The Facts Behind SEANC's Non Endorsements in 2010

There has been a lot of innuendos and misinformation out there about what SEANC/SEIU Local 2008 did and did not do in the decision not to make endorsements in this year's NC state legislative races.
As an elected officer in SEANC, and a member of the 2008-2010 State EMPAC Committee, I was approached by a former Democratic party activist and asked to weigh in. The following is factual and is my own representation of the process that was decided upon for this year's campaign.
First some background:
1. SEANC is a member-driven organization. While the staff is encouraged to offer their opinions and insight into the pressing issues that state employees deal with, only "active" members of the association have the authority to make decisions on the directions of the association.
2. The state EMPAC committee is composed of 18 members elected from around the state to make decisions on endorsements and campaign contributions in primary and general elction races.
3. EMPAC is nonpartisan in its decisions, and each committee member is required to sign a pledge attesting to their commitment to casting votes without attachment to a political party. While many of us choose to be a member of a political party, we are charged with leaving those labels at the door when we enter the meeting.

During the 2009-10 legislative cycle, there were many issues addressed by the majority party, Democrats, that had an impact on the lives of state employees and their families. Several of these issues did not have any direct impact on the state budget, i.e. a bill to greatly reduce SPA protections that was sponsored by Tony Rand and passed overwhelmingly by the democratic controlled Senate, a refusal by the House leadership to permit even a committee vote to transfer control of the state health plan out of legislative control, and repeated refusal by numerous democrats, who said that they "supported" collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, yet never actively fought to bring the bill to a floor vote.

Let me be clear at this point; entering the 2009 session, and with the national and state economies in a tailspin, state employees knew that pay raises would be a non-starter. We focused on those issues that would not have a negative impact on the budget. We sought passage of bills that would protect what we already had, and give state employees and their families hope for a better future when the econmy improved.

Right before the start of the 2010 legislative endorsement process, the State EMPAC committee was called into emergency session in Raleigh. We were asked by our staff, in particular those who spend every day at the General Assembly lobbying on our behalf to consider a recommendation that we make NO endorsements in any state legislative races this year.
In considering this decision, we knew that it could seriously harm the 6-8 legislators who had come to our defense over the years. There was also a recognition that there were some good challengers, a few of whom were solid, active SEANC members, that would be hurt the most by no endorsement and financing.
The entire discussion, debate, and vote on this recommendation was made in OPEN session. Nothing was done in closed executive session. We wanted this process to be totally transparent to all our members and their families. After almost 2 hours of discussion, the final vote was 16-1 to withhold endorsements in all state legislative races for the 2010 general election.

The facts then, are as follows:
1. The decision not to endorse in this year's state races was made in open session by the members of SEANC NOT the staff or executive director.
2. There was a decision made in August by the committee to present, in conjunction with the "Lisa B. Mitchell Legislator of the Year Award," a $4,000 campaign contribution. This was given to the 2009 recipient, Rep. Nelson Dollar, and the 2010 winner, Sen. Doug Berger. These monetary awards were given in Greensboro at our annual convention in September.
3. No funds were given to any individual politician after the November election. There was a contribution given to the republican caucus at a fundraiser after the election, but this has been standard practice toward the majority caucus in past years.
4. During the '04-'08 election cycles, SEANC and SEIU International have given in excess of $2 Million dollars to democratic candidates for legislative and state-wide races.
5. During these same cycles, thousands of man/woman hours have been donated to help these party candidates. Many won, some have not.
6. The only endorsement made this year was to endorse Elaine Marshall, a SEANC member, for her U.S. Senate race. Her campaign also received a $10,000 contribution.

Comments

SEANC decision-making process inquiries

Thanks for an informative post. I have some additional questions which may help me to understand the practical dynamics of SEANC decision-making.

Please define "active" members for the purpose of voting rights within the organization.

What is the process for selection of the governing body (board of directors or its equivalent)? If the selection is by an annual meeting, how are the delegates to that meeting selected? Is there a screening body or process for would-be directors?

