The Blog

Elizabeth Warren Claims Not to 'Know' Whether Union Members Were Fined for Not Supporting Her

12:21 PM, Oct 13, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat challenging Republican Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate, dodged questions about claims that a local union was fining its members for not publicly supporting her campaign. This week, Warren repeatedly told Boston's local FOX TV affiliate, "I don't know anything about" the possibility that union members were threatened with fines if they did not attend a debate and hold signs to support the Democrat. After being pressed about her thoughts on those allegations several times by the reporter, a visibly agitated Warren said that she is "very proud of the union endorsement" she's received.

"Is that [fining union members] something you would tolerate, something you would accept, is all I'm asking," the reporter says.

"No!" Warren responds. "No. I mean, no. But I don't know anything about this story, and I don't know anything about the truth of it, so the answer is, no." Watch the video below:

The original video shows a union member wearing a t-shirt with the logo of the New England Carpenters Union, a spokesman for the union confirmed. 

“The New England Carpenters Union never has and never will fine a member for not participating in political activity and does not pay members for their participation," said Mark Erlich, secretary-treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, in a statement to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

The unidentified man in the video claims first he was threated with a fine of $150, then $250, if he did not come to support Warren at an earlier debate in Lowell.

"Did you guys get fined if you weren't there?" the cameraman asks.

"Yeah," the union member replies.

At the same debate in Springfield, a Warren supporter admitted on camera to mocking a gay staffer for Scott Brown, and another claims that a fellow Warren supporter (and possible United Auto Workers union member) also mocked the staffer.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 20 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers