CO-SEN: Will Labor Primary Bennet Over EFCA?

by: David Sirota

Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 07:53


I've spent the last two weeks hosting Colorado's drive-time morning radio show at AM760, and every single day we've called appointed U.S. Senator Michael Bennet's (D) office asking him to come on the show and explain why he thinks it is OK to refuse to take a public position on the Employee Free Choice Act. Each day, he has refused, and now my question is: Will organized labor fund a primary against Bennet (D) here in Colorado if he votes against EFCA? It's starting to sound that way, as this Denver Post story includes this statement as Bennet refuses to take a public position on the issue:

"Leaders in high positions have to make tough decisions," said Mitch Ackerman, regional director for SEIU, who when asked if a "no" vote would impact labor's support for the Democrat in 2010, answered simply: "Absolutely."

Every Democrat in the Colorado congressional delegation who has had to face voters in an election is on record supporting EFCA. The only Democrat who has refused to take a position is Bennet - a guy who was appointed (and a guy who made headlines recently joining the new Senate Blue Dog caucus that sounds like it's aiming to obstruct the progressive priorities in Obama's budget).

Obviously, this shows the real downside of appointed senators - they feel no accountability to voters. The only upside is that appointed senators have a much tougher time winning reelection and winning primaries in states with high-quality alternative candidates like, say, former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (who is already pondering a primary challenge). The inherent vulnerability of an appointed incumbent - especially one who has never run for office before - means that if Bennet votes against EFCA and therefore gets a labor-backed primary, there's a good chance he'll go down - and he'd deserve to go down if he was that arrogant and out of touch on such a fundamental worker-rights issue.

David Sirota :: CO-SEN: Will Labor Primary Bennet Over EFCA?

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Accountability Now? (4.00 / 3)
I'm wondering if Accountability Now is following this, and, if so, I'm wondering if they might be able to make use of their talents and funds to help put this primary together and to win it.

Perhaps..... (2.00 / 2)
he's excercising his right to a secret ballot.  Maybe he feels that he shouldn't be pressured into telling anyone what his position is until its time to vote.  Shouldn't it be this way?  Or should everyone know how you feel up front and get threathend about it as the SEIU is doing so right now.  "Vote for EFCA or we will have you thrown out"  This shows how short minded and greedy these unions are. Never mind what other important issues Bennett is tackling on behalf of his constituents.  If its not EFCA, he's out!!!
This is just great.

Such as? (4.00 / 3)
Never mind what other important issues Bennett is tackling on behalf of his constituents.

Do you even have any idea what important issues Bennett is tackling, or if his constituents are in agreement with his stances? Or are you just trashing union organizers just for the fun of it?



[ Parent ]
Uprated, because you (0.00 / 0)
made me laugh before I realized that maybe you're serious.

[ Parent ]
representation (0.00 / 0)
 The only pole I am aware of on this issue was of the non-union employees this bill would effect and the majority are in favor of easier access to union representation. Our government officials are there to REPRESENT. When poles prove the wishes of the voters on any issue, they do not need to use their advanced? wisdom to know the voters wishes. All who take it upon themselves to vote against the majority constituent position deserve to be retired! When Mike Mansfield (former senetor from Montana) supported the 1968? gun control bill dispite poles showing 9to1 opposition in Montana, I voted against him at every opportunity thereafter. If this appointed senator refuses to vote with the wishes of Colorado voters, labor will not be alone in opposition. By your disparaging remark about unions, I take it you approve of the falling lifestyle of the producers. 30 years of favoring corporations and wealth over workers led us to this situation, only a reversal of this failed scam can began the long road back to prosparity for all. Remember, unions always were and remain the peoples answer to corporate tyranny.

Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob..... FDR

[ Parent ]
Mansfield (0.00 / 0)
"When Mike Mansfield (former senetor from Montana) supported the 1968? gun control bill dispite poles showing 9to1 opposition in Montana, I voted against him at every opportunity thereafter."

    So that would have been one opportunity, when Sen. Mansfield ran for his last term in 1970?


[ Parent ]
two (0.00 / 0)
Once in the primary.

Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob..... FDR

[ Parent ]
Are you taking the piss? (4.00 / 1)
Or are you just plain stupid?

Senators do not have a right to a secret ballot. Their votes are tabulated on the internet.

Further, what exactly do you think unions value more than EFCA right now? Why the hell would you expect Colorado's unions to give any support to a guy who votes against their interests?

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[ Parent ]
can labor win a primary in CO (4.00 / 2)
if other Democratic Party interest groups go with the incumbent? I am curious. Organized labor doesn't always get its candidates elected in Iowa Democratic primaries.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

If the other groups fail (0.00 / 0)
to support labor on this, they will break the party in Colorado.

Sierra Club and other progressive groups support EFCA.


[ Parent ]
Primary now (4.00 / 7)
It is not just EFCA.  It is not just EFCA and refusing to answer his constituents.  It is even more.

Bennet is 42.  He's never held any elected office and his background is high level staff work for corporate and government.  He's more conservative than any of the five elected House Dems from Cplorado and John Salazar is pretty conservative.

Founding member of the Blue Dogs in the Senate.  Vote him out.  The Dogs are the opposition party these days.  We don't need to feed them with priviliged appointees.


If he votes the wrong way on EFCA (4.00 / 1)
Yes. He will no longer by a Senator in 2011.  

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