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Union local stabs Rahm in the back

Wednesday, Dec 3, 2014

* Tribune

Chicago mayoral hopeful Jesus “Chuy” Garcia more than doubled the amount of cash in his campaign fund Tuesday by depositing a single check from a major government workers union, but it did little to close the growing money advantage Mayor Rahm Emanuel has in his bid for a second term.

Garcia, a Cook County commissioner, reported a $250,000 contribution from the Service Employees International Union Healthcare political fund, driving up the amount he’s raised to $477,000.

* Subscribers know a bit more, but here’s Greg Hinz

News of the big donation came on the same day that the City Council overwhelmingly approved Emanuel’s plan to boost the city’s minimum wage to $13 an hour over the next five years. Some activists had pushed for a $15 figure, including Garcia.

The SEIU Healthcare donation came even though SEIU’s state council a few days ago tentatively decided to remain neutral in the race for mayor.

* And then Greg updated

In a statement, SEIU State Council President Balanoff confirmed something he wouldn’t tell me earlier: That last week’s meeting resulted in “a formal vote . . . to remain neutral in the Chicago mayor’s race.”

He adds, “The subsequent contribution to a mayoral candidate by SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana is in direct violation of that vote and the constitution and bylaws of the Illinois State Council. The violation will be addressed through SEIU’s official internal processes.”

Looks like the fight is on.

So, the SEIU Healthcare local spends a fortune on voter registration and GOTV for Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign and his $10 an hour minimum wage proposal, then pushes the state council to endorse Garcia over Emanuel, even though Emanuel is for a $13 an hour minimum wage, but after the state council votes to remain officially neutral, the local violates its own union constitution to give a quarter million bucks to Garcia.

Oy.

And, from what I’m told, SEIU Healthcare now wants to disband the state council, but that can’t be done, either.

* From SEIU’s constitution

Any Local Union or affiliated body willfully neglecting to enforce the provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws shall be subject to suspension or revocation of its charter or such other sanctions as may be determined by the International President.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments
  1. - Spliff - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    Balanoff’s lapdogs have been attacking Rahm for 4 years now this. Balanoff loves being the SEIU big dog but healthcare IL/IN wants to flex its muscle. Good for them.


  2. - PMcP - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    I think the more interesting thing here is that the local doesn’t represent any workers in the city so the contribution is literally a waste of money for those union dues…


  3. - AlabamaShake - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    **I think the more interesting thing here is that the local doesn’t represent any workers in the city so the contribution is literally a waste of money for those union dues…**

    The union represents tens of thousands of workers who live and work in the city. Pretty sure that city politics is VERY relevant to their members.


  4. - PMcP - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    @AlabamShake

    SEIU does, but not SEIU Healthcare. I may have misinterpreted Hinz’s full article but he does make the statement that SEIU Healthcare does not represent workers in the city. I’m taking that as the union does not represent employees at hospitals in the city so again, it would seem to be a waste of dues…


  5. - AlabamaShake - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    **SEIU Healthcare does not represent workers in the city.**

    SEIU Healthcare doesn’t represent workers that work for the city, but they have tens of thousands of workers that they represent that live and work in Chicago.


  6. - Carhart Representative - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    There are some big splits in the SEIU. The “neutral” state council had already donated $25K to Rahm Emanuel. This despite the fact that Emanuel’s move to privatize the custodial services in CPS cost many SEIU janitors their jobs. I also wonder if this has anything to do with closing down the mental health clinics, though I don’t know the union representation. There. I tend to trust the locals where people come from the rank and file. The further up the food chain you go, the more likely you are to run into a “union boss”.


  7. - Carhart Representative - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    Also doesn’t that minimum wage proposal exempt home healthcare workers?


  8. - s.b. - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    Seiu used to be a well-oiled and smart political machine. Ever since Kelleher and his band of children who run the organization took over, they are a petulant band of incompetents who would rather create a stir than do what’s best for their members.

    Its sad for the working people of Illinois that this organization is now run by these people.


  9. - A guy... - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    That’s a lot of dirty laundry out on the line. Suspect we’ll see more. Membership doesn’t include privileges in this union.


  10. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    Rahm stabbed in back! Does likability have anything to do with it?


  11. - Purple Pride - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    Is Clem Balanoff related to Tom Balanoff? I know that Clem helped Chuy Garcia gather most of his signatures.


  12. - chi - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    If I contribute to Candidate B, does that mean I stabbed Candidate A in the back? Especially if, Candidate A’s actions contributed to killing a statewide minimum wage increase, of which I am a huge proponent?

    A/k/a what has Rahm ever done for SEIU Healthcare?


  13. - A guy... - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Chi, what has Chuy done? Or more important…what is he expected to do?


