The Rural Patriot

August 16, 2006

NYSUT and AFL-CIO Endorsements for Massa

Filed under: Eric Massa,November 2006 Election,Randy Kuhl — theruralpatriot @ 10:16 am

Two key unions in NY State have recently switched their endorsement from Congressman Randy Kuhl to Candidate Eric Massa. 

From 8/10/06: 

State’s Largest Teacher’s Union Endorses Eric

In a striking move today, New York’s largest teachers union announced its endorsement of Retired Navy Commander Eric Massa for Congress, switching its long-time support from incumbent Randy Kuhl (R, NY-29). The union said that Kuhl, who the union has supported since early in his career in the NY State Legislature, has increasingly taken positions that are at odds with his constituents.

NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said that Massa, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a 24 year military veteran, offers a “fresh hope for New York’s working families who care about improving education, health care, and the upstate economy.”

Officials at the union expressed dismay at Kuhl’s lackluster record in Congress since winning the seat by a narrow margin in 2004. Alan B. Lubin, NYSUT Executive Vice President, commented: “Randy Kuhl’s record in Congress has been abysmal. He has lost his way,” Lubin said. “Instead of standing up to the extremists in his party and fighting for the best interests of his constituents, Kuhl has become a rubber stamp for the George Bush agenda. It’s time for a change.”

Before making its decision, the NYSUT political action committee analyzed 12 key bills voted on by the House of Representatives on issues important to NYSUT members and residents across the Southern Tier. The committee found that Kuhl voted “the wrong way” 11 out of 12 times, and consistently sided with House Leadership rather than acting in the best interests of the residents of the 29th District and union member teachers.

(NYSUT membership numbers – 575,000 active and retired teaachers and educational related personnel)

And from 8/15/06: 


ALBANY, NY – For the second time in a week, a major labor organization announced its endorsement of Retired Navy Commander Eric Massa for Congress, switching support from incumbent Randy Kuhl (R, NY-29). The AFL-CIO, a federation of 53 labor unions, made the announcement following its annual meeting in Albany.

The endorsement, a major score for Massa, is another in a growing list of labor organizations, elected officials, and public figures that are endorsing or supporting Massa in his campaign to unseat Kuhl. Just four days ago, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) switched their long-time support from Kuhl to Massa. It is highly unusual for labor organizations to endorse a non-incumbent.

AFL-CIO representative Peggy Costello said, “In years past, we’ve based our endorsements on voting records. Randy Kuhl’s record in the NY State legislature was generally acceptable. In Congress, however, we rate his record as very weak, no more than 35% favorable to labor interests.”

These developments are certainly interesting and noteworthy; it is rare when an incumbent loses endorsements from organizations who have backed them in prior election cycles. 


1 Comment »

  1. These endorsements of Eric Massa and the fact that Randy Kuhl lost these endorsements is the perfect example of what Kuhl is missing–courage to lead.

    By switching its endorsements from Kuhl to Massa, the unions exhibit several great qualities. Those who voted on the endorsements are not stagnant. Those who made the endorsements have their eyes wide open. Those who made the endorsements are open minded. Those who made the endorsements are also brave and adventurous.

    The unions took a look at the facts on hand. They looked at Kuhl’s voting record and his recent actions and words. And then they endorsed Eric Massa.

    How does this relate to Kuhl’s trip to Iraq?? Well, when Randy Kuhl visited Iraq and then returned home to talk about his trip, he had a tough choice to make. Kuhl could have thrown caution to the wind and exposed the absolute horrors of the war in Iraq. Kuhl would have had to exhibit some courage and bravery in order to overcome the control the Bush administration obviously has on “rubber stamp” Randy. But Randy doesn’t have the courage to oppose the wishes of the Bush administration. And therefore, Randy Kuhl does NOT have the courage, strength and common sense to lead and represent the people in the 29th congressional district.

    As the voting public in general grow weary of the war and its costs in lives and dollars, my representative needs to be able to grow and change with the times in order to actually represent me. Eric Massa is the man for the 29th CD…there’s no doubt in my mind.

    Comment by Terry — August 18, 2006 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

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