PICKET: Rep. Waters on Dem Convention being in 'right to work' Charlotte - 'We've got to make the best of it'

← return to Water Cooler

“We’re here now. We’ve got to make the best of it,” Congresswoman Maxine Waters, California Democrat, told me on Tuesday when I asked her about whether or not she believed Charlotte, North Carolina was an appropriate choice for the Democratic Convention considering the venue in a right-to work state. 

Since Charlotte was chosen to be the place where President Barack Obama would accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for his re-election, labor union leaders remain irritated over the decision. The word “bittersweet” was used by union members who lamented on Monday that they were spending Labor Day in a right-to-work state. In fact, those that decided to come to the DNC Convention are upset that they must stay in non-union hotels .  According to the Chicago Tribune

The Democratic governor has antagonized government worker unions over contracts, pensions and facility closings, while Emanuel faces the potential of a teachers strike in the nation’s third-largest school district in less than a week.

Adding insult to organized labor’s injury: North Carolina, the site of the convention that will renominate Illinois’ home-state President Barack Obama, is a “right-to-work” state hostile to union organizing, and the delegation is using a nonunion hotel as its headquarters.

Why did the Democrats ultimately choose Charlotte, if it has the lowest union membership (at 2.9 percent) in the nation and their biggest supporters, labor, would be angered? Until 2008, the Democratic Party had not won North Carolina since 1976. Then candidate Obama won the southeastern state by a slim margin and Democrats, with the help of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, are hoping to keep labor enthused about the Obama campaign regardless of the convention location. The Atlantic reported:

But labor can’t abandon the Democrats entirely. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is holding an event in Charlotte on Tuesday, and the SEIU, another major group, will also attend. As labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “American unionists are flocking to Charlotte.

Center for American Progress Chairman John Podesta and former Clinton White House Chief of staff told me that as for the DNC’s choice of venue, “We’re just going to put out a great convention and we’ll see.” 

← return to Water Cooler

About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

Latest Stories

Latest Blog Entries

blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

    LAMBRO: Skirting the lane-closure issue

  • Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

    LYONS: Benghazi demands a select committee in Congress

  • Happening Now