In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
You Can't Make This Stuff Up
In an unbelieveable move, some key union leaders have asked former candidate for governor, John Cherry, to reconsider his decision to drop out of the race. It is another in a series of unprecedented twists in the democratic race for governor that has turned this spectacle into a certified train wreck. Last December when then candidate John Cherry knew his campaign was about to self-destruct, he went to the UAW and pleaded for its early endorsement. Cherry needed an infusion of money and grassroots support to keep his front-runner campaign alive. Within a month, Cherry shocked the political establishment by packing it in. Now within the last week, the union leaders went back to Cherry hoping he might change his mind. He told them no. Cherry will not confirm any of this only to say, "I don't know what you are talking about." The fact that this happened underscores that some elements in the state's labor movement are not overjoyed with the current field for governor including House Speaker Andy Dillon, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, and Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith. Each has enough baggage to warrant an attempted re-do on Cherry. Labor appears to be fragmented which is not always a healthy sign and also nothing new. Dillon is getting the endorsement of the Building Trades unions. The leadership was pleased when the Redford democrat took on Gov. Granholm last year when she wanted to slap a hold on badly needed construction jobs on a proposed coal-fired plant. Benero may get the UAW endorsement, but there are mixed signals on that. And Ms. Smith, who clearly has the resume to be governor, is not raising any money and it appears no one is coming to her rescue. On top of all that, the Teamsters may be looking at an endorsement in the other party which would not be out of character for them. All of this is reaching critical mass as union leaders are set to huddle behind closed doors on Friday hoping against hope to find a consensus candidate for governor. "I think we can," reflects David Hecker who runs the Michigan Federation of Teachers. Based on all these latest signals, Mr. Hecker might want to think again.