AFSCME endorses Pat Murphy in IA-01, Staci Appel in IA-03

The elections arm of Iowa's largest labor union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, announced five endorsements for the 2014 elections today. I've posted the whole statement from the AFSCME Iowa Council 61 PEOPLE Committee after the jump. The biggest news is AFSCME coming out early for former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy in IA-01. Two other Democrats are already campaigning for that open seat, probably to be joined soon by State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic and former State Senator Swati Dandekar.

In IA-03, AFSCME will back former State Senator Staci Appel, who voted for a number of pro-labor bills during her four years in the legislature. Gabriel De La Cerda is also running in the Democratic primary and was an Iowa political coordinator for the United Steel Workers Union during the 2012 general election campaign. No one will be surprised to see AFSCME supporting four-term incumbent Dave Loebsack in IA-02 or Jim Mowrer in IA-04, where no other Democrat is likely to take on Steve King.

AFSCME hasn't endorsed a Democratic challenger to Governor Terry Branstad yet. The only statewide candidate named in today's release is Brad Anderson for Iowa secretary of state. He has the backing of most of Iowa's Democratic establishment and may not face any competition in the primary, although former Secretary of State Michael Mauro hasn't ruled out a comeback attempt.


July 22, 2013

Brad Anderson Endorsed for Iowa Secretary of State

DES MOINES - AFSCME Iowa Council 61 (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) PEOPLE Committee is proud to announce that it has endorsed Pat Murphy for Congress in the 1st Congressional District, Congressman Dave Loebsack for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District, Staci Appel for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District, Jim Mowrer for Congress in the 4th Congressional District, and Brad Anderson for Iowa Secretary of State.

"Pat Murphy is a champion for middle class Iowans. Pat is committed to protecting Iowans' civil rights and labor rights - and has the record to prove it. Pat's history matters greatly to our Union. As Speaker of the House, he was a driving force in expanding Iowa's non-discrimination laws. He has consistently stood up for worker's rights and protecting the public services our communities rely on. Working families will always be able to count on Pat Murphy," said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.

"Dave Loebsack has served his constituents well. He has worked tirelessly to help his district recover from devastating flooding and stood up for Social Security and the many Iowa seniors who rely on Social Security for retirement security. AFSCME Iowa PEOPLE Committee is proud to recommend Congressman Loebsack's reelection," said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.

"Iowans need Staci Appel in Washington. Her work in the Iowa Senate demonstrates that she knows how to improve the efficiency of government in a fair way that listens to the concerns of all. Staci Appel is someone who listens, learns, and unlike so many in the current US House Majority does not rush to judgment. Staci would be a breath of fresh air in Washington," said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.

"Jim Mowrer has strong Iowa values. His service to his country in Iraq and at the Pentagon shows that he doesn't just talk about the Iowa values of service, commitment, and honor - he lives them. Iowans will be proud to have Jim Mowrer represent them in Congress," said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.

"Brad Anderson will protect one of our most treasured rights - the right to vote. He knows how important it is to make voting accessible and fair for Iowa citizens. Unlike the incumbent Secretary of State, Brad will focus on civic engagement, modernize the Office of Secretary of State, and will never waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on partisan investigations," said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.

AFSCME is known for its political action program which is financed with voluntary contributions. The program supplies grassroots volunteers for AFSCME-endorsed candidates.

In Iowa, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 represents 40,000 public employees including law enforcement and correctional officers, firefighters, mental health workers, professional school staff, emergency responders, and many other workers. AFSCME Iowa also represents home health care and child care providers across the state and private sector workers at Prairie Meadows, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Des Moines University, ABM (Marshalltown), and Abbe Center.

  • I guess this is for

    Pat Murphy getting Fair Share through the House while we had the Democratic trifecta. Oh, wait...

    • no one has ever explained to me

      how Democrats were able to get the collective bargaining bill passed in 2008 when they had 53 Iowa House seats, but not in 2009-2010 when they had 56 Iowa House seats.

    • "fair share" was always going to be a heavy lift

      but it was pretty sad that they couldn't even pass choice of doctor or prevailing wage in 2009.  

      • 60-vote meme: PHONY

        Please remember the timeline. Having a 60-vote "Democratic party majority"(including independents) in the US Senate was not a done deal through 2009. First, Al Franken's contest was not decided till summer...followed by the death of Ted Kennedy...followed by the Massachusetts election to replace him-won by the republicans. Meanwhile, something called the Affordable Health Care Act was being hammered out which seemed to be taking up a LOT of peoples' time and attention on Capital Hill...

        • I'm talking about the Iowa House

          where with 56 Democrats they couldn't get any of organized labor's top priorities passed in 2009/2010.

    • The basic job of leadership

      What troubled me most about that wasn't that it didn't pass -- although that was bad enough.  It was that Murphy fell short at managing the situation, which is a key job of Speaker.  He didn't do a good job of counting votes, and then he exposed his members to what for several would be a tough vote, and then bent the rules to hold the vote open all night which only drew much more attention to the ultimate failure to pass.  He'd be a good, hardworking Congressman whose heart is in the right place as one of 435, but it is hard to overlook that he didn't do his last gig that well.  Put differently: can you imagine that scenario ever happening under Gronstal?  

  • too early?

    These endorsements seem a tad premature to me. Why do early?

    • I agree

      I would advise all groups and prominent individuals to wait until the field is set before endorsing.

    • Pre-emptive strike?

      If so that failed. A really strong candidate can clear the field (case in point: Braley) but since he announced Pat Murphy has seen FOUR primary rivals step forward...

      • if that were the case

        they would have endorsed immediately after Murphy's announcement, the way the Central Iowa Building Trades Council endorsed Tony Bisignano in Senate district 17 (which was ridiculously early in my opinion).

        Even though an endorsement like this won't clear the field, it's bound to help Pat Murphy to have AFSCME's direct mail and foot soldiers across IA-01 next May.

        • Endorsement

          I would bet Anesa and O'Brien didn't even have a chance to fill out any survey that they had with this open process for their endorsement LOL.  I guess they were just waiting for Danielson and Sodders to say no.  

          • AFSCME Endorsement

            I was a voting member at the AFSCME Endorsement conference and both Anesa and O'Brien had an equal opportunity to answer questions and address our concerns.  While we greatly appreciate what they have done for Labor, the members chose to endorse Murphy.  There was no predetermined outcome to this endorsement.  

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