The Electrical Worker online
September 2012

Letters to the Editor
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Point, Counterpoint

Too often lately I meet union folks like letter writer Washington, D.C., Local 26 member Rodney Rooks who complained (in a letter to the editor in the August issue) about Democratic double standards. Mr. Rooks states he is "... neither Republican or a Democrat" and "I think for myself and vote for who is going to do the best for our country and follow our Constitution." This translates to "I'm a tea party traitor to the union I work in and will vote myself and my fellows out of a job because I think I'm smarter than I really am." This is a major problem the union MUST address within the rank and file before November: people who'd vote for a party that would cripple their own lifestyle in the name of some extreme anti-government ideology. Brothers and sisters, for us this election is about ONE thing: FIGHTING TO KEEP THE UNION WAY OF LIFE ALIVE IN AMERICA. Anybody who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves, helping destroy the middle class and begging to be unemployed.

J.D. Ducas, Local 2222 member

Brother Rooks felt he had to "dare" the editor to print his letter. He says he is neither a Democrat nor Republican, yet he fails to point out any of the double standards on the part of the Republicans. Republicans talk about protecting the Second Amendment, but the last major anti-gun legislation (Brady Bill) was crafted and pushed by the Republicans. Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild (a union) but then busted PATCO. Republicans beat up on Clinton for smoking pot, but Newt confessed he smoked dope — well, that was different. Yes, the list goes on forever.

However, there is one area that most Republicans will never be considered hypocrites: I have never heard one of them say they want to help union workers or even unrepresented blue-collar workers. Please watch the video of Mitt addressing the ABC and then try to justify voting for him. I do not understand the hypocrisy of union members supporting a candidate (from any party) that attacks the rights of workers. If you believe the hypocrisy is not there, think about how many union members voted for Bush even after his unrelenting attacks on overtime, workers' rights, project labor agreements and prevailing wage.

Isn't America great? You can go to work on a prevailing wage job, get paid overtime as prescribed in a collective bargaining agreement and then on your way home vote for those that want to get rid of those same "impediments to American business."

Lee Duncan, Local 48 member
Portland, Ore.

As I read brother Rodney Rooks' opinion on Democratic double standards, I was wondering if he was letting the actions of a few Democrats distract him from his best interests. What is best for all our members is to vote for the Democratic ideals: health care for all, workers' rights, war on poverty not war on the poor and middle class and financial reform. Vote for who is going to do what's best for you and your family and your IBEW brothers and sisters. Our wages and benefits do not simply exist because we are good at our jobs. We owe a great deal of our success to our local unions, the IBEW and the only political party that supports organized labor. Ask yourself if the Republican party as it exists today with its right-to-work-for-less agenda, lowering taxes for the wealthiest 1 percent, voter suppression tactics, deregulation and their version of health care for Americans has you and your family's best interests in mind. Support the political party and the organization that supports you.

Richard Romano, Local 3 member
New York