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How about a labor party based on trade unions and a class struggle
perspective? This, the labor bureaucracy will never do and this is what is
needed to break out of the three-decade decline the labor has suffered.
Kamran

On Sun, May 22, 2011 at 4:44 AM, Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Given that abandonment of illusions about the Democratic Party is probably
> the most important step towards making social change in the United States,
> this might be a little bit of good news. It would be better news if unions
> in the US took a more aggressive role in organizing workers.
>
> MB
>
>
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/frustrated-with-democrats-some-large-unions-cut-back-on-donations/2011/05/16/AF0Hmh8G_story.html?wpisrc=nl_cuzheads
>
> Frustrated with Democrats, some large unions cut back on donationsBy T.W.
> Farnam, Published: May 21
>
> Some of the nation’s largest labor unions are cutting back dramatically on
> their financial support to the Democratic Party, saying they are highly
> frustrated with the failure of Democrats to put up stronger resistance to
> Republican proposals opposed by labor.
>
> The unions have cited what they see as Democrats’ tepid response to
> Republican efforts to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public
> sector workers, cut Medicare funding and require voters to show
> identification at the polls.
>
> “It doesn’t matter if candidates and parties are controlling the wrecking
> ball or simply standing aside,” said Richard Trumka, president of the
> AFL-CIO<http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/frustrated-with-democrats-some-large-unions-cut-back-on-donations/2011/05/16/AF0Hmh8G_print.html>,
> in a speech <http://press.org/events/npc-luncheon-richard-trumka> Friday.
> “The outcome is the same either way. If leaders aren’t blocking the wrecking
> ball and advancing working families’ interests, working people will not
> support them.”
>
> The determination of the unions, who have traditionally been among the
> largest campaign donors, to use money as a carrot and stick over policy
> matters could ultimately play a significant role in next year’s elections,
> seriously harming some Democrats’ chances of election.
>
> “We never take anyone’s support for granted,” said Democratic Party
> spokesman Hari Sevugan. “And we are confident that when working men and
> women face a choice between a party . . . that wants to end the right to
> collectively bargain versus one that secured universal health care, expanded
> middle-class tax cuts and saved the American auto industry, we’ll be working
> with organized labor to again elect Democrats up and down the ballot next
> fall.”
>
> Unions are simultaneously shifting their money and attention to focus more
> on political races at the state level, where several legislatures have
> targeted bargaining rights for state employees.
>
> In the first quarter of this year, union political action committees
> sharply cut back funding for House Democrats, according to an analysis of
> federal disclosure reports by The Washington Post. Those contributions fell
> by half compared with the first quarter of 2009, from $5.8 million down to
> $3.1 million.
>
> By comparison, corporate PACs cut their contributions to House Democrats by
> 26 percent, to a total of $7.2 million. Union contributions to Republicans
> decreased as well, but by just 13 percent.
>
> The most dramatic shift was in giving by the International Union of
> Operating Engineers, which represents construction workers and has a large
> federal PAC. In the first quarter of 2009, the union gave $1.6 million to
> House Democrats, while the PAC this year has not made a single
> contribution <http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/dcdev/forms/C00029504/729141/>to
> either party.
>
> Officials with the engineer’s union said in a statement that high
> unemployment in the construction sector was its top priority and that it
> “wants to see Congress more urgently address this issue on a bipartisan
> basis and move on legislation to create jobs.”
>
> The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners gave $350,000 to House
> Democrats in the first quarter of 2009 but donated only $148,000 in the
> first three months of this year. A spokesman for union, which left the
> AFL-CIO in a 2001 split of the federation, could not be reached.
>
> The International Association of Fire Fighters announced<http://www.iaff.org/11News/042611FIREPAC.htm> last
> month that it would indefinitely halt all political giving on the federal
> level, citing what it said was the weak response of congressional leaders to
> legislative threats in the states to unions.
>
> “I have not seen our friends in these incredible attacks against us across
> the country,” said Harold Schaitberger, the union’s president. “Where are
> our friends in Congress? Where have they been to fight back on our behalf
> with the same voracity and the same discipline of our enemies?”
>
> Schaitberger also cited major disappointments at the federal level,
> including the deal between President Obama and Congress to extend Bush-era
> tax cuts for upper-income Americans and the defeat of the Employee Free
> Choice Act, which would have made it easier for unions to organize.
>
> “There’s just been a pattern of disappointment and failures in advancing an
> agenda that helps the working middle class,” he said. “It’s a pattern that
> goes back years.”
>
> It is unclear whether unions will end up backing Obama in his 2012
> reelection campaign with the same enthusiasm as they did in 2008. Trumka
> voiced muted criticism of the president on Friday, saying he didn’t “make
> the honor role” for the execution of his agenda. He faulted Obama for losing
> a message war with Republicans over stimulus funding and pushing a
> free-trade agreement with Colombia.
>
> Labor’s threats to Democrats follow a major push in last year’s midterm
> election, when unions spent $8 million backing a liberal challenger to
> former senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.). The challenger, then-lieutenant
> governor Bill Halter, lost to Lincoln in a runoff, and a weakened Lincoln
> went on to lose the general election to Republican John Boozman.
>
> Trumka trumpeted the outcome of that race in a question-and-answer period
> after his speech Friday. A moderator asked what was different about his
> latest rhetoric given that unions have threatened to withdraw support for
> Democrats in the past.
>
> “Ask Blanche Lincoln,” he replied.
>
> **
>
> --
> ******************************************
> Michael Balter
> Contributing Correspondent, Science
> Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
> New York University
>
> Email:  [log in to unmask]
> Web:    michaelbalter.com
> NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/
> ******************************************
>
> “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there
> is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
>                                                   --John Kenneth Galbraith
>
>