Monday, September 01, 2014

Labor Day 2014

Dave Loebsack said he's been accused of pulling punches in his Thursday debate with opponent Mariannette Miller-Meeks, but the congressman told a Labor Day crowd at the Iowa City Federation of Labor picnic, "If you were wondering why I was holding back, that’s not gonna happen anymore.”

City Federation of Labor president Jesse Case was more direct: “Loebsack’s opponent and the Koch brothers can kiss our ass.”

While Loebsack's demeanor is a bit more professorial, he said he was proud of his long support of organized labor.  “This is one congressman who’s not afraid to say the word Union, not afraid to say the word Labor” He said his priorities include ending wage theft, raising the minimum wage, and closing close tax loopholes. “My opponent will not stand against policies that send jobs overseas.”

The congressman was the leadoff speaker at the noon event and left promptly to attend other labor events in the Quad Cities and Burlington, but plenty of other political and labor figures filled the gaps between the burgers, brats and pot luck sides.

Today's event marked Case's first Labor Day as president of City Fed. He had been vice president until the death of longtime president Patrick Hughes on August 6, and was elected president two weeks ago.

Mark Patton of Habitat for Humanity announced that the group would build a home in honor of Hughes, a long time Habitat volunteer and part-time staffer.

Case is helping organize a labor action weekend for September 20. “Labor’s role in this election has to be more than just our name only and a little money," he said. "We need people at the doors.” 

“We will not hand out endorsements unless candidates understand our issues,” he added.

The was no Ready for Hillary presence but Jeff Cox spoke on behalf of Bernie Sanders, noting in a non-subtle shot at Clinton, “He’s never served on the board of Walmart.” Sanders is scheduled to attend the Johnson County Democrat's barbecue on October 5.

Other elected and candidates on hand included: Secretary of Agriculture candidate Sherrie Taha, State Senators Joe Bolkcom, Bob Dvorsky and Senate Candidate Kevin Kinney; Reps. Mary Mascher and Sally Stutsman and House candidates David Johnson and John Greener; Supervisors Rod Sullivan, Janelle Rettig and candidate Mike Carberry; Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek, Recorder Kim Painter, and city council members Jim Throgmorton and Kingsley Botchway of Iowa City, Mitch Gross of Coralville, and North Liberty mayor candidate Amy Nielsen.

And County Attorney Janet Lyness, who topped things off with an Ice Bucket Challenge.

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