AFSCME rejects Westlund: he's got bad votes and he can't win

Governor Ted Kulongoski has won the endorsement of AFSCME, the second-largest union of public employees. The union had been neutral during the primary election, and their decision was a smackdown of Ben Westlund - who actively sought their endorsement.

According to the Salem Statesman-Journal:

Independent Ben Westlund sought the union's endorsement, but AFSCME leaders decided that he doesn't have a realistic chance to win, [executive director Ken] Allen said. He cited a recent poll conducted for the Oregon AFL-CIO showing Westlund in the "single digits."

Union leaders also were concerned that Westlund's past votes on minimum-wage, environmental and initiative-reform bills "don't match up with what he's saying now," Allen said.

What about Ron Saxton?

Republican Ron Saxton declined to meet with AFSCME or to return the union's issues questionnaire. Union leaders also are leery of Saxton's proposal to end guaranteed pensions for public employees and privatize some functions of state government, Allen said.

Read the rest. Discuss.

Comments

  • americanprogress (unverified)
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    [Off-topic comment deleted. -Editor.]

  • fullerton (unverified)
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    Shouldn't you be leery that they even considered Ben Westlund?

    The talk here has seemed kind... I dunno, detached.  Like, right after I read an entry about how there was no way he was going to collect the signatures on time I find out he's exceeded the amount of signatures needed.

    Then there was that absurd post about the potato famine.   If you're not going to make real, honest criticisms of him shouldn't you just deny him the free publicity?

  • (Show?)

    Fullerton - keep in mind that BlueOregon has multiple contributors with multiple opinions. Some people write good substantive criticism, others (me) like to write "absurd" posts about potatoes.

  • AndyN (unverified)
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    Seeing as the union is joined at the hip with the Democratic Party why would Saxton bother pursuing their endorsement? When was the last time the unions endorsed more than a token Republican or two anyway? I can't blame Saxton for not responding to them. He may be a poor choice for Governor, but he isn't stupid enough to waste time on a special interest group whose endorsement he has no hope of winning.

    I'm voting for Ted...inspite of AFSCME's endorsement, not because of it.

  • BobTucker (unverified)
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    That "special interest group" are people who work for a living. Should Saxton win, many in that "special interest group" will be his employees. Why is it unthinkable that a potential boss wouldn't meet with his future employees.
    That special interest group supports more than a token Republican here and there - ask Karen Minnis. She's no token. Do your research before you paint all unions together with the Democratic Party. If they are an arm of the PArty, why did unions form this Working Family Party? Ted burned them on PERS - and they are back with him. That speaks volumes about Saxton. Nice dance moves though.

  • Anonymous (unverified)
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    Interesting document regarding AFSCME's endorsement... sounds like the decision was harder than they made it seem.

    http://www.purpleoregon.com/docs/afscme_noendorse_con.pdf

  • (Show?)

    The decision to endorse the Governor was not that close. We voted about 59 to 1 on Saturday at our executive committee. The question wasn't Westlund or Ted. The question was will we let Saxton take what’s left of our petitions and privatize our jobs or do we support The Governor who has worked hard to make sure the people that devote themselves to public service are respected. Westlund is a nice man but you have to look at his record, not just what he tells you when he wants your endorsement. Our members are smart and know that Saxton will try to break contracts and do anything possible to hurt public employees to get the job done cheaper. NOT better just cheaper. The Governor has not always been with us but he has stepped up and looked our members in the eye and explained his reasoning.

    AFSCME is not a rubber stamp for Democrats. I wouldn't have to eat so much crap from my friends if we were. We actually gave more automatic endorsements to Republicans in the State House than Democrats. (There are more of them after all.) We have over 22,000 members that work hard taking care of the people that most need it whether that’s in child care, drug treatment or in public safety. The Governor understands what we do and how hard we work. Saxton could care less.

    Joe Baessler Political Coordinator Oregon AFSCME

  • Margie (unverified)
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    Is AFSCME nuts? Ted stole their retirement - gave them wage freezes for 2 years and did little to nothing on new taxes or tax reforms. Of course they are right about the numbers - Ben has a steep hill - but why don't we stand up for someone who cares instead of someone who has stuck a finger in our eye. This is going to be one ugly election, tweedle dee, tweedle dum and no names - where are all the real candidates???????

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    This endorsement may say more about the desire of AFSCME to maintain the status quo than it does about the merit (or lack of merit) of Ted K. With good reason, AFSCME is concerned that financial forces and voter sentiments are turning against public employee unions and turning toward a more open public job environment that may include much more outsourcing, privatization, etc.

