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AFSCME Abandons Blago

By Amy Hart in News on Jan 23, 2006 9:10PM


On Saturday AFSCME, the largest union of state employees, decided to back gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka in the Republican primary. They made no endorsement in the Democratic primary.

Although Governor Blagojevich has seen his approval numbers move up recently, the union is disappointed in his failure to adequately support and staff state agencies and improve the state’s tax system. AFSCME did back Blago in the 2002 race. Blago had no comment on the loss of support.

Democratic candidate Edwin Eisendrath said the union’s failure to back Blago is proof of the governor’s incompetence and failure to adequately address issues. Of course, AFSCME also decided to not back Eisendrath, so either they are not thrilled with his proposals or chances of winning, or else they do not want to completely abandon the Blago ship just in case he does win reelection.

Even though the influence of unions in political campaigns seems to be waning, this could be a blow to Blago because most of the state employees Chicagoist knows feel betrayed by the governor, and they are not very shy about letting others know about their feelings.