AFL-CIO Targeting 5 Governors

On February 27, 2014, in News Clips, by CLJ

The AFL-CIO will target 5 governors who have supported efforts to free workers.  Yolanda Weinberger has the story in Wisconsinfree.com.

Five Republican governors who have supported legislation unpopular with labor unions are on a ‘Big Labor political hit list’. Recently in Houston, AFL-CIO leaders announced that they intend to spend a staggering amount of money–at least $60 million per gubernatorial race for a total of $300 million–in the effort to unseat the governors.

The past decade has seen the largely private AFL-CIO diversify by partnering with more public sector unions like teacher unions and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in order to strengthen their political influence.

According to People’s World, a socialist-leaning newspaper, the governors targeted for defeat are Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott, Michigan’s Gov. Rick Snyder, Ohio’s Gov. John Kasich, Pennsylvania’s Gov. Tom Corbett and Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker.

After the announcement, when Podhorzer was asked to discuss how much money labor would spend on the effort, he said he expected the dollar amount to exceed what unions spent in the 2010 midterm elections. The amount spent then, he said, was about $300 million.

All five governors have fought to reduce the rising costs of public employee pensions while reducing tax burdens and trimming government spending in their states. Governors Walker, Kasich, and Snyder have all limited unions’ collective-bargaining, although Kasich’s bill was overturned in 2011. According to The Medina-GazetteOnline, Meredith Tucker, a spokeswoman for We Are Ohio, union groups want to remind voters of Kasich’s support for right to work legislation.

“We will be talking about how Gov. Kasich’s policies have not helped working families,” Tucker said. “Right-to-work may be coming to Ohio and that’s a very big concern.”

Governors Snyder and Scott both lead right to work states, and Governor Corbett has been a huge proponent of pension reform. Corbett has incurred the wrath of the teachers unions in his state by reducing increases in annual spending for public education. Pennsylvania’s teacher unions are affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

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