by Alana Goodman
If you’re unfamiliar with Charles Barron, a Democrat running for Congress in New York, read the Anti-Defamation League’s enlightening dossier. Barron is an extremist, dictator apologist and a passionate Israel-basher, who has railed against the “Jewish lobby,” called Gaza a “death camp” and aligned himself with anti-Semitic hate groups. He’s currently embroiled in a nail-biter primary race against Hakeem Jeffries.
While Barron might actually beat Jeffries on his own, it’s hard to imagine that any mainstream Democratic institution would lend him a hand in the primary. But as BuzzFeed reports, federal labor unions are actually planning to go to bat for him:
Two major city public worker unions, District Councils 37 and 1707 of the giant American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, have already endorsed Barron against Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, a relatively moderate legislator who has championed charter schools, a union bugaboo.
And BuzzFeed has learned that their powerful federal parent union, known as AFSCME, is planning to dive into the race on Barron’s behalf. Another key New York State public workers union, the Civil Service Employees Association, meanwhile, blocked an AFL-CIO effort to endorse Barron’s rival.
“We respect the voice of our members,” AFSCME spokesman Chris Policano told BuzzFeed. “With the unanimous endorsement of the three affiliates, there will be money spent in this race.”
If AFSCME is willing to pour money behind a candidate who has praised Qaddafi and has called the Israeli government “the biggest terrorist in the world,” then who would it not support? If an avowed white supremacist ran for Congress on a pro-union platform, could he expect AFSCME’s financial backing as well?
By supporting Barron, AFSCME is also pitting itself against prominent New York Democrats who are actively denouncing the candidate:
Former Mayor Ed Koch, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Councilman David Greenfield, and Assemblyman Dov Hikind gathered with several other elected officials in front of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park this morning for a press conference billed as an effort “ to Denounce Charles Barron as Enemy of the State of Israel” and the Jewish community. The politicos who showed up at the event where longtime councilman Mr. Barron was branded “hateful,” a “scary monster,” “anti-Semite” and “bigot” also expressed their support for his rival in the congressional race, Hakeem Jeffries.
Democrats are rightly terrified about how Barron’s nomination would reflect on their party. The same can’t be said for the labor unions.Alana Goodman
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