    I am not anti-union and I believe everyone needs to be paid what they are worth in the marketplace, but in my opinion and in my observation, a day of reckoning is coming in the near future with respect to Oregon public sector wages and benefits.

  • Bob Tucker (unverified)
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    Ted "stole their retirement"? Really Margie? So it's Enron and Andrew Wiederhorm all over again? Might that be a slight exageration? Maybe it would be more accurate to state that TK signed and supported legislation that kept the pension system from bankrupting Oregon, legislation that had to be painful because the corrupt PERS board didn't do it's job for DECADES. Legislation that, by the way, had Republican's been in charge would have REALLY eliminated thier pensions. I'm relatively certain that a defined contribution plan is still the norm for state workers already in PERS. That doesn't seem "stolen" to me. Public employees just didn't get to keep the extra money that the PERS board lobbed onto them in the late 90's. It seems unfortunate, but I don't get to keep money that is accidentally or inaapropriate credited to my account by the bank either. That's not stealing. The PERS Board made workers into colateral damage, not Ted K. Because of that I'm supposed to jump on board the "born again liberal" bandwagon of Westlund? Despite his Measure 36 voters pamphlet and his entire senate record? He talks a good game now so he's the man? All the cool kids like him, so I should too? Please. The choice is Saxton or Kulongoski. You, Westlund, Mary Starret, Keating, and others may not like it, but that's reality. And that choice is as easy as Kitzhaber vs. Sizemore was 8 years ago.

  • Bob Tucker (unverified)
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    Also Margie, Ted K supported a tax increase called measure 30. The voters destroyed it, not him. You wanted more taxes, he tried and it was DOA. Not his fault. Blame the right people. Of course, now Saxton will beat him over the head with that failed tax.

  • DifferentSalemStaffer (unverified)
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    Note: It was Ben Westlund who performed the lion's share of drafting HB2152 - which became Measure 30.

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    Joe:

    "AFSCME is not a rubber stamp for Democrats ... We actually gave more automatic endorsements to Republicans in the State House than Democrats."

    I assume those "automatic" Republican endorsements went to uncontested races?

    Just curious (I really don't know), who are the last three Republican House candidates AFSCME endorsed over a Democrat in a contested race?

    • Wes
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    Excellent points, Mr. Tucker.

    The Kulongoski/Saxton race can be summed up in a single sentence: will public employees, in a hissy fit of immaturity not seen for years among Democrats, cut off their own nose to spite their face?

    Saxton is certainly making it easy to see who the villian is. His radio spots literally revel in attacking public employees, with grandiose claims of "savings" through eliminating "waste" and "abuse" (with the unstated promise of no reductions in services). You'd have to be an idiot to know what he has in mind - cutting services to the absolute bone, screwing public empoyees royally, and the resulting inevitable increases to our crime rate.

    But, judging by Margie and LT's responses - seemingly representative of too many union supporters - none of this matters. It's so much more important for them to attack the "status-quo", which they believe is somehow much more conservative than voter's views in Oregon. The fantasy seems to be that if there was a progressive (but certainly not Democratic) leader who was "inspiring" - suddenly hundreds of thousands of new far-left Democratic and/or Green voters would show up at the polls and support unions unwaveringly.

    We can all dream. I just hope for their sake that this little fantasy doesn't become a nightmare.

  • Kevin (unverified)
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    it's not about spiting a face. it's about the fact that the Dems have started treating labor like an expendable bargaining chit, and the fact that labor keeps going back to them like someone in an abusive relationship. but every two years the Dems say, "come on honey, i really do love you." and labor saunters back to them, thinking that THIS year it will be different.

    labor basically just told the Dems that they'll volunteer to be first on the budget chopping-block because there's no way they won't continue to endorse Dems.

  • (Show?)

    As a PERS Tier II member, I don't have any problem with what was done. There is still a defined contribution, only now it is subject to regular market fluctuations without a guaranteed return. Everybody wants more money, but I understand the reason for the change and it preserves the integrity of the system for everyone.

    Given the alternatives proposed by the right wing on this issue, I'm glad things worked out the way they did. And I'm certainly not holding Ted responsible.

  • jrw (unverified)
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    Well, I've gotta say that Saxton's current radio ad campaign has pushed me solidly into voting for Ted. I'd been waffling before the primary, but if Saxton's gonna play it the way he's playing it, bragging about being "Public Enemy Number 1" for public employees, then by golly, this public employee ain't gonna vote for anyone who might could end up giving him the position, especially using the inflammatory text that's being used about "gold-plated retirement plans."

