Friday, October 8, 2010

Former Teamster Gary McDowell In Tough Race for Congress

The Teamsters' own Gary McDowell is running for Congress in Michigan as a Democrat in a tough year for the party in power.

McDowell's opponent is a Tea Party Republican who thinks privatizing Social Security is a good idea. He says social programs don't belong in government because Americans will take care of Americans in need.

But when it came to taking care of his own kids, Dr. Dan Benishek lied to a judge about his hefty income in order to lower his child support payments.

Despite that embarrassing incident from his past and a wildly unpopular position on Social Security, Benishek is mounting a tough challenge to McDowell for the open congressional seat in the Upper Peninsula. Corporate money is flooding in from out of state to support Benishek's candidacy.

Gary McDowell thinks he can win. One reason is that he's on the right side of the Social Security issue. He believes retirement savings should not be subject to the whims of the stock market or the predations of Wall Street.

"We have to make sure it's a safe and secure future so you have the peace of mind when you retire that your money is safe and secure," says McDowell, a 33-year UPS driver.

McDowell spoke with UPS Teamster Magazine before the Republican primary results were in.
Here's what he had to say:

“All my opponents are looking back. They want to go back to where we were two years ago. I can remember two years ago.We were in freefall, losing 700,000 jobs amonth, Chrysler and GM going into bankruptcy. My opponents want to be a right-to-work state, they want to do away with prevailing wages, they want to lower our standard of living.

“Michigan and the country need middle-class jobs. In Michigan, we have core industries like timber, mines, agriculture.We need to focus on these types of jobs to build themiddle-class jobs that have made America great.”

If and whenMcDowell gets to Congress, his priorities are clear: enacting the Express Carrier Employee Protection Act, preventing the misclassification of workers and creating jobs.

“I’m always looking out for working families,” McDowell said.“That’s where I came from, that’s who I am, that’s what I’ll do.”