By Kyle Olson
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Big Labor has traditionally been the life blood of the Democratic Party. The party owes everything it has to unions. The two have become one.
So when the party decided to hold its convention Charlotte, North Carolina – a right-to-work city and state – it committed a grave sin. The Democrats clearly upset their chief fundraising and manpower source.
And now that the party is lagging in fundraising and is trying to line up some last-minute support for its convention, unions aren’t answering the call. Many private and public sector unions that traditionally give big bucks to help fund the convention every four years are taking a pass this year, according to news reports.
“[T]here was a general disappointment in the selection because of the non-union hotels, the non-union accommodations in North Carolina,” said Chuck Rocha, president of the union consulting firm Solidarity Strategies was quoted as saying by PilotOnline.com.
“I think everybody is on the same page politically around a lot of different candidates, but the unions are going to invest in their members before they invest in a convention that’s being held in a place where there are no organized hotels, organized restaurants, etc.,” Rocha added.
The website reports the party is well short of its convention fundraising goal, and has already been forced to cancel or rearrange several surrounding events.
This comes on the heels of a report that teachers union members are “not energized” for President Obama’s re-election campaign. That’s likely because he hasn’t done enough to please them. He hired an education secretary the unions despised. He hasn’t increased education spending enough to meet their tastes. He’s introduced competition for government dollars among states and schools, and some form of accountability for teachers.
Even weak reforms such as those were enough to alienate his base. Add on top of that the Democrats had the audacity to select a right-to-work (albeit battleground) state for its national convention. Put it all together, and the unions are suddenly announcing that they have something better do to when the convention rolls around this year.