    What kind of retirement plan do you have, Ronny-boy?

  • (Show?)

    Bargain for exactly what, Kevin?

    Yes, we're all well aware that Democrats lose political battles. If the voters of Oregon hadn't overwhelmingly shot down Oregon Measure 30, there'd be a lot more people still at work in Oregon providing critically needed infrastructure, especially in our suffering Colleges and Universities. But guess what? It was.

    Somehow though, in your mind, losing a particular battle must mean that the Democratic party is really secretly anti-labor. If the voters don't see things our way, it must be because the most pro-union major party in the nation's history have treated labor like "an expendable bargaining chit".

    OK, then. I'll bite. If Democrats are trading our pro-labor principals like "chits" to the Republicans, what exactly are we supposedly trading for? More minority representation? Oh wait - I heard a lot of minority leaders complain they're being taken for granted too. Environmentalists? Same thing. Equal rights? Ditto.

    Please get back to me, so I can understand this particular form of bargaining. Oh, and while you're at it, please tell me why Democratic activists tend to get hostile receptions at labor gatherings, from nearly half of the rank-and-file who vote Republican. I sometimes wonder why I'm out there enduring sneers while trying to get them to sign pro-worker initiative petitions, for things I already have and they don't.

    Guess what? Being taken for granted goes both ways.

  • automatic (unverified)
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    Wesley, i believe (but could be wrong) that AFSCME has endorsed at least three republicans in contested races:

    A. Brown over Cowan Dalto over Clem Farr over C. Edwards

    also I think they are staying neutral in Minnis v Brading

    the list

  • automatic (unverified)
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    actually i guess that list is old. but i am sure they endorsing Farr and Dalto. I don't know for sure about Brown.

  • anon (unverified)
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    Posted by: torridjoe | Jul 20, 2006 3:07:13 PM

    <h1>As a PERS Tier II member, I don't have any problem with what was done.</h1>

    Torridjoe is a goof off public employee in the IT department of some state agency (where his boss must be the model of Dilbert's boss) who blogs more between 9am and 5pm (but never during lunchtime) than at any other time. Like many low achievers, he finds it easier to feast at the public troff at the tax payer's expense while goofing off, than doing real work.

    What's not to like about Tier II PERS when you only have to post comments all day long.

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    automatic:

    Thanks for that list and link. But I agree, it is a bit old (i.e., it is pre-Primary). The first clue is that the list still shows Jesse Cornett as the choice in Senate 24, though he lost the primary to Rod Monroe.

    Thanks, anyway. Maybe Joe can weigh in with fresh endorsements.

    It might help AFSCME's reputation in some small measure to show they actually endorse Republicans over Democrats in actual contested (i.e. general) elections.

    • Wes
  • LT (unverified)
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    According to the Clem website, Brian Clem has SEIU and AFL-CIO but not AFSCME.

    What I have heard in conversations is that there are lots of folks who were sorry their union endorsed Dalto in 2004. So Dalto (and Cowan ) may just win this fall--those elections were close last time.

    On my commute, I have been listening to the audio book TRUMAN by David McCollough. Just finished the 1948 election.

    For my entire lifetime, there have been elections where the "smart money" was on the candidate all the pundits and establishment types were sure would win. But sometimes an underdog like Truman won, and often it was decided in the last few weeks. One analysis reported in the book was "people were sure Dewey would win, some might even have bet money on it--but when they voted, they voted for Truman". And Truman won.

  • (Show?)

    Wes;

    If you are too lazy to look on our website, I help you. Second item down is the list of our endorsement. www.oregonafscme.com I can even spell out where we have endorsed Rep in contested Primaries.

    Alan Brown - had an 80% voting record with us and was endorsed Debi Farr - had an 80% voting record and was endorsed Billy Dalto - had a 90% voting record was endorsed

    We also endorsed Jackie Winter though that was after an interview.

    I don't have to worry about our reputation. We do what we say. If you vote with us you get an endorsement it's as simple as that. We have also endorsed great Ds like David Edwards and Larry Galizio.

    Wes don't be such an ass and do a little research before you make pompous assumptions.

    Joe Baessler Political Coordinator Oregon AFSCME Council 75

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    D'oh

    Sorry those endorsement are for the General not the Primary. I was a little ticked off at Wes and mistyped.

