Thursday, May 04, 2017

Illinois union bosses line up behind labor rat Pritzker

There are many reasons Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in last year's presidential election. One of them is that Democrats suffered their worst electoral performance among union members since Ronald Reagan stomped on Walter Mondale in 1984. Big Labor brass came out strong for Clinton. Clearly in 2016 there was a disconnect between union rank-and-file and the bosses.

Will that also be the case for J.B. Pritzker, the billionaire Democrat who is running for governor of Illinois?

From Steve Brown in the Chicago Sun-Times:
Just six months ago, workers at PECO Pallet in Hegewisch brought out the giant inflatable rat to draw attention to their frustrations in negotiating their first union contract with an ownership group led by billionaire venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker.

On Wednesday, a group of 14 other unions made an exceptionally early leap into the 2018 governor's race by endorsing the very same Pritzker for the Democratic nomination, lauding him for his commitment to working people.

These are not necessarily conflicting facts, but they do highlight the complications of an ultra-wealthy businessman trying to launch a political career on the Democratic side of the ledger.

For Pritzker, who is trying to build early momentum in the multi-candidate Democratic field with a likely goal of convincing opponent Chris Kennedy to back out, the union support is key to knocking down criticism that he's just another rich guy.

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