Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why Should Unions Support Coakley?

The big unions seem to be mustering their resources for a last-minute push for Martha Coakley (according to sources, the Massachusetts Teacher Association is unleashing a barrage of mailings and phone calls). However, why should they do so, especially when the Obama administration has set its sights on generous union health-care packages? Has the administration been a great success for the individual members of various labor unions? What about the folks in Detroit---how will they be doing if a bad version of cap-and-trade passes?

It's clear why many of the power players in unions support Coakley: they want a place at the table. By buying into the system, various union heads ensure more power for themselves. But various rank-and-file members of the union must ask themselves if the union's official position advances their best interests. What's the point of having a strong union that can secure a good benefits package if the federal government is going to tax those benefits away?

So it might not be too surprising if, in the privacy of the voting booth, many union members pull the lever for Scott Brown.

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