    Here is a link to all our general endorsement

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    "Wes don't be such an ass and do a little research before you make pompous assumptions."

    Hey Joe,

    It's been quite a while since I've been publicly called a pompous ass who doesn't do research.

    Since you're so busy insulting constiuents who asked a simple question, perhaps you can post a link that works to a site that doesn't show Jesse Cornett as the AFSCME candidate in Senate 24.

    I'm a little dense, after all, and I cannot find any link in your last post.

    • Wes the AssFSCME idiot
  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    Is it true that AFSCME is sitting out the Minnis v. Brading race?

    According to the non-link provided to us lazy asses by Joe Baessler, AFSCME endorsed Wayne Scott in H39, but not Mike Caudle. There is nothing for H49 (or 48).

    Are these purely primary endorsements, with the general endorsements to come later? As Joe figured out, I'm too lazy to call AFSCME to find out.

    With Brading needing all the help he can get, his name is conspicuously absent from the AFSCME rolls. Or is AFSCME afraid of Minnis, hedging their bet, so as to not piss off the Speaker if she wins?

    Sorry, I cannot figure this out.

    • Lazy-Ass Wes
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    Here is our full list.

    U.S. Congress House District 01 — David Wu (D) House District 02 — No Action House District 03 — Earl Blumenauer (D) House District 04 — Peter DeFazio (D) House District 05 — Darlene Hooley (D)

    Statewide Governor — Ted Kulongoski (D) Supreme Court — Virginia Linder

    Oregon Senate Senate District 03 — Alan Bates (D) Senate District 04 — Floyd Prozanski (D) Senate District 06 — Bill Morrisette (D) Senate District 07 — Vicki Walker (D) Senate District 08 — Frank Morse (R) Senate District 10 — Jackie Winters (R) Senate District 11 — Peter Courtney (D) Senate District 13 — No Action Senate District 15 — No Action Senate District 16 — Betsy Johnson (D) Senate District 17 — Brad Avakian (D) Senate District 19 — Richard Devlin (D) Senate District 20 — Kurt Schrader (D) Senate District 24 — Rod Monroe (D) Senate District 26 — Rick Metsger (D)*

    Oregon House House District 01 — Wayne Krieger (R) House District 02 — Susan Morgan (R) House District 03 — No Action House District 04 — Dennis Richardson (R) House District 05 — Peter Buckley (D) House District 06 — Mike Moran (D) House District 07 — Bruce Hanna (R) House District 08 — Paul Holvey (D) House District 09 — Arnie Roblan (D) House District 10 — Alan Brown (R) House District 11 — Phil Barnhart (D) House District 12 — Terry Beyer (D) House District 13 — Nancy Nathanson (D) House District 14 — Debi Farr (R) House District 15 — Andy Olson (R) House District 16 — Sara Gelser (D) House District 17 — No Action House District 18 — Mac Sumner (R) House District 19 — Kevin Cameron (R) House District 20 — Vicki Berger (R) House District 21 — Billy Dalto (R) House District 22 — Betty Komp (D) House District 23 — Brian Boquist (R) House District 24 — Sal Peralta (D) House District 25 — Chuck Lee (D) House District 26 — Jerry Krummel (R) House District 27 — Tobias Read (D) House District 28 — Jeff Barker (D) House District 29 — Chuck Riley (D) House District 30 — David Edwards (D) House District 31 — Brad Witt (D) House District 32 — Debbie Boone (D) House District 33 — Mitch Greenlick (D) House District 34 — Suzanne Bonamici (D) House District 35 — Larry Galizio (D) House District 36 — Mary Nolan (D) House District 37 — Scott Bruun (R) House District 38 — Greg Macpherson (D) House District 39 — Wayne Scott (R) House District 40 — Dave Hunt (D) House District 41 — Carolyn Tomei (D) House District 42 — Diane Rosenbaum (D) House District 43 — Chip Shields (D) House District 44 — Tina Kotek (D) House District 45 — Jackie Dingfelder (D) House District 46 — Ben Cannon (D) House District 47 — Jeff Merkley (D) House District 48 — Mike Schaufler (D) House District 49 — Karen Minnis (R) House District 50 — John Lim (R) House District 51 — Linda Flores (R) House District 52 — Patti Smith (R) House District 53 — Gene Whisnant (R) House District 54 — No Action House District 55 — No Action House District 56 — Bill Garrard (R) House District 57 — Greg Smith (R) House District 58 — Bob Jenson (R) House District 59 — John Dallum (R) House District 60 — Tom Butler (R)

    The Candidates with the * are automatic. This inforrmation is easily found on our website.

