Unions Back Israel-Bashing NY Democrat (COMMENTARY MAGAZINE) Alana Goodman 06/12/12)
Commentary Magazine Articles-Index-Top
If you’re unfamiliar with Charles Barron, a Democrat running for
Congress in New York, read the Anti-Defamation League’s enlightening
dossier. Barron is an extremist, dictator apologist and a passionate
Israel-basher, who has railed against the “Jewish lobby,” called Gaza
a “death camp” and aligned himself with anti-Semitic hate groups.
He’s currently embroiled in a nail-biter primary race against Hakeem
While Barron might actually beat Jeffries on his own, it’s hard to
imagine that any mainstream Democratic institution would lend him a
hand in the primary. But as BuzzFeed reports, federal labor unions
are actually planning to go to bat for him:
Two major city public worker unions, District Councils 37 and 1707 of
the giant American Federation of State, County, and Municipal
Employees, have already endorsed Barron against Assemblyman Hakeem
Jeffries, a relatively moderate legislator who has championed charter
schools, a union bugaboo.
And BuzzFeed has learned that their powerful federal parent union,
known as AFSCME, is planning to dive into the race on Barron’s
behalf. Another key New York State public workers union, the Civil
Service Employees Association, meanwhile, blocked an AFL-CIO effort
to endorse Barron’s rival.
“We respect the voice of our members,” AFSCME spokesman Chris
Policano told BuzzFeed. “With the unanimous endorsement of the three
affiliates, there will be money spent in this race.”
If AFSCME is willing to pour money behind a candidate who has praised
Qaddafi and has called the Israeli government “the biggest terrorist
in the world,” then who would it not support? If an avowed white
supremacist ran for Congress on a pro-union platform, could he expect
AFSCME’s financial backing as well?
By supporting Barron, AFSCME is also pitting itself against prominent
New York Democrats who are actively denouncing the candidate:
Former Mayor Ed Koch, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Councilman David
Greenfield, and Assemblyman Dov Hikind gathered with several other
elected officials in front of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in
Battery Park this morning for a press conference billed as an
effort “ to Denounce Charles Barron as Enemy of the State of Israel”
and the Jewish community. The politicos who showed up at the event
where longtime councilman Mr. Barron was branded “hateful,” a “scary
monster,” “anti-Semite” and “bigot” also expressed their support for
his rival in the congressional race, Hakeem Jeffries.
Democrats are rightly terrified about how Barron’s nomination would
reflect on their party. The same can’t be said for the labor unions.
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY