Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Disputes National Union’s Political “Hit List”

Claiming the AFL-CIO’s national political director was “misquoted” in naming six incumbent Republican governors as union targets for the 2014 election, the Pennsylvania chapter of the AFL-CIO has announced that “in no way, has the state’s labor federation taken a position in Pennsylvania’s 2014 gubernatorial race.”

The statement from Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer-State Political Director Frank Snyder claimed, “It appears that Michael Podhorzer, the Political Director for our national AFL-CIO was misquoted by reporters in his interview about next year’s races for governor across the country.”

The story on Politico.com named Republican governors Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Rick Scott of Florida, Paul LePage of Maine and John Kasich of  Ohio as targets in next year’s elections. Podhorzer said that all six of the governors practiced  “scorched earth policies.”

Frank Snyder said the state AFL-CIO has always tried to find “common ground with every administration” that is “in the best interests of our members and the citizens of Pennsylvania.”

The state AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions have been the harshest critics of the 30-month-old Corbett Administration, and were instrumental in founding CLEAR  (Coalition for Labor Engagement and Accountable Revenues), a group demanding no budget cuts and no reductions in the taxpayer funded state workforce.

AFL-CIO has also opposed Corbett’s attempts to privatize the state liquor monopoly or change the state public pension system which has $47 billion in unfunded liabilities.

“Our state federation has a structure to abide by when making endorsements,” Snyder said. “It will be up to the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Executive Council to decide what position [the union will take] and when we will be taking action in the 2014 governor’s race.