Cross your fingers. A win for Teamster candidates is a win for all working people.
We're not just saying that. A recent report showed politicians with roots in organized labor are reliable friends of working families. Writes Cole Stangler in The Huffington Post
Politicians who come of age with the labor movement in their lives are more likely to advocate on behalf of worker-friendly policies, regardless of their political leaning, the makeup of their district and financial support from labor, according to a new study on union members and voting behavior.
Pro-worker advocacy extends far beyond issues that directly affect labor unions, and includes stronger support for policies such as family and medical leave or paid sick days, according to the study. It puts numbers on an ephemeral but intuitive notion: that having direct experience under a boss in solidarity with other coworkers shapes people's worldview in lasting and profound ways, even after they've moved up the class ladder.
At the same time, the report, which was funded by the pro-labor group American Rights At Work, helps explain the disconnect between working-class America and Congress, where working people are barely represented. Recruiting more union members to run for office would be an effective way of finding reliably worker-friendly legislators, the study implies.Teamsters are already serving in high office, including Lynn, Mass., Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Missouri state Treasurer Clint Zweifel and Missouri Rep. Tim Meadows.
Here's a partial list of the Teamsters now running for office (forgive us if we've left anyone out):
- Jose Hernandez, former member of Teamsters Local 601 and a former astronaut, is running as a Democrat for U.S. House of Representatives from the 10th Congressional District.
- Dr. Lee Rogers, affililiate member of the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, is running as a Democrat for U.S. House of Representatives from the 25th Congressional District.
- Jim Cahill, president of Teamsters Local 716, is running as a Democrat for state Senate from District 37.
- Brad Thompson, president of Teamsters Local 1070, is running as a Democrat for state Senate from District 7.
- Jerod Warnock, business agent for Teamsters Local 135, is running as a Democrat for the state House of Representatives from District 5.
- Steve Sodders, member of the Teamsters Law Enforcement League, is running for re-election as a Democrat for state Senate from District 36.
- Gary McDowell, former UPS package delivery driver, is in a rematch against the incumbent Republican congressman from District 10.
- Bob Burns, Teamster retiree from Local 600, is running as a Democrat for state House of Representatives from District 93.
- Raymond Kinney, a carhaul member of Local 41, is running as a Democrat for state House of Representatives from District 51.
- Terry Lesinski, a 30-year ABF member from Local 600, is running as a Democrat for state House of Representatives from District 104.
- Jim Sweere, ABF member from local 41, is running for state House of Representatives from District 16.
- Clint Zweifel, member of Teamster Local 688, is running as a Democrat for re-election as state Treasurer.
- Steve Bullock, state attorney general and former Teamster attorney, is running as a Democrat for governor.
- Kim Gillan, state senator and former Teamster member, is running as a Democrat for the U.S. House at large.
- John Murphy, international vice president for the IBT, is running as a Democrat for state House of Representatives for House District Rockingham 8.
- Thomas L. Quackenbush, business agent, Teamsters Local 294, is running for the state Assembly from District 111.
- Osman Kamara, member of Teamsters Local 776, is running for the state House of Representatives from District 106.
- Dave Hansen, member of Teamsters Local 662, is running as a Democrat for reelection to the state Senate from District 30.