    Wes sorry if I hurt your feelings.

    Joe Baessler Political Coordinator Oregon AFSCME Council 75

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    Joe,

    Thanks for the list, and no offense taken. I assume these are AFSCME's endorsements for the November general election.

    But I still don't quite get the "automatic" designations. Be patient with me, here.

    For example, you endorsed Wayne Scott over Mike Caudle in H39 as an automatic endorsement, yet AFSCME endorsed Karen Minnis over Rob Brading in H49 without the * designation. What's the difference?

    I looked at your web site for an explanation of "automatic," but could not find it. Obviously, "automatic" does not mean "uncontested."

    Please explain. Thanks.

    • Wes
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    I must say, I am extremely disappointed with several of their endorsements.

    Wayne Scott? Karen Minnis? And automatic endorsements for Patti Smith and John Lim?

    I live in HD 50 and I wouldn't give Lim an endorsement for garbage collector. He's a do nothing legislator whose signature piece of legislation was the emergency need for funding tae kwon do in public schools.

    While I'm not anti-union in anyway, I am very disappointed with them. The Minnis/Scott team has hurt this state very badly in the past few years. Their backup team of people like Smith and Lim are what gives them the power to completely control this blue state.

  • (Show?)

    No Problem Wes. During the Legislative Session we designate priority bills. If a Legislator has an 80% record on these bills then they receive an automatic endorsement. If not then we interview both candidates for either the primary or general. Members conduct the interviews and make the decision.

    I do apologize for the name calling. I get a little sensitive at the implication that our process is unfair or rigged. Our system is very democratic and any member can participate and is welcome to. Staff has little input and the questions are confined to jobs, wages and working conditions.

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    Joe,

    Thanks for the clear explanation.

    And I was wondering how long it would take before our resident East MultCo contributor weighed in. You guys got Jenni going, and you do so at your own peril . . .

    • Wes
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    Saxton attacking public employees isn't rooted in a vision for the state nor a specific ideology. Unless opportunism qualifies as an ideology.

    It's rooted squarely on focus group results, I presume, because as long as I can remember, in Oregon, there's been resentment in the unrepresented working class towards public employees, who still get benefits in addition to a paycheck, something noticeably missing from the bottom half of the electorate's experience in the private sector.

    In other states I lived in, private sector employees made more than public employees. Here, it's often the reverse. But - and this is a key exception - it's not that public employees are overcompensated. The private sector working class is terribly underpaid.

    So Saxton is exploiting the resentments of the working poor vs. the fairly compensated poor. It's the oldest game in Oregon politics - even older than simply being anti-tax - but sadly, it still works in much of the state. All it takes is one cranky DMV clerk or one long line at a government agency and the private citizen assumes the entire mass of public employees is to blame.

    When other, bigger issues or popular candidates dominate the media, people vote accordingly. Lacking dynamic personalities or lightning rod issues, inevitably Oregon voters go after public employees.

    I certainly think it's unfair, but it's happened so much in the 30 years I've watched elections in this state, and I've heard people mention public employees so much in the past year, that I fear this is gonna be one of those years.

    AFSCME is right to endorse Ted - his support for working people is probably his oldest established position and his greatest strength. It was clear way back when he ran against Atiyeh, and working through the complications of the PERS issue, Ted's support for workers hasn't waned.

    Saxton is loyal only to whichever way the wind blows. Born-again Westlund is mining libertarian independents but he'll find his oomph limited to the Bend-Prineville region come November. Ted wed himself to labor as a matter of principle long ago; it's only right that AFSCME says "I do" in return to a faithful partner.

  • Union family (unverified)
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    Ted's support for working people is limited to public employee and labor unions. So it's important that BlueOregon contribute to again deciving the voting public this election cycle. This oldest established position and greatest strength of playing the working people card during an election then representing only those union allies once elected is true blue.

  • Terry (unverified)
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    Joe: So are you pretty confident that Brown and Dalto are pro-worker? Can one oppose the minimum wage and be "pro-worker"? That's what happens when you think with a checklist instead of some more appropriate organ.

  • Winston Wolfe (unverified)
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    Joe and Wes,

    So is a debate to see who is the bigger dumba**?

    Cause at the moment you’re both are winning!

    Joe,

    Learn to shut your mouth.

