September 7th, 2010 – WASHINGTON — Here’s a political pair not often mentioned in the same sentence: Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert are being endorsed by the same labor union.
Members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades are holding separate rallies Tuesday morning with Murray and Reichert in Seattle. The events are part of the union’s “It’s About Jobs!” national tour in support of candidates it believes would best help spur employment.
Murray and Reichert are hardly ideological kinsmen. Organized labor traditionally is a big Democratic supporter. The painters’ union did not endorse Reichert in 2008, though it did back him in 2006.
This year, however, Reichert won the union’s favor by backing prevailing wages on public building projects, which protects workers’ paychecks from contractors who may want to pay less.
“We are not following party lines. We are following the unemployment lines,” said Chris Sloan, the international union’s director of government affairs.
What’s more, Sloan added, Reichert is a former King County Sheriff and “knows what it means to be a member of a collective bargaining unit.”
The International Union of Painters has endorsed five other Congressional candidates from Washington, all of them Democrats: Reps. Jay Inslee, Norm Dicks, Rick Larsen and Adam Smith, as well as Denny Heck, who’s running for the 3rd District seat being vacated by Rep. Brian Baird.
At a press conference in Seatac Tuesday morning announcing the endorsement, Raymond Sesma, the union’s general vice president, said the union has disagreed with Reichert on some issues, but felt he could be a voice for them on issues like backing prevailing wages.
“It’s about creating jobs,” Sesma said.
Reichert said the painters told him Republicans and Democrats need to work together.
“One party alone can’t fix the economy,” he said. “One party alone can’t get people back to work.”
Read more here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politicsnorthwest/2012829956_murrayandreichertendorsedbysameunion.html