Archive for March 12th, 2010

by jhwygirl

At Tuesday’s congressional candidate forum held by the Missoula County Democrats – Pete did a great write-up on it – Dennis McDonald, Democratic primary candidate for congress rattled off a couple of his endorsements during his introduction, finishing off the list with “and tomorrow I expect to have the AFL-CIO (endorsement)”.

I found that interesting, given that the AFL-CIO usually has a go at its members before endorsing, and I hadn’t heard anything.

So I sent out a few emails. It really seemed like a pretty bold move to announce that you would be getting the endorsement of such a large organization.

Then again – it’s that party-insider kind of stuff that not only shocks me, but really kind of turns me off. Deals cut in back rooms. And here I thought that unions (I am the daughter of an AFL-CIO card holder) were open with their processes. Votes and all that good stuff?

What did I find of my inquiries? The AFL-CIO Board has endorsed. No one I contacted had heard, one wasn’t surprised (Helena), and three that were shocked (Billings and Missoula).

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the hypocrisy I see to this: At Tuesday’s forum, McDonald was asked about Sen. Tester’s wilderness bill – and he said something to the effect that he did largely support it but the one thing he didn’t like about the bill (“..and I’ve been upfront with Jon about this,” he said) is its lack of transparency or it having gone to the public and how it locked out agriculture and some other group.

So how does McDonald announce that he expects the AFL-CIO endorsement two days before they announce? And how does the AFL-CIO endorse without going out and talking to its members? And shouldn’t they tell their members first, before the candidate?

How does McDonald criticize Tester for lack of transparency while championing an endorsement that has yet to be announced by the organization? To its members?

All the kind of backroom dealings that really make politics stinky.

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