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Sweet column: Dems wear union label.


Look for the union label. It’s Democratic.

Senate and House Democratic leaders — and the Democratic presidential candidates — are standing in solidarity with organized labor.

As the Senate debates the top agenda item of labor, the Employee Free Choice Act, designed to make it easier to organize in the workplace, it does so with the backing of virtually every top Democrat.

Though the labor movement has splintered — and may not consolidate around one Democratic White House hopeful — union clout was on display outside the Capitol on Tuesday at a rally to promote the cause.

Democratic 2008 rivals, in a variety of forums have pledged to appoint pro-union Labor secretaries. At the AFSCME meeting on Tuesday morning, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), recovering from earlier tepid performances before union groups — notably the International Association of Fire Fighters — said, “I think we can have a Department of Labor that actually understands, it’s the Department of Labor and not the Department of Management. I think we can have a president who is willing, from the Oval Office, to talk about unions and say, unions are a good thing.”

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Hooray, Sweet & S-T's rediscover Dems & unions, USA's back bone for a century. About time.

Don't forget to mention that one thing they want in the act is that a union official if free to watch how a union member votes. In otherwords stand over him. Oh, you folks didn't know that. Something to think about. Its anything but democratic. And I say that as a man who spent 30 years a union member.

The free choice labor act without a doubt is important to organized labor. I belong to a inion and firmly believe that unions were the impetus behind the wage and benefit increases of the last century. What I would like to hear instead of the strong sound bites on this issue would be strong threats against corporate America and its CEO's about outsourcing and shipping jobs overseas. We need candidates that can conceptualize the problems facing labor (union or non-union) and verbalize the solutions in a way that the great ignorant masses can understand. All the Democratic palaver about the free choice bill is red meat for the less informed which describes an incredible number of Democrats. We need GOOD job creation and I will vote for any candidate that has effective and forceful ideas. I will remind you that the Democrats were in overwhelming power for most of the last century and in this state in total power and they have done very little to create jobs. In that regard, Bush with his tax cuts have done far more than this bill or others of the same kind are apt to do. Think!

R.L, lets also not forget Clinton is the guy who pushed through NAFTA and those free trade agreements with folks such as China and India. Not those nasty republicans. No FDR among today's democrats.

Yes, John. But, NAFTA was started in the Bush 41 administration. NAFTA has still not proven to help anyone in this country other than truckers and corporate America. Don't be misled in thinking that I am a Republican or a Democrat by my comments. I do not believe in the two party system. I think it is slowly destroying our country. They are little more than corporate entities themselves. The last great Democrat was FDR. Trying proving that to the mindless masses that get their news from the alphabet networks. People have to stop thinking the way the media conditions them to think. The media picks the issues and frames them in such a way that leads to knee-jerk responses from those less informed. Virtually none of the mass media outlets do their research extensively because quite often it would disprove their theories. It is up to the citizens of this country to break free from the endless conditioning of the major media. Unfortunately, that would require some time and labor on their part, something the majority of people are not willing to volunteer. Instead, they settle for flowery platitudes from their candidate of choice. In America, that is usually the best looking one.

R.L., I'm with you. I do NOT believe in this 2-party system. I prefer 4 or 5 MAJOR parties with equal money and public relations or just let everybody run independently as there own entity. More democratic that way. Your thoughts?

John, it would take term limitation and REAL campaign finance reform and oversight to even make an opening for independents and other parties. Unfortunately, the U.S. government has descended to a for profit organization for business and those elected officials that aid them. We have a chance in Illinois if the state convenes another State Constitutional Convention to vote in term limitation and true campaign finance reform. Newspapers such as this one have to champion the cause and I am afraid they may not consider it in their best interest to change things. It all comes down to voters going beyond the network news sound bites and actually researching for themselves. Obviously, the internet, magazines, and talk radio are biased one way or the other. It is called sifting through anything that you can find to get to the truth. Too often, people cherry pick the news to reaffirm their initial beliefs. We also have access to Federal and State websites that list everything from particulars of the various bills to an official's voting record. Our young voters (the ones that aren't brainwashed) have lost interest because of the hypocrisy. They see it as it truly is: Hold your nose and vote for the candidate you dislike the least. I agree with your premise that all candidates should be treated the same with funding and public access. If you watched the debates from both parties, I am sure you noticed the less notable ones being marginalized in the amount of questions and answer time they were given. Once again, the all powerful media runs the show with the government's help.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 21, 2007 9:45 AM.

Sweet: Democratic primary shaping up in 10th CD. Dem Dan Seals, looking for Kirk rematch, first must battle with newcomer Jay Footlik. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet blog extra: Barack and Michelle fund-raising sprints. How to decode the public schedule. is the next entry in this blog.

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