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Union Chief on Donating to Dems: 'Of Course It Was Worth It'

Trumka cites auto bailouts, health care law.

11:00 AM, Aug 9, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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The president of the largest trade union federation in the country told reporters Thursday morning that the union money donated to Democrats in the 2008 election was "worth it."

Union Chief on Donating to Dems: 'Of Course It Was Worth It'

Michael Bonfigli / The Christian Science Monitor

At a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, THE WEEKLY STANDARD asked AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka if the approximately $1.2 million his organization donated to political campaigns benefitting Barack Obama and Democrats in 2008 was worth it.

Trumka laughed, saying, "I'm tempted to quote Harper on that one, but I won't." (It seems Trumka was referring to when the Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper responded to a reporter's query with, "That's a clown question, bro.")

He continued: "Of course it was worth it. For us to have played in the system of democracy, to educate our members, and to mobilize our members and to get them involved in the voting process is always worth it."

Asked to provide specific examples of what President Obama has done for labor, Trumka listed several policy achievements of the administration. "He helped us get a health care bill that’s going to bring health care for everybody," Trumka said.

"He stood up for Social Security and Medicare. He has helped us with occupational health and safety. He has a policy right now that is geared toward bringing manufacturing back to the country ... stop rewarding those who are taking jobs offshore, bringing jobs in. He’s enforced the trade acts like nobody else has. He saved Detroit from bankruptcy so that we’re now hiring people in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. They’re being hired in other places as well. They’re being hired because he saved the auto industry. All of those things have worked to our benefit."

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