What is the process for selection of the executive director? Please include information on how the hiring/retention decision-makers are selected.

How are the members of EMPAC selected? (Are they elected by distict? At meetings or by mailed ballot? How does a candidate declare and campaign? Is there a screening process such as a nominating committee or other gate-keeper to candidacy?) Are EMPAC decisions final or are they subject to review by another organizational body?

Are all meetings of EMPAC "public"? By "public", did you mean open to all SEANC members in good standing, or to all interested individuals? How are EMPAC meetings publicized?

The decision-making dynamic of one of North Carolina's largest and most active labor organizations is certainly of great interest to all of us who wish to be informed observers and participants in NC politics and public policy. Thank you for helping with that process.

Dan Besse

Sins of omission

I noticed that, Greg

A few weeks ago I checked the "Independent Expenditure Against A Candidate" section on that COPE report and didn't see Holliman's name, so I assumed I was looking at the wrong report.

additional questions

This brings up an additional set of questions to add to my original list:
Who within SEANC is empowered to make decisions regarding independent expenditures for/against a candidate? Do the funds come out of a PAC account or from other organizational accounts? Who makes the decisions to authorize that spending and its amounts?

Dan Besse

Response to Greg Flynn

You didn't find it there because the funds did not come from SEANC or EMPAC. Secondly, SEANC did not even talk about endorsing any candidates in the Wake School Board races in 2009. Dana Cope, as a private citizen in this country is allowed by state/federal law to support anyone he wants. He was not acting as a representative of the association when he made that decision; he was speaking/acting as a parent and taxpayer. Would you deny him that right?

Michael J. Gould, MS, FIOPL
Member, SEANC Board of Governors
Member, NDP SEC

I think I would

I think I would deny him that right.

In fact, if I were a SEANC BOG member, I would insist that the right of self-expression be constrained as a matter of contractual obligation.

James A. Protzman, BS, MA, ABD
NAA, NCWN, ACLU, NCCN, USNAAA, AAA
EDF, SELC, ERUUF, LFA, ETC.

REALLY?

Since you use the ACLU in your signature line, I suggest you contact their legal department and see if they'd agree with this thought process.
I am familiar with this particular discourse. When Dana was interviewed by the N&O, if I remember in reference to an altercation he had with a neighbor over the school debate, he was at his own home. The reporter, in writing the story, made reference to Dana's role with SEANC.
Not sure what your views are about 1st Ammendment rights, but I hold sacred the right to speak up. I remember former President Bush saying that speaking up against the Iraq war should be viewed as treason. Dana has the right as an American to speak openly about issues that impact his family and the community in which he pays taxes.

Michael J. Gould, MS, FIOPL
Member, SEANC Board of Governors
Member, NDP SEC

What is FIOPL

and is NDP SEC the Nat'l Dem Party secretary or Naval Doctrine Publication?

It's impressive and all such, I guess, but I don't know what it all means.

Stan Bozarth

It has nothing to do with the first amendment

As a long-standing member of the ACLU, I'm pretty well up to speed on the first amendment.

So I don't need a lawyer to tell me that individuals can and do routinely sacrifice specific rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech, as a matter of contractual obligation. That is exactly what I was suggesting, which you would know if you had bothered to read what I wrote.

This same issue came up with General Ta-ta at Wake Schools. The board had the opportunity to require the guy to refrain from public speaking on political matters, but declined to impose that condition. They should have. Just as the SEANC Board of Governors, of which you are apparently a member, could have been and should have imposed conditions of employment on the person selected to be the public face of SEANC. Had you done that, none of this would have been a problem.

Free Speech and Contracts

I agree. If you go to work for a company, your speech is restricted cause you sure are not going to stand on a street corner and take an opposite position and hope you keep your job.

As for Ta-ta and Cope, they will both have contracts and as part of those negotiated contracts, which rank and file state employees do not have, they should have to adhere to a representation clause. When either of these folks speak, I guarantee they will be cited as the leader of their respective groups, regardless of what the issue is and by virtue of that, the organization will have a problem. In both cases, it would be fair and expected for that type of clause to be inserted and adhered to (and should have been suggested by the individuals themselves) in order to protect the organization.

