• Walker: Hillary Favors Unions Over The American People

    Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Scott Walker took aim at his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on Monday over her ties with big labor unions.

    “Her presidential campaign has been defined by closed-door meetings and carefully choreographed events,” Walker wrote in an opinion piece for The Des Moines Register. “Much of Clinton’s time was spent in meetings with union bosses.”

    Walker and Clinton offer two very different takes on organized labor. While Clinton has tried to win over support, Walker has been in a constant fight with union bosses since his first term as governor.

    “While Clinton is dead-set on defending and enabling the special interests that have driven our nation’s capital to the point of dysfunction,” Walker noted. “We’re focused on fixing the broken system these forces created.”

    It all started in 2011 when Walker curtailed union power by reforming state labor policy. The reforms, known as Act 10, put significant limits on public sector unions within the state. The reforms included limits on collective bargaining and duration of labor contracts.

    “Today, with these and other reforms, Wisconsin is a much better place,” he argued. “We can do the same in our nation’s capital. And my record of putting hard-working taxpayers first stands in clear contrast to Clinton’s record.”

    Labor unions and their supporters, however, adamantly opposed the law and even tried to get Walker thrown out of office with a recall election in 2012. Walker was able to overcome the attack and even win reelection during the 2014 midterm. Union discontent with Walker was renewed in full force the moment he announced his run for president.

    Within a day after announcing, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called Walker a “national disgrace” in a statement that went into no further detail. Shortly after, the union named Walker its loser of the week. Nevertheless, Walker has stood by the reforms.

    “Undoing the damage required bold action, so we started by taking on one of the biggest special interests contributing to the state’s problems,” Walker declared. “For years, big government union bosses had the upper hand.”

    Though Clinton is in a much better position than Walker when it comes to union support, it isn’t perfect. Unions, hoping to make the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) an important campaign issue, have expressed their disappointment with Clinton for not taking a firm stance against the trade agenda.

    Clinton and the AFL-CIO will get a chance to talk it out though. She is expected to meet privately with the union during its executive council gathering in Maryland between July 29-30.

    “Liberal union bosses, like those Clinton is meeting with this weekend, fought our reforms tooth and nail, organizing 100,000 protesters to occupy our state capitol grounds,” Walker noted. “Unintimidated by their attacks and protests, we took them on and we won.”

    During the gathering the union is also expected to meet with her Democratic rivals Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

    Despite not yet demonstrating a strong position on trade, Clinton has tried other ways to court unions. She prominently showed off union-made gear in May during the official launch of her online campaign shop. She has also urged people to stand firmly for unions throughout her campaign.

    Even without the wave of endorsements, unions have been generous in other ways, including donating to her charitable group The Clinton Foundation. The group, though, has been the center of controversy as of late.

    According to documents from the Department of Labor, which were obtained by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRB), organized labor gave at least $2,034,500 to the Foundation. The charitable group has been criticized as being nothing more than a slush fund for the Clintons. Additionally, some have criticized Clinton for making favorable deals with foreign entities in return for donations to the foundation.

    Follow Connor on Twitter

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