I wonder what American politics would be like without Special Interest Groups, Political Action Committees, unions and even political parties. What if the only thing that counted was the will of the people? What if we took the money out of politics? What if we just had old fashioned debates- and then mailed ballots to everyone (they do it in Oregon) complete with a page from each candidate with links to their websites? No more ads, no more yard signs, no more circus freak shows….
Today, the AFL-CIO will ask their delegates on who to back according to the Dayton Daily News:
Labor throws its voice into the debate about who should be the next Dayton mayor, beginning Monday, Aug. 24.
Some 200 delegates who represent community service organizations and unions affiliated with the Dayton Miami Valley AFL-CIO Regional Labor Council will vote on whether to endorse the candidacy of Democratic incumbent Mayor Rhine McLin or her challenger, Gary Leitzell, an independent backed by the Montgomery County Republican Party.
The AFL-CIO, with some 40,000 members in the region, is the lobbying and legislative arm for affiliate unions, including the 3,000-member, Dayton AFSCME Local 101, the largest city of Dayton employee union. AFSCME represents state, county and municipal employees….
Endorsement of two candidates for Dayton City Commission also will be decided by the AFL-CIO delegates Monday. Running in the three-way race are incumbents Nan Whaley and Joey Williams and challenger David Esrati.
However, what would happen if the union members chose option three: none of the above?
Could they stay out, could the newspaper stay out, could the FOP and IAFF stay out? Could the voters have to make a decision all on their own?
I grew up in a union household. I walked the picket lines when I was 10 years old- in fact, I was sent around the corner to watch for the teamsters to come out of their hall, so the newspaper guild would be ready if the teamsters were going to break the line (they didn’t). It was my first recon mission- but not my last.
I believe that their is a lot to be said for collective bargaining- for representation from the rank and file. However, I don’t think that Unions should have any more right to dictate politics than they would to dictate religion on their members. Since when was it mandatory that a union vote and support Democrats?
And why should politicians, who are supposed to be elected to be the board of directors for our city- be aligned with a group of organized employees? Would this not be a conflict of interest? It is the commissions job to watch out for the people, all of them, in this city- not just the ones who back their campaigns.
Yes, I’d be honored to be chosen by any group of people in a democratic fashion as worthy of support, however, if elected, it is my duty to look out for the best interest of all, and I would never be able to accept money from an organization for my campaign.
If we hope to change Dayton, maybe this time, the best option for the unions is to back no one, and see what happens. That in itself would be a change.