SEANC bought themselves some trouble with the Cope situation and the follow up letter and neither did any good for the organization; Ta-ta will sure do the same.

Durham Dem

Deny him that right?

I wouldn't deny him the right to engage in any outlandish position, he has the right to picket with the Westboro Baptist boys if that is what he wants to do.

However, I think poorly of an organization that would choose to keep a known segregationist at the helm. How can this be justified? How are his personal positions not in direct conflict with the goals of SEANC?

SEANC's association with Cope undermines the labor movement. It is a shame and an embarrassment to North Carolina.

James, normally a comment

James, normally a comment like this doesn't deserve a response, but in this case I'll make an exception.
Your labeling of Dana Cope as a "known segregationist" is completely beyond the pale and without factual basis.
You attempt in making this ridiculous comment is anchored in a belief that since he supported the neighborhood school idea that was championed by the GOP-backed winners in the 2009 school board race makes him an advocate of racial segregation.
While I have no need to defend Dana's personal or professional character, I can say that I have had the privilege of working with him for the past six years. While I have not agreed with everything he has said or done, I know him to be a fierce advocate for the plight of public sector employees and their families, something that has been lacking from elected officials and pundits of both political parties here in the South for a long time.
You talk of being an embarrassment to labor here in NC. What do you call NC being only one of 2 states that expressly prohibits collective bargaining by public sector employees? I call it base discrimination, especially when you should know that the NCDP Platform avocates for a repeal of this discriminatory law (G.S. 95-98). The real embarrassment is the lack of courage by the state's Democratic Party politicians who have chosen to bow to the Chamber of Commerce and the business sector, allow the rich to get richer, and do so on the backs of state, county, and municipal employees.
In 1959, at a time of Brown v. Board of Education, and Jim Crow tension, NC passed two laws: The first was a ban against unionization by public employees, and the second was to prohibit contract negotiations. The anti-union law was ruled unconstituional by the US Supreme Court in 1986. 95-98 is still in existence. Virginia is the other state that does this.
So James, don't ever try to tell me about an embarrassment to labor when the elected Democrats in this state are the hypocrites. I don't know who your representative and senator is, but if they are Democrats, why don't use ask them why they have not had the courage to actually FIGHT for repeal of a 52 year old law with its roots in civil rights discrimination.

Michael J. Gould, MS, FIOPL
Member, SEANC Board of Governors
Member, NDP SEC

Definitely not James

Thanks for helping with the clarification, Stan. I don't know anything about Cope other than his electioneering communications during the last cycle ... which pretty much turned my stomach. Beyond that, I have no knowledge of the guy ... and sort of like it that way.

Reply to Stan and Others

You guys are correct. I accidently addressed THAT response to James. I apoligize for the error!

Michael J. Gould, MS, FIOPL
Member, SEANC Board of Governors
Member, NDP SEC

collective bargaining prohibited

This thread has gotten a little confusing, so I'll try to keep my response brief:

What do you call NC being only one of 2 states that expressly prohibits collective bargaining by public sector employees?

I call it a denial of basic human rights. Restoration of our rights ought to be a top priority of the NCDP.

Unfortunately, they aren't going to restore our rights just because we ask nice. We need to organize enough power to force Democratic leaders to abide by the Party Platform. To have enough power, we need a unified Left, and Dana Cope's opposition to income diversity makes him a polarizing figure.

Your labeling of Dana Cope as a "known segregationist" is completely beyond the pale and without factual basis.

Cope's efforts to ensure that his children go to an elite school unsullied by the working class children of SEANC members are well known. Here is a link if you like, there are plenty more. Cope's position on the matter is undisputed: he thinks wealthy kids deserve better schools than working class children.

I'm sure Dana Cope is a great guy once you get to know him; most people are. That doesn't change the fact that SEIU/SEANC has a leader who working to deny equal educational opportunities to working class children. How can you condone this?

