New York State AFL-CIO announces endorsements for United States Senate and Congress
ALBANY- Recently, the 2.5 million member New York State AFL-CIO announced its endorsement of United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as well as the endorsements of candidates running for the House of Representatives. The endorsements took place at the State Federation's 32nd Constitutional Convention.
"The Labor Movement has stood with Senator Gillibrand from the beginning and we're proud to continue to support her as she runs for reelection," President of the New York State AFL-CIO Mario Cilento said. "She has become a leader on the issues important to our members, creating good jobs in New York State, strengthening the middle class and ensuring access to quality education and health care. What happens in Washington DC has a real and tangible impact on the lives and economic wellbeing of working men and women throughout the state. Union members cannot afford to sit idly on the sidelines. The Labor Movement will engage our members at the local level to make sure hard working New Yorkers, not corporate special interests, decide who represents us in Washington."
Members will be contacted on the job and at home through member mailings, worksite flyers, phone bank operations and a "labor-to-neighbor" program, where union members visit other members in the area to discuss a particular race.
The following candidates were endorsed:
United States Senate - Kirsten Gillibrand
House of Representatives Congressional District 23 - Nate Shinagawa (D-WF)**
** Indicates early endorsement
The New York State AFL-CIO is a federation of 3,000 affiliated public sector, private sector and building trades unions throughout the state representing 2.5 million members, retirees and their families. The State Federation, which is the largest and most diverse in the country, is committed to helping working families achieve a better life. For more information on the Labor Movement in New York, visit www.nysaflcio.org.
CSEA announces limited state legislative endorsements
ALBANY - CSEA will endorse a limited number of candidates in New York state legislative races this fall.
The limited endorsements come following extensive review within CSEA. For two years, lawmakers rubber-stamped state budgets that undermined state operations and shortchanged localities and schools, and they forfeited oversight responsibility on important public policy issues. They also imposed a property tax cap that is causing fiscal chaos in local government and school district budgets.
Additionally, lawmakers made a dark deal with Gov. Andrew Cuomo last spring trading support for onerous and unnecessary public employee pension tier changes in exchange for favorable legislative redistricting.
"Many lawmakers who have long enjoyed CSEA support will not have it this year because they abandoned the working people of this state," CSEA President Danny Donohue said. "CSEA is holding lawmakers accountable for their actions. The CSEA endorsement has to be earned or else it has no meaning."
CSEA's limited endorsements are only going to candidates who stand with working people.
CSEA's endorsement normally brings financial contribution, statewide get-out-the-vote expertise - mailings, phone calls, printing, grassroots volunteers, and other benefits - along with internal union resources and activities to reach the extensive CSEA membership in every part of the state.
"CSEA members will aggressively campaign for our endorsed candidates," Donohue said. "Just as important, beyond this election we will work to mobilize members to be even more involved in the legislative process - regularly communicating with elected officials and challenging them when they don't do what's right for working people."
CSEA also released its endorsements for federal races, topped by support for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
"Sen. Gillibrand has been an outstanding advocate for New York and a voice of reason within the U.S. Senate," Donohue said. "Our congressional endorsements also reflect support for candidates and challengers who will stand up for reasonable and responsible government that works for all Americans."
United States Senate - Kirsten Gillibrand
CD 23 - Nate Shinagawa
SD 57 - None
AD 150 - None
Business Council releases 2012 Voters' Guide
ALBANY - The Business Council of New York State Inc., has released its 2012 Voters' Guide, which measures New York State legislators' commitment to promoting fiscal reform and improving the state's economic climate by scoring their votes on key legislation during the 2012 session.
All 212 seats will be up for re-election in 2012, and the Voters' Guide, available at www.bcnys.org/voter-guide, provides an opportunity for voters to review individual legislators' records. The Business Council will be using its combined 2011-2012 rankings and other factors in making endorsements in advance of the November legislative elections.
Overall, its scorecard shows generally positive performance by both legislative houses, but clear leadership on pro-growth issues in the state Senate Majority and Assembly Minority.
"The pro-business momentum we saw in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions needs to continue in order for New York to regain its economic strength," president and CEO of The Business Council Heather Briccetti said. "In November, business leaders and all New Yorkers can use the Voters' Guide to identify and support legislators who are committed to a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda."
The Business Council 2012 Voters' Guide includes 15 priority bills subject to a floor vote in one or both houses of the state legislature. The list includes nine pro-growth proposals and six bills that would have imposed new costs, new mandates and/or new hurdles on the state's business community. Its Voters' Guide scoring is based on floor votes in the Senate and Assembly, with one exception - the 66 Assembly sponsors of a Business Council proposal to reform the state's "wage theft" law were given credit for their support, even though the bill was not brought to the floor by Assembly leadership.
The Senate Majority, led by Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Senator Thomas Libous, Senator George Maziarz and others, were all at the 90 percent support level. The Senate approved nine of its priority, pro-growth bills, while approving only one priority bill opposed by The Business Council dealing with consulting contracts.
The Assembly Minority had nine members at 92 percent - 11 pro-growth votes out of 12 bills voted on in that house - including Minority Leader Brian Kolb, Assemblyman Robert Oaks and others. Fifteen others were at 83 percent - 10 of 12 votes - and 12 more came in with nine of 12 pro-business votes. Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, chair of the Assembly Economic Development Committee, was the lone Assembly Majority member at 92 percent.
The Assembly Majority approved six of its priority pro-growth bills. However, they also passed six measures - five of which were one-house bills - that would impose new costs or new restrictions on businesses. Overall, 49 scored between 50 and 60 percent. In addition to Assemblyman Schimminger, other top scoring members included Assemblymen Gabryszak, Magee and Morelle.
In 2012, The Business Council supported legislation that would: reduce state and local pension costs; control state spending while avoiding new taxes; reform labor laws that impose unnecessary costs and restrictions on employers; and promote new jobs and investments in a range of strategically important business sectors. At the same time, it opposed legislation to extend public sector prevailing wage to private sector projects; expand lawsuits against publicly traded companies; drive up group health coverage costs; erode workers' comp program reforms; and impose new environmental costs on power generation and industrial activity.
Importantly, successful advocacy by The Business Council and others kept a number of damaging bills from floor votes in either house. These include proposals to expand the Martin Act - the state's harsh securities law - to impose public sector wage mandates on private sector projects, and bills that would have further increased the cost of employer-provided health care, and therefore they are not included in this year's Voters' Guide.