Sunday, October 13, 2013

Unions Supporting Emanuel?

Emanuel Getting Union Support

By Jim Vail

Is it absolutely hopeless for the workers in this city?

Good old Rahm Emanuel - the quintessential corporate bag man out to destroy unions and the working class and fatten the coffers of his corporate masters - is now getting plenty of union cash in his bid for re-election.

The mayor from Winnetka who bagged an estimated $18 million for a year and a half of work in "relationship banking" after working for years for President Clinton, is again getting his usual cash from Hollywood stooges like Robert DiNiro, hedge fund moguls, and Calvin Klein.

But add to that list several unions like Unite Here (who said nothing when President Obama named Penny Pritzker the commerce secretary after years of protesting of her outrageous war against the workers at the Congress Hotel) who pitched in $25,000, the Operating Engineers (where the HOD meetings are held) who pitched in $52,600 and various units of the steelworkers union who gave $50,000, according to media reports.

Don't forget the Teamsters were the first to endorse the anti-labor mayor in his election.

Organized labor has pitched in altogether $783,400 since late June, according to Emanuel's campaign.

Hmmm... I thought the role of unions was to fight vicious pro-corporate/ anti-worker politicians, not support them.

"It undermines the argument that some have made that he has a problem with labor," Emanuel's political strategist John Kupper told a newspaper, according to Progressive Illinois.  "The fact is he has strong labor support.  Does every one of the unions support him?  No.  But this fund-raising represents a very strong show of support.

Stand for Children, which is merely representing the democrat party's vision of education school reform, gave the mayor $10,000.

Even the Chicago Teachers Union, which led a massive teachers strike last year against the policies of the federal Race to the Top program, argued in favor of endorsing Obama, whose anti-public education policies mirror Mr. Emanuel's.

What does the CTU think of all this?

Progressive Illinois reports a tweet by CTU political legislative director Stacy Gates saying he will need "every dime" of the $5 million he has raised so far.

"It's money from out of town," Gates writes. "He's able to channel his old script.  They're not talking to Karen are they?  They're just talking to Rahm.  They're not talking to people who live in Englewood.  They're just talking to him at a cocktail party where they're drinking and eating nice food.  Those people don't vote here and they don't live here."

Not exactly - as reported above, many unions representing the workers are writing him big checks.

Who else is sending the mayor checks?

According to Chicago Crain's Business columnt Greg Hinz, there is United Center owner Jerry Reinsdorf who gave $5300 and is waiting for the mayor to sign off on a renewed tax break for the stadium, Todd Ricketts gave $2500 and is looking for the city to help rebuild their Wrigley field, and Chicago Citadel LLC executives gave up to $34,000, and Groupon Inc. co-founder Brad Keywell, along with Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein and former Obama campaign strategist Stephanie Cutter each gave $5300. 

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