Should be pointed out

It should be pointed out that Nelson Dollar is 100% opposed to collective bargaining rights. He has said so in multiple forums.

His opponent this year was Robin Anderson, a supporter of collective bargaining.

"Keep the Faith"

Collective Bargaining has been part of the NCDP platform

Along with so many other things that our legislative majority has ignored over the years.

Can anyone explain why our Democratic legislators refused to deal with that issue while they held the majority?

Can any of the candidates for NCDP Chair explain what they will do to make our legislators work to turn our platform into public policy now or at a future date when we take back the majority? Because if you can't explain how you will do that NOW or in the future - why should you be Chair?

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting
http://noirvnc.blogspot.com
http://statewideirvnc.blogspot.com

the power does not lie with the NCPD

"Can any of the candidates for NCDP Chair explain what they will do to make our legislators work to turn our platform into public policy now or at a future date when we take back the majority? Because if you can't explain how you will do that NOW or in the future - why should you be Chair?"

What you have done is discovered the disconnect between those who write party platforms and those who have to be elected by voters. When I attended my first county conventoin in 1985, our party platform was very basic. It was almost like saying we support God, the flag, and Mom and apple pie better than the Repulicans did. It was also very largly attended. The last one I attended several years back, I think their was less than 20 people there. One member of the legislature was there the rest did not wish to caught dead there. The one who did show up said he opposed most of what the platform contained and would not support it, but the group passed it anyway. And you are shocked to see that elected Democrats are not going to touch something they consider toxic.

If you want elected members to follow the platform then write on they will follow, otherwise this will continue.

So...what should that Platform say?

1) Always put the interests of developers and realtors first, because they're literally dripping with money and Democrats need that money.

2) Pay lip service to the environment, but never do anything to curb pollution if it might threaten the money flow from position #1 above.

3) Try not to throw gay people, black people, crazy people, or any other people under the bus until you absolutely have to, because some of them have money too.

4) Whenever you get the opportunity, help someone you know get a job in state government, or at least throw them a contract or two. Friends are important, especially friends with a lot of money.

5) Treat lobbyists well, because one day you will probably be one. Plus, they have access to lots of money.

I could go on. And on. And on.

I don't understand

I don't get it - we should have a platform that doesn't say anything in order to get elected Dems to do what the platform says?

What do we gain by that?

it all depends on what matters most to you

Do you feel like you are gaining something by writing a platform that is DOA. If you do then keep writing it that way, but understand that much of the platform is ignored. But if that is what makes you feel good, I am okay with it, becasue I have not read the platform in years, and unless something changes I dont't inted to.

Again

Again, you have avoided the facts that (a) SEANC/SEIU Local 2008 ran a major campaign against Hugh Holliman and (b) SEANC apparently paid for a targeted mailing in which Dana Cope personally endorsed a candidate.

Response to Greg

Greg,
A. I can't affirm that we ran a major campaign against Holliman this year. I can factually tell you that the State EMPAC Committee never considered any motions to spend money against any candidate this year.
B. You say "apparently" paid for a targeted campaign in support of a candidate in this year's general election. Which candidate? Please share the link to the evidence that supports the claim.
Thanks!

Michael J. Gould, MS, FIOPL
Member, SEANC Board of Governors
Member, NDP SEC

This is probably the best

evidence that can be produced, from a discussion last year:

" Dana Cope got involved in these school board races as the parent of two elementary aged children. SEANC, SEIU Local 2008, has not been involved in these races at all."

