July 29, 2005

Punish The CAFTA 15

Enough. Enough. Enough. If we ever want to make politicians take us seriously when it comes to important laws touching the lives of workers, we must punish the 15 so-called Democrats who voted for the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)--and punish them hard.

Not a single one of those cowardly 15 should receive a dime more of labor money. Not a single phone call should be made on their behalf. No labor endorsment should grace their re-election literature. They must pay.

Not just on behalf of American workers. But, on behalf of the millions of workers who live in Central America for whom this is a bad deal, too. If we're going to talk about global solidarity, this is where we can practice it. If we're going to send letters to the Democratic Party and talk tough, we have to follow through.

So, here is the roll-call of the 15 so-called Democrats, with their office telephone numbers. Print this list out and send it to everybody on your lists:

Melissa Bean, Illinois (8th District): 202-225-3711

Jim Cooper, Tennessee (5th District): 202-225-4311

Norm Dicks, Washington (6th District): 202-225-5916

Henry Cuellar, Texas (28th District): 202-225-1640

Ruben Hinojosa, Texas (15th District): (202) 225-2531

William Jefferson, Louisiana (2nd District): (202) 225-6636

Jim Matheson, Utah (2nd District): (202) 225-3011

Gregory Meeks, New York (6th District): 202-225-3461

Dennis Moore, Kansas (3rd District): (202) 225-2865

Jim Moran, Virginia (8th District): (202) 225-4376

Solomon Ortiz, Texas (27th District): 202-225-7742

Ike Skelton, Missouri (4th District): 202-225-2876

Vic Snyder, Arkansas (2nd District): 202-225-2506

John Tanner, Tennessee (8th District): (202) 225-4714

Edolphus Towns, New York (10th District: (202) 225-5936

So, here's how to make it real:

1. Today, on the last day of the AFL-CIO convention, delegates should demand that a new resolution pass which states simply (with all the obvious "whereas" stuff): Resolved, no labor resources, financial or human, shall be expended on behalf of the 15 Democrats who voted for CAFTA.

2. Every CLC and State Federation should, at their very next meeting, pass a similar resolution, send the text to the pathetic so-called Democrat and take out an ad in the local newspaper which includes the text of the resolution and the reasoning behind it.

3. Look for people who stand up for workers. Let's find primary opponents to run against every one of the 15 so-called Democrats--knock off just one or two and watch the party tremble...you want to play in politics, it's time to get rough and bloody some noses.