    Your organization is Blue at heart but by helping Republicans your legislatively very successful. The problem is for the "Blue Oregon Crowd" they could care less about pragmatism. They are all about 100% or nothing and trying to convince them otherwise is as likely as convince a horse it’s a pig. Most of your members and allies are Blue, getting on a Blog and telling them “you’re a lazy, a**” is not a great way to keep friends and influence people. Your organization has a huge secret….they’re a lobby group and by getting on here and bitching at bloggers you are outing your organization faster then the former Mayor of Spokane was. In the process you lessen the effectiveness of your organization. Silence is golden especially when talking to “true believers.”

    Wes,

    Sometimes you have to do a little bad for the greater good...life sucks wear a helmet.

    I know that in your little, uber-liberal mind "if we just talk to enough people they are certain to see things our way and we will for sure win back the House" thinking may get you laid in the Republic of South East Portland, but in the rest of the state (you know, where they grow the grass and trees) people don't think like you. Odds are the republicans will still have control of the House (Yes, I said it) and everyone is going to have to deal with Speaker Scott. So for organizations like AFSCME (who don't represent the Democrats rather government workers) it is important to keep an open door. Also their "automatic endorsement policy" guarantees that at least a few of their bills each session are going to go through. Are they sell outs...maybe...but to the people they represent (who are also the people that write AFSCME's paychecks) they are effective. And the only thing a LOBBY group gets graded on is effectiveness.

    So please you two continue taking pot shots at each other. I'll grab some popcorn and watch, but at the end of the day nothing has changed except 200 more people think your both dumba**es.

    Cheers

  • LT (unverified)
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    Winston:

    There is nothing dishonest about a lobby group saying "meet our criteria and we will endorse", be it a women's group which has a stated policy of only endorsing women; OR a union saying "vote with us and we will endorse you next time".

    But I wonder what you think of a race where AFSCME endorses one candidate and SEIU another. Surely all your rhetoric about "true believers" isn't valid if diff. public employee unions endorse diff. candidates.

    Interesting the AFSCME support of Chuck Lee over Kim Thatcher but supporting Vicki Berger who co-sponsored bills with Thatcher at the req. of Freedomworks. Oh well, I guess if the voting record on the high priority bills was good enough, that sort of thing doesn't matter.

    And it is going to be interesting to see what happens in Sen. Dist. 10. Jackie Winters did some good things--refusing to go along with the worst of the budget cuts and supporting the balanced budget that turned into Measure 30.

    Jackie is an icon to some in Salem and elsewhere, but others are tired of her and thrilled she has a solid opponent. The energy level locally is with Paul Evans, so it will be interesting to see whether endorsements or people who support Paul because they have known him for years will have more influence on the result.

  • Zoe (unverified)
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    Tucker – tucker – tucker

    I agree with so much of what you closed with --- but

    Defined contributions??? Nope defined benefit – get it right or keep quiet till you learn the difference. That is what Enron and public employees have. Corrupt board??? Now you are really showing your ignorance. The state legislature is the only body that has the authority to grant benefit increases. READ THE LAWS – then talk. Sorry but I get a little worked up over serious miss statements.

    Look I think Westlund is really a good guy after his near death experience. I watched him transform and am willing to say he is a born again Moderate – not liberal yet.

    Let’s see Saxton or Ted – Ted every time. Saxton is mean, expensive and stupid. Just look at the legal costs for the Portland janitors that he and his school board buddies fired and what it is costing us. Imagine that on a statewide scale – no thanks.

    I agree – Joe learn to be quiet. AFSCME does not have to defend the decision of its membership. As I understand it you and the rest of the staff have NO vote. Your job is to do the work for the members not to defend their democratic decisions. Right?

    The Purple Organ (that is the one without blood or oxygen) oops Oregon – is trashing this union for making a decision they did not agree with too. My apologies to AFSCME and their leadership for the stupidity of all who have questioned your motives, your actions and your commitment to progressive causes. Hang in there some of us think you are just swell!

    Zoë

  • Annon (unverified)
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    Joe - be quiet - you have done more than you needed to do. What AFSCME does is their business not a bunch of ignorant boggers (me too I guess) who know nothing about the trade union movement or its processes.

    This is sort of like questioning the local parrish for the vaticans dicisions. AFSCME in Oregon gets to do its business just like a parrish and the methodists don't get to second guess their choices.

    AFSCME has been a MAJOR contribtor in nearly every progressive cause I have worked on - and that says it all for me.

    Go green power - all AFSCME all the time. I am with you even when we don't agree.

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