Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wyoming Public Employees Association releases its list of Nov. 6 endorsements

Spent yesterday evening at union HQ making phone calls for Kathleen Petersen, Democrat running for the seat in House District 8. I left a lot of messages (other people screen their call too) but did talk to a number of people who had already voted for Kathleen or were going to on Nov. 6. Many had talked to the candidate as she made her rounds in Precinct 2-5, which is just a stone's throw from my precinct. We vote at the same place -- the Cheyenne Berean Church on Powderhouse. Anyone who has talked to Kathleen is impressed. We wish her the best on Nov. 6.

My union is the Wyoming Public Employees Union. The WPEA sent out thousands of postcards listing its endorsements for Laramie County legislative races. They are:

SD4: Tony Ross (R)
SD6: Wayne Johnson (R)
SD8: Floyd Esquibel (D)
HD7: Joe Fender (D)
HD8: Kathleen Petersen (D)
HD11: Mary A. Throne (D)
HD12: Lee Filer (D)
HD41: Ken A. Esquibel (D)
HD42: Gary Datus (D)
HD43: Dan Zwonitzer (R)
HD44: James W. Byrd (D)

The WPEA doesn't endorse a candidate unless he/she comes in for an extensive interview by union members. I did a few of those and was impressed by the scope of the process. Many questions concerned preservation of the state's defined benefits pension plan, which TEA Party Republicans want to dismantle. Suffice to say, none of the R's on this list are pension-busters. Some of their opponents are: Sue Wilson (R-TEA Party), HD7; Lynn Hutchings (R-TEA Party), HD42; David Kniseley (R-TEA Party), HD 12. Not sure about Jerry Zellars who is running against incumbent Mary Throne in HD11. I will look up his web site and read the platform.

I received a postcard today from Kathleen's Republican opponent in HD8, Bob Nicholas. Bob's talking points include increasing funding for Cheyenne and Laramie County, and increased funding for LCCC. Lower down on the list, he says that he wants to "limit government spending and interference." Those are code words for "shrink government so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub." I believe those are right-winger Grover Norquist's words.

You actually have to fund a government so it can be effective in any number of tasks, such as emergency response (remember last summer's raging wildfires), building schools, paving roads, plowing highways, policing the bad guys, licensing food outlets, monitoring the weather, guiding airplanes so they don't crash, etc. You also have to pay those people a living wage with benefits. That's something that this legislature has refused to do.

Vote for the WPEA slate. And support your local union.

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