Democrats Turn Up The Heat At Labor Day Events
Gubernatorial nominee Johnny DuPree and other Democrats attended a Labor Day picnic sponsored by CWA Local 3511 in Jackson yesterday. And across the country, Democrats, including Barack Obama, did the same thing hoping to stir up a loyal base that many believe will stay on the sidelines in 2012.
Obviously, unions have little political power in Mississippi representing small percentages of workers in both the public and private sector. But, siding with labor is generally as popular for Mississippi Democrats as it is for New York Democrats. And the AFL-CIO recently came out with an endorsement for DuPree. I believe the labor coalition had stayed out of the primary, but other unions including the Mississippi Educators Association and the Mississippi Alliance of State Employees had previously endorsed Bill Luckett.
DuPree praised labor, but apparently left it to the new Executive Director of the Democratic Party, Rickey Cole, to provide the red meat. Cole painted this picture if Republicans sweep in November: “This is not an important election, this is the last election. It’s the last **** chance. It’s the last train leaving. If we don’t win the (state) House of Representatives, if we don’t win a majority in the Senate, if we don’t elect Johnny DuPree governor, then in six weeks there won’t be a State Personnel Board. You’ll have to promise to be a good Republican to get a job.”
Of note, Cole supported and was on the staff of Luckett during the primary.
But rhetoric from Cole couldn’t compare to what national union leaders provided as a warm up to Obama’s appearance in Detroit. Jimmy Hoffa, president of the Teamsters, offered these thoughts: “We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war. President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these ************** out and give America back to an America where we belong.”
Obama, who had made a number of empty calls for civility, said he was proud of Hoffa after taking the stage. His staff is now refusing to say anything else.