Thursday, September 19, 2013

LV Labor Council Makes Its Enorsements

This is from a mass email sent by LV Labor Council President Gregg Potter:

Good morning,

I want to thank the Labor Council COPE Committee for participating in our candidate interviews and endorsements. I reached out to both parties to encourage candidates to attend and we did achieve some success. In Northampton County, six Republicans and nine Democrats interviewed and in Lehigh County, one Republican and nine Democrats attended.

As you know, about one third of our membership are registered Republican and it is important to hear from both parties and Independents when available.

It is my intention to continue to reach out to both parties and attempt to find more common ground and build relationships and rapport. This will not occur over one election cycle but we will make every attempt to build this over future elections. We had the pleasure of hearing some very talented individuals on both side of the aisle and I believe we all walked away with some new found knowledge. All candidates were treated with respect and that is how this will continue to be. Below are the endorsed candidates:

Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller
Lehigh County Comm D2 Susan Wild
Lehigh County Comm D3 David Jones
Lehigh County Comm D4 Geoff Brace
Lehigh County Comm D5 Wes Barret

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski
Allentown City Council Darryl Hendricks
Allentown City Council Joe Davis

Northampton County Executive John Callahan
Northampton County Council At Large Seats
Peg Ferraro
Tom O'Donnell
Jerry Seyfried
Ron Heckman
Christine Borso

Bethlehem City Council Bryan Callahan
Easton City Council James Eddinger

49 comments:

michael molovinsky said...

the "reaching out" might have more credibility if not everyone they endorsed was a democrat.

Anonymous said...

Ferraro is an R. More R's might get endorsements if they bothered showing up. Only Ott showed. Schweyer signed up but was a no-show. No interest expressed by Dougherty or Creighton.

Anonymous said...

Reaching out? That's a knee slapper. These guys are Democrats' bitches. No story here.

Anonymous said...

Reaching out? That's a knee slapper. These guys are Democrats' bitches. No story here.

Anonymous said...

I invited both party chairs from both counties to encourage their candidates to attend. I can't help it if only one candidate from Lehigh County turned out. One third of our membership are registered Republican. If Republican candidates don't appreciate that, then that is their issue. I have opened dialogue with the chairs and several candidates and enjoyed our discussion and we both walked away having learned something. I think that Scott Ott and John Brown area both gentlemen and several candidates impressed me and the committee. I will continue to do this and I am hoping that candidates can become a bit more centrist and start listening to everyone and not rely on pre-conceived notions. It is a start and we will continue to reach out. Everyone was treated with the utmost respect and that was the intention. If you have a better suggestion, I am all ears.
Gregg Potter

Bernie O'Hare said...

Gregg, As you know, I have been highly critical of your organization, mostly as a result of public sector unions. But I really like the idea of reaching out to both parties and making an effort to have a more centrist approach. Good for you and good for us. If you continue, my guess is that more Rs will be willing to share their candidacies.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"These guys are Democrats' bitches. No story here."

Really? I see a R endorsed. That might be a first for the Labor Council. If so, that's a story.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bernie. I appreciate that comment and I am quite sincere about this. We are not going to agree on everything but there is room for some common ground and from there a rapport builds. Last cycle, the Pa. AFL-CIO endorsed, well over 35 State Representatives and Senators. That is one reason why you don't see a "Wisconsin" happening here. We also endorsed Jim Martin for DA simply because he was and is the right person for the job. As I mentioned, I was very impressed with some of the GOP candidates and in many ways, they were better than some of the Democrats. That is why some Democrats weren't endorsed. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Peg 'with a liberal heart' got an endorsement with other liberals, no news here.

Anonymous said...

So 1/3 of the membership is Republican, but 98% of the endorsements are for Democrats. Reaching out sounds good, but actions speak louder than words.

It would seem that at least 1/3 of the membership isn't being represented by the group's leadership. Endorsing the token Republican doesn't change that.

Anonymous said...

@1:31 What kind of actions are you recommending? I invited people to interview but I sure as hell can't make them come. If some of the candidates don't care to interview then do they deserve the vote? And that goes for both parties. My intent is to provide opportunities for candidates to hear what our members issues are and to respond to questions regarding to same issues. As I mentioned, this process will take time and I am in it for the long haul. What is your suggestion??
Gregg Potter

Anonymous said...

What were the questions that were asked of the candidates?

Anonymous said...

There were over twenty different questions and they varied depending on which seat the candidate was seeking. The candidate was not given the questions ahead of time so they either knew it or they didn't. We take the endorsement process seriously and don't just endorse for the heck of it. If a given candidate doesn't even know what a Project Labor Agreement is, then I think you would agree that it would be rather difficult to recommend an endorsement for that individual.
Gregg Potter

Anonymous said...

Only D candidates (ex one no party) running in Allentown. Some R's in county are 180 degree apart from labor.

It's not a surprise these were endorsed. Mostly from liberal wing of D party.

I do think labor needs to understand the people in their unions are not all die hard D's. Part of the reason labor has trouble getting members is that unions spend a lot of dues money on D's not supported by the troops.

