 31-year member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Is a coordinated attack on teachers unions under way? Recent front-page magazine articles, op-ed pieces, news stories —and a documentary — bash teachers unions, but mostly they don’t give unions a chance to respond. To make up for that, the Northwest Labor Press contacted American Federation of Teachers and spoke with Rob Weil, director of field programs.
By DON McINTOSH, Associate Editor One of the most closely-watched electoral races in America is taking place in Washington’s Third Congressional District. Money is pouring into the contest between Democrat Denny Heck and Republican Jaime