McCain gets Graham to stick it to first responders and their union representatives then tries to get IAFF to endorse him? Yep, it’s true, he’s McSame, nothing new here, well, nothing new except for once IAFF didn’t take the bait.
Immediately before voting on several GOP-sponsored amendments to the bill, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) attempted to attach Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) GI Bill of Rights Bill to S.2123, a move designed both to sidetrack debate on the bill and boost the candidacy of presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain.
I rarely agree with IAFF, or maybe it just feels that way, however, reading their endorsement made me, well, not just excited but gave me points that might actually work on my dad, here, take a read:
“Once Senator Dodd stepped aside, we needed to talk to our members, gauge the candidates and examine their positions on the issues critical to fire fighters. Senator Obama has shown fire fighters nothing but support – in the Illinois state senate and in the U.S. Senate,” Schaitberger said.
In addition to collective bargaining rights, the economy emerged as a key concern among fire fighters, according to a poll conducted in June of IAFF members by Zogby.
The poll also found fire fighters believe Senator Obama will be a more effective president on economic issues for working people like them, by a margin of 63 percent to 23 percent.
Senator Obama also supports the right of fire fighters to collect overtime pay, a right established by the Fair Labor Standards Act, while Senator McCain has indicated he favors appointing judges to the federal bench who may overturn court decisions that guarantee overtime pay to fire fighters and other rights outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Senator McCain’s opposition to collective bargaining for fire fighters was negatively received by 74 percent of fire fighters, according to the Zogby poll, and his vow to appoint judges who would overturn court decisions that ensure overtime pay was viewed negatively by 71 percent of fire fighters.
Senator Obama opposes forcing fire fighters into Social Security and wants to strengthen the system of employer-provided health care that fire fighters earn.
Senator McCain’s health care plan encourages elimination of employer-sponsored health care, preferring to place the burden on individuals to find and purchase their own health care. Employees who do continue to get health care coverage through their employers would have to pay taxes on those benefits. McCain has refused to sign a letter opposing mandatory Social Security coverage for fire fighters, a change that would impose an additional payroll tax on first responders.
Senator Obama has also worked to increase funding for the SAFER grant program, which provides funding to local jurisdictions to hire fire fighters. Senator McCain has sided with the Bush administration in its attempts to zero out that program.
BTW, Dodd was also my first choice. But like IAFF, I’m not only okay with Obama, I’M THRILLED!! Go, Obama, GO!!
If you get a minute, head over to IAFF and check out the entire endorsement and their endorsement video. I'd also suggest you hear Schaitberger, it's long, but I can't think of anything I don't agree with, like he says, it's your union. The union belongs to the membership. I think we all should remember that more often.