There is also a big split over public sector unions. Traditional labor members aren't in love with the public sector union image.

Anonymous said...

Gregg

I'm saying that the endorsements made don't appear representative of the political makeup of the group, even if you only look at the positions where both candidates interviewed.

Maybe the committee that interviews candidates needs to be more balanced. Maybe the criteria used to evaluate candidates by the Labor Council are out of step with a good portion of your membership.

I'm not trying to be difficult, but you can't expect people to show up when history shows the best they can realistically hope for is a non endorsement.

I would also suggest that if you are serious about reaching out, truly exchanging ideas, and looking for common ground, there are better ways to do it than an interview where an endorsement is at stake.

This isn't the best format to get to know each other, if that's the goal.

Anonymous said...

Picking candidates because of the organization's nembership personal party affiliation is not what any organization should do. You endorse candidates based on their positions on issues that are important to the organization and their mission. The labor council didjyst that and did it in a very fair process. If they were expected to endorse 1/3 republicans even though those candidate's are against labor's interests is insane.

By the way, what process do corporations follow? How many dems does the Chamber of Commerece endorse? Jus sayin.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
I know this is off topic, so if you delete it, I respect your judgment. It is your blog. But I read the obituaries today and noticed that Jonathan Geeting's mother passed away. Even though he has not been nice to people, especially when they pass away; I would like to say I hope she rests in peace and I am sorry for his and his family's loss.

Anonymous said...

By the way the Tea Party is having a candidate event on I believe Oct. 3, it is an open house you should go. I wonder how many Democrats they would even consider.

Don't forget your pictures of Obama in his Zulu outfit.

Anonymous said...

3:05 -

They can certainly endorse whoever they wish.

However, if you're touting that 1/3 of your membership is Republican and only endorse one, it might be that those choosing candidates are out of step with the members. And it might be that the bar that you're setting to determine which candidate to support, isn't in line with the membership either.

Also, as another comment pointed out, being out of step with the membership might be a reason that union membership is shrinking.

Just sayin'.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am sorry to learn that she has passed. I actually met and liked her.

Anonymous said...

What about that Bill Leiner cat from Coplay who is running for Lehigh County Commissioner in Region 1? No endorsement in that one?

Anonymous said...

funny, a non-voting labor rep who was there said Deb Hunter hit it out of the park. What strange politics transpired to give her the shaft?

Anonymous said...

Sorry 2:17 but it is illegal to spend dues money on politics. The money unions spend on politics are voluntarily donated by the members to the unions PAC. This is a great myth though and many people believe it but, it's not true. The reason unions have trouble are because there are to many one issue voters who do not vote for there best interest. Hopefully some day they will figure this out before there rights are stripped from them and it's to late. Most union members think that there contract is given to them by the employer and don't realize the employer would screw them in a second if they could.

Anonymous said...

I also heard three Rep candidates hit it out of the park but there is only 5 spots. Apparently the others answers were better.

Anonymous said...

"Apparently the others answers were better."

bullshit. skulduggery afoot

Lighthouse said...

Been around long enough to have worked both blue and white collar jobs, and to see the positives and negatives of BOTH labor and management. One thing I have not liked about unions is their propensity to not only promote and protect the hardworking and competent, but also the weak links. That propensity carries over to their endorsements, also. It is why they are not as influential in either industry or politics as they once were.

Anonymous said...

Lighthouse, under the NLRA, unions are obligated to represent ALL members. This is a popular misconception that unions just represent the slackers. Even Charles Manson had a public defender. There are obligations and you may or may not go to arbitration for a specific grievance but you do provide representation. That is the law. I stand by our decision and as I have mentioned several times, this is the beginning. I believe we have made the right decision to attempt to work across the aisles and find common ground. You are entitled to your opinion and I have to think that if you believe we are wrong for doing this then perhaps you are part of the problem rather than part of the solution. I like and respect Wayne Woodman, Craig DeFranco, Rick Daugherty and Walt Garvin. As long as I am president, we will support candidates who support the issues of working families.
Gregg Potter

Anonymous said...

G.Potty---your Mama didn't puke at the Labor Day picnic.....tell her thanks!!!

Clinton Oxford said...

"You are entitled to your opinion and I have to think that if you believe we are wrong for doing this then perhaps you are part of the problem rather than part of the solution. I like and respect Wayne Woodman, Craig DeFranco, Rick Daugherty and Walt Garvin. As long as I am president, we will support candidates who support the issues of working families.
Gregg Potter 7:53 PM"

You should keep good people's name's out of your Mouth!

Lighthouse said...

"This is a popular misconception that unions just represent the slackers"

If you re-read what I wrote, that is not what I said.

Lighthouse said...

If I was too nuanced, unions do indeed represent genuine hard working Americans, as well as the few weaker links. I have seen both first hand. Likewise, unions endorse genuine and fair hard working public servants, as well as some weaker links. In either case, the real workers do their best for the good of the "company" and the weaker links simply provide loyalty to the unions and are useful marionettes when a vote is needed.

Anonymous said...

Let me preface my comments by stating I was at the interviews and as other members may tell you, I don't agree with all these endorsements. The committee endorsed O'Donnell over Hunter. You would never support O'Donnell for many obvious reasons and I agree. He is next to brain dead. Hunter ran first on the democratic side and o'donnell ran last and won by about ten votes. Hunter has been good for unions and democrats. O'donnell has no track record. Something stinks here. Borso has no record with unions. She is an unknown commodity. Heckman praises unions, Has always been supportive of unions. Seyfried comes from a big union family and probably has the most interaction with unions. There is still no way that the unions could endorse Borso or O'donnel,

Anonymous said...

Borso is tight with Kraft, she is in hi9s pocket. He engineered the endorsement over Hunter. Without his pushing her, there is no way labor would have endorsed her.

O'Donnell is just bat-shit crazy and why they endorsed that nut is beyond me. He is too crazy for even the Tea Party.

Anonymous said...

Gregg

You mentioned Project Labor Agreements.

Could you explain what a PLA is, and why it is important to your group?

Anonymous said...

"Bat-shit crazy"

How civil.

Yup, Dummyrats are just too cool.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Gregg

You mentioned Project Labor Agreements.

Could you explain what a PLA is, and why it is important to your group?"


I have just been supplied with a union explanation on PLAs and have been asked to post it. I will do so, but I will also have to get something from the builders' ass'n so that it is balanced and both sides are heard.

If you have more questions for Potter or the union that require data, the appropriate way to ask those questions is by making contact, not posting anonymous questions here. It is not fair to Potter or to me. I do not want to post blogs about PLAs. I have lots of other things to write about, but feel compelled now to do so.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I rec'd a call last night from LC GOP Chair Wayne Woodman. I called back this AM, and he just wanted to confirm what Gregg Potter said. he believes that, despite some political differences, Potter and he had an amiable conversation and have developed a relationship.

That's a good thing.

I am tired of the Great Divide and Brinksmanship that exists on so many levels and commend local GOP officials and Potter for trying to find common ground. It will serve us all well.

Anonymous said...

Now if you could get the teabaggrs to have a conversation about local government without mentioning Obama or the UN, that would be a true miracle!

Anonymous said...

We do need a "Wisconsin" here to tackle the teacher and state worker pension fund problem that has yet to be addressed.

Anonymous said...

The committee endorsed O'Donnell over Hunter. Who was voting "the three blind deft and dumb mice? Maybe someone had Jim Gregory's proxy vote. Something's smelling here. Your organization really lost credibility with that choice. You can't tell me, even if your were under the influence of crack and liquor, you would choose O'Donnell or Borso over Hunter. We're not blind

Anonymous said...

Borso isn't even a union member but tends to be more knowledgeable on labor issues than Hunter. 1:24 they are both better than Hunter. Just because your a union member or a good democrat doesn't mean anything when it comes to actual labor issues. Maybe Hunter should have done her homework. I heard she wasn't that good.

Anonymous said...

Wow...a good democrat and a union member but NOT acceptable to the Labor Council....something stinking is definitely afoot...Borso talks when Ken Kraft's hand moves....and O'Donnell???? yeah, you're right the council finds demented fools and puppets much more acceptable.

Bernie O'Hare said...

O'Donnell is a joke as a candidate. I'll have to resurrect the speech he gave to County Council right before the primary.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but Bernie, hasn't one of the candidates, Heckman given a couple speeches to county council voicing concerns over Admisntration positions, like Gracedale and the Human Service building. Yet you don't call him crazy and angry!

Are you a Hypocrite??

Anonymous said...

Hunter has been good for unions and democrats. O'donnell has no track record. Something stinks here. Borso has no record with unions. She is an unknown commodity. Heckman praises unions, Has always been supportive of unions. Seyfried comes from a big union family and probably has the most interaction with unions. There is still no way that the unions could endorse Borso or O'donnel,

Gregg? What gives. How can you claim to be a fair group when you endorse 2 rambling clowns posted on the ticket?

Bernie O'Hare said...

No. I can disagree with someone over numerous individual issues and still support that person. Over the years, Ron Heckman and I have disagreed numerous times. Yet he and I also agree about numerous things. His questionnaire answers are very close to my own thinking. If I only supported people who agreed with me 100%, i'd be unable to support anyone. I look for personal integrity, good government ideas, transparency and then the issues. And I never decide on a single issue.

Anonymous said...

At least he went in front of council, the Admisntration and identified himself publically 4:22,what is the problem with stating your opinion?

The guy got up gave his comments under public comments and sat down. He didn't ask for anyone to be fired, or throw a fit. Isn't that how the system is supposed to work. I thought citizens were allowed to comment under courtesy of the floor, even if their opinions were not that of the leaders.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Although he has the right, courtesy of the floor should not be abused by candidates seeking office. It is there for citizen concerns, not campaign pitches. But I'm glad he spoke. He made crystal clear that he is nuts, mean-spirited and uninformed. And he did essentially ask that someone be fired. he spoke against the Administrator at Gracedale.

Anonymous said...

O'Donnell is crazy. He is like an anchor on the Dem's ticket.