By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 4:04 pm in Congressional District 10.
Let the labor wars begin.
Tenth Congressional District candidate and Lt. Governor John Garamendi just announced a long list of state and international labor endorsements. It’s a move intended, in part, to counteract one of his chief opponent’s strong local labor ties.
State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, has already secured endorsements from the Contra Costa Central Labor Council and the Contra Costa Building Trades Council, umbrella organizations for more than 100 local union chapters.
It is not unusual for labor entities at different levels to support different candidates, particularly in cases where labor likes more than one candidate in a race.
For Garamendi, the higher-level unions often control political action committees, or PACs, which can contribute money to his campaign.
On the other side of the coin, the local chapters can put boots on the ground to help get out the vote for DeSaulnier. Turnout is critical in special elections where far fewer voters participate.
Here is Garamendi’s press release:
SACRAMENTO — Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi enjoys strong support from key labor unions in the event he becomes a candidate for California’s 10th Congressional district.
That seat is presently held by Rep. Ellen Tauscher, who has been nominated to Undersecretary of State for Arms Control Policy; if and when she resigns, Garamendi expects to become a candidate in the special election.
“My friends in labor were the first to ask me to look at this unexpected opportunity,” said Garamendi, “and I’m honored by their early pledges of support. I have stood with labor in many important struggles over the years, and one of my top priorities in Washington will be passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.”
“With everything going on in the nation, it is crucial that we have someone with the knowledge of the lieutenant governor to replace the experienced leadership of Congresswoman Tauscher in Washington, D.C.,” AFSCME Local 3299 President Lakesha Harrison said in a statement.
Here is a partial list of labor groups that have announced their support for Garamendi for Congress:
AFSCME: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
CNA: California Nurses Association
CFT: California Federation of Teachers
UFCW: United Food & Commercial Workers
CSEA: California School Employees Association
Laborers International Union of North America
International Union of Operating Engineers
CWA: Communication Workers of America