Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SEIU Local 205 endorces Conservative Council Candidates: Crafton, Jakes, Duvall, Dominy

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 205 announced their endorsements today for Metro Council races. I am pleasantly surprised! SEIU Local 205 is supporting several of the same candidates I am supporting.

For Council at-Large they are endorsing Eric Crafton, Ken Jakes and Tim Garrett. Tim Garrett is a Democrat but he is a conservative Democrat. Of the current five At-large Council members, only Charlie Tygart may be considered equally as conservative as Tim Garrett. Eric Crafton and Ken Jakes are both Republicans. To bypass incumbent liberals to select two Republican challengers took courage.

In the district races, SEIU endorsed Emily Evans (23), Jason Holleman (24), Davette Blablock (27), Duane Dominy (28), and Robert Duvall (33). Several of these candidates such as Dominy and Duvall are openly Republican and some of the others, while Democrats, have not always voted with the Mayor and have shown a lot of independence.

Nationally the SEIU is perceived as extremely liberal if not radical. They were active in supporting the candidacy of Barack Obama in 2008 and spent $28 million in that effort making the SEIU the biggest spender by an independent organization. They were active in the healthcare issue often showing up to counter protest at tea party event. They have been accused of ballot rigging and using intimidation to persuade workers to vote in the SEIU as their union. In unionizing efforts, many of their activities have been considered thug-like.

Locally, the SEIU represents most government unionized workers who are not represented by either the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Fire Fighters, or the Metro Nashville Education Association. They represent health care workers, janitors, school support staff and people who work for Public Works.

The endorsement of Republicans and conservative and independent Democrats by the SEIU just goes to show that in a big organization their can be diversity and one should be cautious about assuming too much. I know many Metro employees are conservative and if the rank and file really are the ones choosing which candidates to endorse then I should not be surprised that good public servants like Duvall and Dominy get the SEIU endorsement. I applaud the SEIU Local 205 for their independence and courage.

Below is the press release issued by the SEIU.Candidates I am supporting are highlighted in red.

SEIU Announces Metro Council Endorsements

Metro Employee Organization Urges Election of Pro-Worker Candidates

(Nashville) The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 205 today announced a list of candidates endorsed by the organization for Nashville's Metro Council elections, to be held on August 4, 2011.

“These candidates were chosen by rank and file members of our union who are directly affected by the decisions made by the Metro Council,” said Doug Collier, President of SEIU Local 205.

“We need candidates who will stand up and support working class families and who believe in our values. Working class families are the backbone of Nashville and we make Nashville strong,” said Billy Deaderick, a meter technician for Nashville Electric Service who served on the union’s candidate committee.

“Over 80% of SEIU members and their families live and vote in the county, so we believe that our members will make the difference in many of these races,” said James Brown, a telephony technician working for Metro Schools who also served on the union’s committee.

The endorsed candidates are:

Megan Barry
Eric Crafton
Tim Garrett
Ken Jakes
Vivian Wilhoite

Dist. 1
Lonnell Matthews, Jr. 

Dist. 2
Gloria Jones

Dist. 3
Walter Hunt

Dist. 4
Brady Banks 

Dist. 5
Priscilla Eaton

Dist. 6
Peter Westerholm

Dist. 10
Doug Pardue

Dist. 11
Darren Jernigan

Dist. 14
James Bruce Stanley

Dist. 16
Anna Page

Dist. 18
David Glasgow

Dist. 19
Erica Gilmore 

Dist. 20
Buddy Baker

Dist. 21
Edith Taylor Langster

Dist. 22
Seanna Brandmeir

Dist. 23
Emily Evans

Dist. 24
Jason Holleman

Dist. 26
Chris Harmon
Brock Parks

Dist. 27
Davette Blalock

Dist. 28
Duane Dominy 
Dist. 29
Karen Johnson

Dist. 30
Jason Potts 

Dist. 31
Fabian Bedne

Dist. 32
Jacobia Dowell

Dist. 33
Robert Duvall

Dist. 35
Bo Mitchell 

Early voting runs from July 15-30. For information on polling locations and other election information, contact the Davidson County Election Commission at 862-8800.

SEIU is the largest single labor union in North America, with a membership of 2.1 million members who work in the public and private sectors. In Nashville, Local 205 represents thousands of public employees in Metro Schools, Metro General Government, the Metro Action Commission, Metro Nashville Hospital Authority, Metro Development and Housing Authority, and Nashville Electric Service, as well as workers in private sector companies including Meharry Medical College and the Nashville Auto Diesel College.

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