I believed this until I got a letter in the mail yesterday, sent in a SEANC envelope, mailed with First Class permit 1090, with letterhead with the SEANC logo and name, signed by "Dana Cope, SEANC Executive Director", which first rebuts the UNITE-Here tactics, and makes the excellent point that UNITE-Here are outsiders in the Wake school board race. Cope then says "I am not representing SEANC in any way as I express my opinion in Tuesday's October 6 election", then goes on to "explain to you my personal endorsement of Deborah Prickett in the District 7 election". He goes on for a paragraph in his endorsement. I would have believed it was a personal endorsement other than the use of SEANC envelopes and letterhead and signing his SEANC title. Sorry Dana, this gives the clear apperance that it is fact an SEANC endorsement. If in fact SEANC funds were spent on this mailing, was it an illegal corporate contribution to the Prickett campaign? Is Cope mistaking his personal interests for those of SEANC? I've been a SEANC member for 30+ years. I have a call in to Dana to see who paid for the mailing. I'll feel a lot better about Dana and SEANC is I find out that he paid the entire costs personally, and inadvertently used the letterhead and envelopes.

Not sure if he ever got an answer on that.

Cope's endorsement

Thanks Steve. I was hoping to point to that. I have spoken with the author of the comment a couple of times since then. There was no explanation. The November 2009 minutes of the SEANC Executive Committee contain the following statement:

Executive Director Cope has sent out a letter to respond to the mass lies that SEANC is opposed to diversity and that SEANC was backing local school board candidates.

I get the facts

I think I understood the process and didn't question the integrity of the system. I just don't understand why. I suppose everything will become clearer when the new General Assembly gets to work in 2011.

Beth

Thanks for this post

Michael, I wanted to thank you for sharing this here.

So far as I understand what you've written, I take it to be in good faith, and I appreciate that.

Thanks Jerimee. I appreciate

Thanks Jerimee. I appreciate it. Please understand that I am being totally honest, and anything I have posted on any of these posts represents my personal knowledge and does not in any way speak to any official position by SEANC. Had to remind everybody of the disclaimer made in my initial posting.

Mike

Michael J. Gould, MS, FIOPL
Member, SEANC Board of Governors
Member, NDP SEC

Real facts submerged

According to SEANC's own website, the expenditures against Hugh Holliman came from SEIU's COPE PAC:

Holliman’s defeat comes on the heels of a flood of SEANC ads on TV and radio...This is the latest in a series of ads against Holliman. In May 2009, the Board of Governors approved SEANC’s accountability campaign. Previous radio ads highlighted Holliman’s mismanagement of the State Health Plan.

These ads are paid for by the SEIU Committee on Political Education, SEANC’s Federal PAC.

But those expenditures against Holliman were not detailed on the SEIU COPE FEC report. And I'm wondering why.

SEIU Expenditures

I am not sure. It may be that FEC laws have changed since Citizens United SCOTUS ruling. Since the money used by the International was not given to a particular campaign, the regs may not require a detailed explanation.
I do know that funds used for independent expenditures are subject to different rules, especially if they are focused on issues.

Michael J. Gould, MS, FIOPL
Member, SEANC Board of Governors
Member, NDP SEC

SEIU

Why don't you ask Dana Cope who is an Assistant Treasurer of the SEIU PAC. Seems that the "firewall" can be breached.

Another expenditure found,

this time in favor of Democrat Eric Mansfield ($5,970 on 06/17/10).

Can we get some sort of revised list of expenditures from the 2010 election cycle? While I do get off a little finding stuff like this, it sort of sucks the wind out of previous SEANC explanations and declarations, if you catch my drift.

Not True

I went to your link, and I think you better take a second look. It is not a campaign receipt report about SEANC or SEIU.
SEC regs limit any PAC contributions to $4,000 per election cycle.
But this link isn't even about SEANC.

Michael J. Gould, MS, FIOPL
Member, SEANC Board of Governors
Member, NDP SEC

It is a SEANC/SEIU expenditure,

signed by Anna Burger. But it's actually against Mansfield, in his primary runoff battle against Lula Crenshaw. For whom SEANC/SEIU spent an additional $34,000 for mailings and such.

Since this is a (late) Primary expenditure and not for the General Election, I'll leave it alone. But before you pop up with another "not true" comment, you need to take a second look. By claiming this has nothing to do with the Union, you're crawling out on a limb over some stinky stuff.

Another expenditure found,

Another expenditure found, this time in favor of Democrat Eric Mansfield ($5,970 on 06/17/10).

