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March 31, 2003

 
 

Denny Protests SEIU Snub

 
  An Open Letter to:
 
SEIU California State Council
1007 7th Street, 4th Floor
Sacramento CA 95814

To Whom It May Concern:

When I learned of the SEIU mayoral candidate night, my campaign contacted John Gezinski, an event coordinator. I promptly received a phone call from SEIUís Ruby Anderson saying my questionnaire had not been received. When I told her I didnít receive it, she kindly offered to send it by fax. Again it didnít arrive as promised, so I called Ms. Anderson to inquire.

Ms. Anderson then said that SEIU questionnaires were actually only sent to a few candidates, and I was not one of them. When asked who received the questionnaires, she said the information was private. I informed Ms. Anderson that Libertarians strongly supported the right of workers to organize. But I also said unions shouldnít be making the political process less open and less democratic - especially unions whose members are largely paid from public funds. Responsible union leadership seeks to let workers hear all sides of the political debate, not only those they personally favor.

Campaigns are simply marketplaces for ideas. By trying to limit debate, union officials are conspiring to shut their workers out of that marketplace. I care deeply for union workers and want them to succeed in difficult times. Exclusionary tactics may serve the political interests of union officials beholding to politicians, but they are not in the interest of ordinary workers who could lose job opportunities because their union might appear to be biased against members of the business community.

As a business leader, I know the security of a broad and healthy customer base. Sadly, SEIUís local leadership has chosen to rely on heavily on government. The public sector is not in good economic shape. Unions representing a diverse customer base back candidate promising to balance government budgets with fiscal restraint. SEIU local union leaders propose raising taxes which will lead to fewer jobs for workers as a whole. Thatís why SEIU members need to hear from candidates who represent the chance to broaden their base outside government, not just establishment candidates who pander and offer the false hope of business as usual.

Please help uphold democratic values and do the right thing for your workers. Invite all candidates for office to your debate, and avoid the embarrassment of having the event picketed by protestors saying ĎSEIU unfair to union membersí.

Sincerely,

Michael F. Denny

cc: SEIU Local 44, 450 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94105-2610
SEIU Local 87 240 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102-3750
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