|District 751 in Puget Sound and others from Washington State were among dozens of locals and districts recognized for their support for MNPL.|
The combination of the Supreme Court’s Citizens v. United decision and the unrelenting Tea Party stranglehold on the GOP will combine to make the 2014 midterm elections a critical test for labor unions, progressives and anyone who values survival of the American Dream.
That was the challenge for more than 300 delegates gathered in San Diego, CA for the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL) 2014 National Planning Committee Meeting.
“The amount of money flooding into the political system thanks to the Koch Brothers and their ilk are going to impact not only races for the House and Senate, but every Governor’s race as well,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “We are just one state away from having 25 Right to Work (for less) states and a real fight on our hands to prevent national RTW legislation.”
While vast amounts of money being pumped into the system will undoubtedly impact races, it is the traditionally low voter turnout in midterm elections that may well be the deciding factor in which party and which philosophy controls the direction of the country for the next two years.
“All the money and all the advertising in the world cannot equal the impact of the face-to-face, grassroots campaigning that is the nuts and bolts of the this union’s political and legislative efforts,” said Buffenbarger. “If we stay energized and unified and get our supporters to the polls, I’m confident we can keep our union and our country on the right path.”
Speaker after speaker at the planning committee meeting left little doubt about the stakes for unions and union members in the upcoming election.
“These people will lie and they don’t play by the same rules we do,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Political Director Anne Caprara. “The goal of the other side is nothing less than the eradication of the labor movement. It is not about degrees on a scale.”
In addition to plenary sessions, guest speakers and strategy meetings each day, the delegates paused to collect nearly $3,000 for IAM families impacted by the horrific mudslide in Washington state.