Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Intrigue in labor's AG endorsement

Organized labor, like the Democratic Party, is divided over the primary for attorney general between Peg Lautenschlager and Kathleen Falk. No surprise.

Even the public employees union, AFSCME, is split, with one council, representing state workers, backing Lautenschlager, and the other two, representing Milwaukee County and county and municipal workers across the state, backing Falk.

Normally, the state AFL-CIO endorsement would be a slam-dunk for a Democratic incumbent, but this is not an ordinary year. Lautenschlager did get the endorsement last week, but there was more than a little intrigue before she got it by a single vote.

An endorsement requires a two-thirds vote, but apparently that's two-thirds of the Executive Board members voting, not those present. So a couple of them abstained, which helped Lautenschlager get two-thirds without them actually having to vote for her.

But the real shocker was when the representative of AFSCME Council 40, the county and municipal employees, voted for Lautenschlager. Council 40 had endorsed Falk the day before the AFL meeting, but their rep, Joan Kaeding, voted the other way. Kaeding apparently fell on her sword for Lautenschlager; the assumption is that Council 40 will replace her on the exec board with someone who will vote to represent their opinions.

How much does all of this matter? Not much, in the grand scheme of things. It's just another indicator that the Falk-Lautenschlager race will be hard-fought every inch of the way to the finish line in September.

Note to the Bucher campaign: In 20 years and about 40 campaigns I've worked on in Wisconsin, I can probably count on my fingers the number of media stories there have been about my candidates being endorsed by any person or group. The media just aren't interested, unless it's man-bites-dog. Frankly, most voters don't care, either. The members of the endorsing groups care, of course, but they will find out directly from their organization. So quit whining and do something productive.


At 9:46 PM, Blogger urnotthatsmart said...

yes bucher, please let us know when you finally do something productive. we're waiting...


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