SEANC made expenditures (I have said this and I know others have, somewhere on BlueNC) during the primaries and after the primaries UP TO July when they announced they would not be endorsing in the General Election except Elaine Marshall, and as we later found, for the already promised commitments to their two legislators of the year for consecutive years.

And, ...

It should be pointed out that Nelson Dollar is 100% opposed to collective bargaining rights. He has said so in multiple forums.

His opponent this year was Robin Anderson, a supporter of collective bargaining.

Nelson Dollar was awarded legislator of the year BECAUSE of his support for moving health care oversight (also pointed out on BlueNC) not for not supporting collective bargaining. Different issues, different people.

Durham Dem

yes, this ground covered

http://www.bluenc.com/turn-about-fair-play

Much of this ground has been covered. The discussion of reported/non-reported expenditures via SEIU and SEANC committees, etc against candidates has lkely not been exhausted but the Nelson Dollar, dates of funding based on non-endorsement decision have been covered repeatedly.

Durham Dem

only one more comment from me and then on to other topics

Since this is a (late) Primary expenditure

Not really a "late" expenditure, but a runoff expenditure for their endorsed candidate. I am comfortable with the fact that the facts are:

-they endorsed in the primaries in 2010
-they endorsed in at least one primary runoff (maybe more)
-they did not endorse after the July 30 decision posted previously and explained thoroughly
http://www.bluenc.com/turn-about-fair-play
-they did use some kind of funds in the Holliman race, against Holliman but not for his opponent
-they did provide funds to two legislators of the year for which reasons have been explained
-some general election candidates don't understand the reasons/strategy for non-endorsement
-the health care plan was not moved
-collective bargaining is not allowed
-the Governor has a consolidation plan for State Government on the table that some say she had to do to move ahead with a new R legislature, yet she named her website "Set Government Straight" which seems odd to me and certainly relays a message that she BELIEVES her plan is good and needed

So, it appears, reporting the Holliman expenditures is the lone issue to be resolved here.

Durham Dem

A little fact check

According to EMPAC bylaws, endorsements are made or witheld by Area EMPACs and can not be overturned by the State EMPAC. If the Area EMPAC makes no decision the State EMPAC has an opportunity to endorse. The decision by the State EMPAC to not endorse was made July 24th, not July 30th when it was announced. The decision was made before Area EMPACs had a chance to interview and make a decision. My Area had endorsement training scheduled for July 20th. The decision was not bottom up how ever vigorously it was debated by "leadership" led to water by Cope, staff & SEIU.

A couple of things

some general election candidates don't understand the reasons/strategy for non-endorsement

You mentioned this in the main body of the diary above, but I don't want it to get lost in the shuffle: some General Election candidates who are also SEANC members in good standing don't understand the reasons, etc.

the health care plan was not moved

Do you honestly believe the Republican Legislature will move the health plan out of its control and into the hands of the Democrat-controlled Executive?

they did use some kind of funds in the Holliman race, against Holliman but not for his opponent

For future reference, sentences like this will be classified as "Accurate Nonsense". Make a note of it.

So, it appears, reporting the Holliman expenditures is the lone issue to be resolved here.

And it appears to me that the elusive details of the Holliman expenditures might be an indicator that other issues have yet to be discovered.

Nonsense

Since this is a (late) Primary expenditure and not for the General Election, I'll leave it alone. But before you pop up with another "not true" comment, you need to take a second look. By claiming this has nothing to do with the Union, you're crawling out on a limb over some stinky stuff.

Not paying attention to statements made over and over that there were not SEANC endorsements after a certain date and plopping this comment on is nonsense. A second primary is a primary and we had already established spending in primaries.

You mentioned this in the main body of the diary above, but I don't want it to get lost in the shuffle: some General Election candidates who are also SEANC members in good standing don't understand the reasons, etc.

First of all, not a diary just a list of the muddle of comments. And these General Election candidates and members in "good" standing have met with, talked to SEANC Board, EMPAC, etc etc repeatedly so I think they have been provided ample opportunity to understand or not understand or not accept, whatever the case may be. In fact, they probably do understand but just want to continue to harp on it. Let it go.

Yes, I do believe the health plan oversight will be moved and we can debate it all day but time will tell. I just don't think there is any great "love" of controlling it like there was with certain Ds. And, if you try to think like your enemy, then they assume they will control the Executive Branch in two years so no big deal.

they did use some kind of funds in the Holliman race, against Holliman but not for his opponent

This was a mocking statement of accurate nonsense as derived from the above repetitive, nonsensical debate being waged. Call SEIU. They have a published number. Ask them about the funds. Since everyone is so interested in how a union spends its money and against whom, for whom, etc., call them and ask them.

Durham Dem

and quibbling about reporting

as for the quibbling back and forth over reporting, we have a State Board of Elections and FEC ready to investigate - call them and ask if the reporting is proper, rules being followed, amounts in the correct spaces. The carolina journal is likely loving all of this and reporting it themselves so we may as well ask for a ruling too. And, out of curiosity, are any of the "regulars" on this thread, SEIU or SEANC members in good standing? If not, again, why so interested in a group to which you do not belong or have "membership interests"?

Durham Dem

Is that your answer? Seriously?

If we think there's a problem we should take it to the authorities, and if we're not Union members we should mind our own business. Gotcha. Thanks for all the help.

Seriously

What is this accomplishing? And, i love how you take questions and turn them to statements - a bit reactionary. Why not answer the question. Why are you so interested? Who do you care so much?

There is one person from EMPAC on here answering questions and the questions just go on and on ... there are questions about firewalls between accounts, etc and he told you what he knows and what he does not so if there is a problem, report it or call and ask the board with the PUBLIC employees who do this for a living. Or call Dana Cope.

And, yes, why is there so much interest in the lobbying, endorsements, practices of a union to which most do not belong? This group exists for the interests of its members and can manage those interests in the best way it sees fit. I suspect it is because of all the money so let's just remember that the money comes from working public employees and they have the right to speak up about decisions regarding it. Do you think they are not able to do that on their own?? Is that why everyone feels compelled to inquire and ask on their behalf?

Durham Dem

That wasn't reactionary

You've dropped that, "are you a Union member?" question into several comments here, and I've bit my tongue for long enough. Your meaning is obvious, so please don't insult our intelligence.

And you wouldn't have to ask the "why do you care so much?" if you had been reading my (and others') writings here over the years. We've advocated for collective bargaining, unions, state government employees and the critical functions and services they provide, as well as numerous other issues that would be (or are) of benefit to SEANC members. We've even taken BCBS to the woodshed countless times, and our state government for granting them a monopoly over health services.

And to answer this question with total honesty:

Do you think they are not able to do that on their own??

Frankly, no, I don't. I see SEANC's approach in this last election cycle to be horribly misguided and their apparent belief that they can broker beneficial gains from Republicans as dangerously naive. And you may not believe this, but I hope I am wrong.

yes

I see your writing on here and do not doubt your values with respect to these issues, however, you are not a member of SEANC or contributor to EMPAC so your criticisms of the people and organization are not helpful to furthering those issues. It is afterall, our money, our organization and our decision. It starts to look like all the interest is about is OUR MONEY.

SEANC is not horribly misguided. There are people sitting there with brains. They are the same people working for the State. They do not need writers on BlueNC to think for them or take care of them.

Membership organizations and lobbying groups broker gains from both parties - you have to work with who is in power and keep furthering your goals. AGAIN, I did not see the Democratic Leadership further these goals last session. Did you?

I resent the notion that we have somehow all flipped Republican because Dana Cope told us to do so. Please. State employees and retirees have brains too. We will continue to fight for our values and goals and maybe all on here who want to be helpful can pick up the phone and call a Democratic Member and ask where they were on raising our issues. Oh, that's right, we are supposed to wait and do it on their timeline. I forgot.

Durham Dem