*Updated 10/30/10 11:48 EST. (information on video and remarks)
Things in Nevada are getting hotter. Not content with the direction the country and their home state is going in, a group of Nevada voters calling themselves “Concerned Nevadans That Care About Our Country” will launch an anti-Harry Reid ad this evening.
Members of this group represent those from traditional Democratic coalitions and base demographics, like: African-Americans, Latinos, and union members.
In the ad, these individuals urge Democratic Nevada voters to break away from their practice of supporting liberals like Harry Reid.
In fact, the ad goes one step further and looks to draw in union members who are disgruntled with union leadership’s pro-amnesty policies.
Here are a few remarks that were planned to be part of the ad:
“Union Leaders are betraying their members by endorsing Reid and Extreme Liberal Policies”
“Unions are recruiting illegals and paying them 1/3 the union wage for union jobs”
“These practices exploit illegals, while simultaneously denying Americans jobs”
“Progressives like to exploit racial division for political advantage”
“I even a got a contract that’s a local 844 agreement where our general president and all these people deliberately kept the Hispanics out of this meeting, because what they wanted to do was to negotiate contractors for $11.96 an hour versus $37, and they did,” said Darrin Oglesbee (shown in the ad), of Iron Workers Local 416 in Las Vegas, during an interview with me on Monday.
“Here’s the kicker, their union dues, are the same as mine. The international is going to get their money, but [say] ‘sorry we short-changed you on your money there, buddy,’“ he said.
The union member presence in the ad is a potent weapon given membership is currently struggling with its leaders over policy from card check legislation to immigration reform. Union bosses are likely feeling uneasy about membership anger over job losses and union leadership demands.
A recent Water Cooler post of mine noted that union leadership could not get a guarantee that their members will vote the way the leadership wants them too. Union leadership may already be trying to quash rebellious behavior
Reno Nevada Union member Babette Rutherford already filed a complaint citing voter intimidation and bribery among other accusations toward union officials According to the complaint (h/t ATR):
“…voter intimidation, coercion, bribery, undue influence, and violations of the rules governing poll watchers.” In her complaint filed with the Nevada Secretary of State, Rutherford highlights three early voting stations where unions bussed workers to the polls and proceeded to “escort” and “watch” members vote. At the Boulevard Mall, Las Vegas early voting station, the registered poll watchers questioned the legality of the occurrences only to be told by the Election Board Team Leader that “union personnel were watching members vote because that’s the ‘whole point’ of busing them there.”
If such tactics are happening at Nevada polls, union leadership must really be concerned they have lost control of their members. Union membership is more than likely to be concerned. A new study released on Friday by the Pew Hispanic Center showed that as more immigrants are gaining jobs, more native-born individuals are losing their jobs. The report states:
The unemployment rate for immigrant workers fell in the first year of the recovery from 9.3 percent to 8.7 percent, while for native-born workers, it rose from just over nine percent to nearly 10 percent, the study shows.
But even though the jobs situation looked better for immigrants than the native-born, foreign-born workers have a long way to go before they have fully recovered from the effects of the recession.
“The 650,000 jobs immigrants gained in the first year of the recovery are not nearly sufficient to make up for the 1.1 million jobs they lost” in the recession, the report says.
Darrin Oglesbee believes dire economic circumstances and poor politically driven decision making from leadership has become too much from members, but not every union member can necessarily be swayed away from union management’s persuasion.
“The more the members get educated, the calmer they get and the more they use their head. The people who have just gotten into organized labor…it’s those people who will do whatever they can to get theirs. There’s really no brotherhood in the union anymore, it’s every man for himself.”