Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Firefighters turn off spigot to federal candidates

Saying too few Democrats have their backs, the International Association of Firefighters announced they're suspending political contributions to candidates for U.S. Congress and president.

IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger pulls no punches. In a statement to his 300,000 members, he says,
Not only are extremist Republicans trying to destroy us -- too few Democrats are standing up and fighting for us.
Over the past two years, politicians from both parties have failed to address our issues in Washington, DC. Now, anti-labor members of Congress and their allies are championing measures that would undermine pension security, tax employer-sponsored health benefits, force newly hired fire fighters into Social Security and attack federal fire fighters. And with no pro-fire fighter legislation likely to be advanced in the 112th Congress – it’s time to take a stand.
Schaitberger explains why the firefighters decided to spend their money on state battles:
...the attacks launched at our members since the November 2010 elections have changed the landscape.
Extreme right-wing conservative and so-called Tea Party politicians are coming after fire fighters, paramedics and all public workers with a vengeance across the United States. They are attempting to take away basic American rights like collective bargaining and your right to negotiate for a good quality of life for your families. They are working to eliminate your pensions and retirement security. They want to silence your voice by gagging you with legislation they call Paycheck Protection. They are taking away the long-held right of dues deductions from paychecks to try to weaken the finances of our union. They want to hurt all unions and drive down wages and benefits with Right-to-Work laws.
Here's the Firefighters Fighting Back page.