Thursday, October 7, 2010

An open Letter to Kurt Becker, VP of IAFF Local 2665

Reposted with permission from John Moyle:
Dear Mr. Becker,

I returned home after a long day of work at my IBEW local 1 member job to find your letter at my door. IAFF Local 2665, a AFL-CIO member organization, is supporting the Republican, John Lamping over the Democrat, Barbara Fraser in the election for the Missouri 24th Senate District.

Would you care to explain why your labor organization would choose to support the party that works against labor at every turn? We had a good bill that passed the U.S. House of Reps recently and would have ended the tax benefits for corporations to shut down plants and move jobs overseas. So what happened to it? Republicans filibustered it in the Senate preventing a vote (as they have done with 420 other pieces of legislation last I checked).

Republicans have supported issue after issue that benefited corporations over labor and opposed nearly every effort labor has made to protect our members for as long as I can remember. We have thousands out of work in organized labor due to the recent "great recession" that was caused by deregulation of the financial industries over several decades. Something the Republican party always supports regardless of potential risk. On top of everything else, the average Republican I talk to supports Prop A. If Prop A and a following city election are both as successful as they hope in eliminating city Income taxes, how many professional fire fighters would be out of work after cities like St. Louis lose approximately 1/3rd or more of there budgets?

I know nothing about John Lamping other than what I can read on his website. But what I found there was this:

"Following graduation John went to work in Manhattan as a Currency Trader. He eventually returned to school to pursue an MBA in Finance at New York University. He graduated with distinction from New York University and went to work as a Bond Trader in Manhattan.
Since 1998, John has worked for a major St. Louis-based securities brokerage firm, and currently serves as a personal financial advisor and brokerage manager for the firm."

You're kidding right Mr. Becker? You're supporting someone whose career is in the very sector that brought us the financial disaster that has cost us millions of organized labor jobs? You know, Wall Street, the people that brought us plant closures and outsourcing jobs to other countries all in the name of higher quarterly profits (American citizen lives and futures be damned).

Your letter states:

"Born and raised in St. Louis, John has dedicated much of his life to making our community a better place. He has served on the boards of numerous philanthropic organizations in the area...."

To start with, Mr. Lamping's website makes it sound like he spent much of his adult life out of state. But what really makes me curious is your complete lack of examples of these "philanthropic organizations" you mention. A quick review of his website shows mostly religious organizations. While there is nothing wrong with religious service, I don't see how those experiences will translate well to public service. Then there is the Regional Business Council. That's great, but what has he done for jobs, for living wages, for worker’s rights, for pension protection from corporate theft, etc? I can't seem to find any memberships that address those issues, you know, the kind of issues organizations in the AFL-CIO tend to focus on.

Mr. Becker, I'm not saying Barbara Fraser is perfect, but all things being equal, I'll back a Democrat and former Teacher over a Republican and former Wall Street Raider any day. I'd love to hear what you feel is so wrong with Barbara Fraser that your organization would choose to support this John Lamping over her.

Thank you for your time,

John Moyle
The good news is that we can all help correct this mistake by getting involved in Barbara Fraser's campaign!

1 comment:

  1. I might point out that Republicans in Missouri continue to oppose collective bargaining rights for public sector workers. The same thing the IAFF brought up for a statewide ballot vote about 10 years ago. How can you support someone who would oppose the issue that you spent millions of dollars fighting for? Eric Schmidt, who won with IAFF support, is the same way. I get labor working with people in both parties, but people in both parties need to work with us. Otherwise, we are just kidding ourselves.