Yesterday it was an environmentalist to head NOAA, today it’s a union thug for Labor.
Labor unions shelled out well over $100 million (pdf) in donations to political candidates during the 2008 election. More than 90 percent of that total went to Barack Obama and the Democrats. With President-elect Obama’s nomination of Rep. Hilda Solis to be his secretary of labor, the payback has begun. Solis, a liberal Democratic congresswoman from Los Angeles, is one of big labor’s best friends.
Don’t take my word for it, however. Listen to the chorus of union leaders and labor-friendly progressives praising her nomination. “Hilda Solis is an outstanding choice,” Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union President Stuart Applebaum said in a statement. “She has demonstrated a life-long commitment to working people and, like President-elect Obama himself, knows first-hand how unions can lift poverty wage workers into the middle class.”
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney pronounced himself — and the 55-union, 10 million-member labor organization he leads — “thrilled” by Obama’s choice. “We’re confident that she will return to the Labor Department one of its core missions — to defend workers’ basic rights in our nation’s workplaces,” Sweeney said, in a not-too-subtle dig at outgoing Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, a conservative reformer.
“The daughter of two immigrant workers and union members… she will be a secretary of labor working men and women can finally count on to stand up and fight for them,” enthused Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union. Sal Rossi, president of the United Healthcare Workers, described Solis’s nomination as “tremendous news.” The Chamber of Commerce’s vice president for labor relations could only bluster to the Associated Press, “There’s a new sheriff in town, but they’ll still have to deal with the business community and they know it.”
The business community just might decide not to deal and head for Mexico or China. I hope those union leaders can keep the promises that they’re making to their members