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Union Attacks Pelto

by Hugh McQuaid | May 23, 2014 2:04pm
(17) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2014

Hugh McQuaid file photo

David Pickus, president of SEIU 1199NE, testified at a hearing in April

A labor ally of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy went on the offensive Friday against Jonathan Pelto, a former Democratic lawmaker who is considering making a third-party challenge for the governor’s office.

So far Malloy’s campaign and the state Democratic Party have had no comment on Pelto, a vocal Malloy critic who is exploring a run for governor under his newly formed Education and Democracy Party.

But SEIU 1199NE President David Pickus weighed in on Pelto’s record Friday morning with a press release accusing him of siding with former Republican Gov. John Rowland during a 2001 labor dispute. Pelto did consultant work on behalf of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, a nursing home association.

The union charges that Pelto “devised strategies to portray workers as undeserving and greedy.”

“Now as a potential candidate he is seeking support from unions but he had no support for unions in 2001 when he was strategizing against Connecticut workers and aligning himself with disgraced former governor John Rowland. Running for governor is a serious endeavor and it is important to understand who has paid Jonathan Pelto in the past and not just his current rhetoric as a potential candidate,” Pickus said in a statement.

Reached by phone Friday, Pelto dismissed the charges saying the labor dispute was a calculated effort that resulted in more state funding for nursing home workers. He said he is more accustomed to being criticized as a “liberal ideologue” or a “union stooge.”

“Now they’re saying I’m anti-union? It’s so absurd that I’d be embarrassed to put something like that out if I were them,” he said.

CTNJ file photo

Jonathan Pelto

Pelto said union leaders are likely getting the sense that rank-and-file workers are seeking a more liberal option in the governor’s race. The state’s labor leaders have thrown their support behind Malloy, who the state Democratic Party nominated last week as their endorsed candidate.

“Maybe it’s psychological warfare to try to convince me not to run,” he said.

He later blogged about the statement.

If Pelto were to enter the race, many believe he would tilt the general election in favor of the Republican candidate. Tom Foley, the GOP’s 2010 nominee received the party nomination again on Saturday. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney have both filed paperwork to challenge Foley in a primary.

Malloy defeated Foley by only 6,400 votes in 2010 and recent polling suggests the two candidates are still in a dead heat.

Pelto has said he will only enter the race if he believes he can win enough votes to be a viable candidate and not merely spoil the race for Malloy.

The former state representative, who now runs a blog where he is frequently critical of Malloy and his education policies, says he expects to find support among rank and file union workers, especially public school teachers.

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(17) Comments

posted by: GBear423 | May 23, 2014  2:52pm

GBear423

and so it starts. Character attacks and discredit his candidacy.

Fortunately its poor timing, its Friday eve of 3 day weekend. They should have waited till Tues morn.

posted by: dano860 | May 23, 2014  3:10pm

The union charges that Pelto “devised strategies to portray workers as undeserving and greedy.”
I don’t know if he claimed that but I will.
Getting union support is not getting the support of the individual members but it is the taking of their money and giving it to someone only the heads of the unions align with, usually the Democrats. As a former union member and speaking for my daughter also, I hated the putting of my money with someone I didn’t believe in.
Why wouldn’t they play with Malloy? He gave them anything and everything, including a ‘no layoff guarantee’ PLUS the infamous ‘suggestion box’ (how did that work out?) that was going to save the State big $, just to get their vote.
More slimy politics.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | May 23, 2014  3:36pm

DrHunterSThompson

The title should be bozo union president attacks Pelto.  The guvs support in the rank and file has eroded badly, we will jump on the Pelto bandwagon as soon as he declares.

HST

posted by: MuniLeader | May 23, 2014  4:02pm

This is underhanded spin. Pelto will tell it like it is. The union leaders are already in bed with administration.

posted by: Linda12 | May 23, 2014  4:23pm

45,000-50,000 teachers for Pelto.

Buh bye Dannel: Tenure D E N I E D. 

Pack it up, traitor!

posted by: LongJohn47 | May 23, 2014  4:41pm

“he will only enter the race if he believes he can win enough votes to be a viable candidate”

A “viable candidate”, by definition, is one who has a reasonable chance of winning.  This is not Pelto.

Pelto, if he enters the race, will be a “spoiler” pure and simple.  To frame this run in any other terms is more than misleading or naive—it’s a lie.

Spoilers have a long and honorable history in American politics, but as I’ve shown in other posts, the result is that the other side wins.

Pelto is a liberal/progressive.  Foley is not, yet he will be the ultimate beneficiary of a Pelto candidacy.

If all you want is to defeat Malloy, then support Pelto.  If you ultimately want policies and programs that benefit the working poor, then think again.

You can’t have both.

posted by: state_employee | May 23, 2014  5:31pm

good try but no.  rank and file union members won’t buy this.
next…

posted by: StateEmployee | May 23, 2014  5:39pm

All the Governor has to say to State Employees, is that he won’t go after the 2015-2016 raises in the state contracts, and he will get the state employees vote.  Most everybody else that wants to run have said, the state employees have to open SEBAC again.  And as a 9 1/2 year state employee, who has already taken 4 zeros, If Malloy will make that guarantee, I may hold my nose, and vote for him.

posted by: BMS | May 23, 2014  6:04pm

If you believe Malloy is unelectable then Pelto will have no effect on the Malloy-Foley rematch.Pelto might just help the democratic under ticket, by bring more progressives out to vote.

posted by: ctguy | May 23, 2014  6:52pm

Unfortunately Mr Pelto did not say it was not true. Our electoral system does not allow us a second choice for governor, evaluate carefully who can get elected as well, not just make a statement and by doing so allow someone fundamentally opposed to your concerns /interests to get elected.

posted by: state_employee | May 23, 2014  7:07pm

Rank and file for Pelto…!!!
Out with malloy…

posted by: JusticePartyCT | May 23, 2014  8:16pm

Agreed. The status-quo will fight tooth and claw to keep their privileges. People should regard the comment ‘many believe he would tilt the general election in favor of the Republican candidate.’ We must stop using the fear of the lesser evil to guide our voting. That is the hope of both parties, that you will be so afraid to vote your conscious, that you will vote for an inferior candidate… or worse, not participate in democracy. Vote for the person. Set aside your fear for in the end, not much separate the two corporate political parties.

posted by: Dean2030 | May 23, 2014  9:40pm

It is obvious.  Malloy knows he is in trouble with Pelto.  It is ironic that the Journal Inquirer and the CT Mirror both wrote recent articles slamming 3rd parties and Pelto’s decision to run.  They would not have printed that if he was not a threat.  Malloy is pulling favors from his newspaper supporters and union leaders who he did favors for.  Pelto run, you will get more votes from the rank and file than our own union leaders!

posted by: jschmidt2 | May 23, 2014  11:18pm

So the unions will support Malloy. A good reason to vote against him.

posted by: Linda12 | May 24, 2014  12:43pm

To Longjohn: “If all you want is to defeat Malloy, then support Pelto.”

Thank you for the advice.

Yes, that’s the plan and Pelto is a better human being.

Time to end the choice between two brands who only care about themselves and their political careers.

posted by: NP3stateworker | May 24, 2014  9:24pm

The Unions are wrong to think state employees will forget their betrayal of their members in 2011, and they are wrong to think we will blindly follow them in supporting Malloy.  Back in 2011, Pelto was more supportive of state employees than their own unions were.  Pelto for Governor.

posted by: Common Sense | May 29, 2014  8:30pm

With a beleagered Gov. D.P.Malloy attacking Democrat Jonathan Pelto—it proves that our governar is “running scared.”