  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    Looks like these political shenanigans over raising the minimum wage in Illinois will only cost Chicagoans a pretty, pretty penny…#waytodrivebusinessaway


  15. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Looks like the political shenanigans around raising the minimum wage will only cost Chicagoans a pretty, pretty penny…#waytodrivebusinessaway


  16. - Black Ivy - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Looks like the political shenanigans around raising the minimum wage will only cost Chicagoans a pretty, pretty penny…#waytodrivebusinessaway


  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    =Its sad for the working people of Illinois that this organization is now run by these people=
    You must mean the “union” working people. The rest of workers in the state couldn’t care less about the dysfunctional operation of this union. Quite frankly we are glad to see it.


  18. - Carhart Representative - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    This has zero to do with the minimum wage. I would expect it has a lot to do with closing the mental health clinics for one. I think a lot of SEIU workers have real issues with this mayor and not just in health care.


  19. - chi - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    Well, A guy;

    He has already come out in favor of a $15 minimum wage, for starters. Beyond that, I would assume his progressive politics are attractive to SEIU Healthcare. He would be expected (from SEIU Healthcare’s point of view) to be more responsive to the needs of lower and middle class people than Rahm is. Why?

    I love how every left wing political contribution is a bribe, and every right wing contribution is an act of magnanimous beneficence.


  20. - chi - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    “The rest of workers in the state couldn’t care less about the dysfunctional operation of this union. Quite frankly we are glad to see it.”

    Right, cause working people in states without strong unions do SO well.


  21. - Under Further Review - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    Is it just me or does it bother some people how often Clem Balanoff continues to play politics while being employed by the Cook County Clerk, David Orr?

    Arguably, it is probably less objectionable now that Balanoff’s position is Chief of Staff, but while he was in the Elections Department, supervising and overseeing elections, I found it troubling. There has been a history of politics being played out to the Clerk’s Election Department (one employee served as Election Department Director while he was a township committeeman and a suburban mayor and he could not stop playing around in local elections while on the clock).

    Oh, well.


  22. - AlabamaShake - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    **Is it just me or does it bother some people how often Clem Balanoff continues to play politics while being employed by the Cook County Clerk, David Orr?**

    1 - Clem is retired.
    2 - Instead of innuendo, do you have any evidence that Clem ever acted inappropriately?
    3 - David Orr endorses in elections. Is that inappropriate?


  23. - Chilaborguy - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    Clem Balanoff is retired and has been for quite sometime. Not a big fan of his whack job politics but he has no conflicts.


  24. - crazybleedingheart - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    == then pushes the state council to endorse Garcia over Emanuel, even though Emanuel is for a $13 an hour minimum wage ==

    Sorry, workers running a national campaign for $15 for every job for every town in the USA get $13 (in a few years) for some jobs in the City of Chicago…and HE got stabbed in the back?

    Garcia statement, in part:

    From Garcia’s statement:

    == Why does he want to wait another five years before raising everyone to $13 an hour? Rents, restaurant prices and the cost of groceries are not going to wait another five years to go up. I continue to support a minimum wage increase that will bring low wage workers up to $15 an hour. As Mayor, I will pass legislation to do that my first year in office — not my last. ==

    Mayor Ewaaaaahmuel deigning to finally acknowledge the people of Chicago with a delayed half-measure doesn’t necessarily get everybody gooey-eyed.

    Especially given [every single other thing about his administration].

    Stabbed in the back, indeed.

    Probably the best thing about the man (as far as his opponents are concerned) is that he genuinely has no idea how much he has to make up for.


  25. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 4:15 pm:

    ==Is Clem Balanoff related to Tom Balanoff? I know that Clem helped Chuy Garcia gather most of his signatures.==

    Yes. Tom’s dad Jim, an insurgent steelworkers union guy, was Clem’s uncle, so they are cousins. Clem is a former state rep.


  26. - A guy... - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    ===I love how every left wing political contribution is a bribe, and every right wing contribution is an act of magnanimous beneficence.====

    Wow, Chi, I was operating under the mistaken impression that both these candidates are Democrats and that this union has a schism between one of its locals and the mothership. But I do like the word “beneficence”.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, but the irony is remarkable none the less. Chuy “came out for $15 minimum wage. Rahm “passed” $13. One talked, one walked. I don’t agree with either of them, but it seems to me Rahm isn’t too vulnerable on this one.

    When the money is that high, I believe beneficence is pretty much out of the question no matter which wing you ride on.


  27. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 4:38 pm:

    Family fights are always the nastiest.


  28. - A guy... - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 5:06 pm:

    True Demo, and if you ain’t in the family…give ‘em space or they’ll reunite by creaming you! lol.


  29. - Mauice - Wednesday, Dec 3, 14 @ 10:41 pm:

    SEIU HEALTHCARE MEMBERS are majority Latino and A.A. And the hardest hit in cuts..Tom Balanoff is out of touch with his base and has insulted many many people.Its now time to step down…


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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