Republican leaders in the Idaho House of Representatives fired a warning shot at Keith Allred, the Democratic candidate for governor, over his stance on labor unions. Just before the Democratic state convention, GOP officials issued a news release questioning Allred’s stance on Idaho’s right-to-work laws, which limit union organizing.
“It’s time for him to come clean with Idaho voters,” Rep. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, said in the news release. The news release claims that unions have donated $10,000 to Allred’s campaign, but that Allred has not said whether he supports or opposes right-to-work laws.
“It’s no surprise that Allred hasn’t taken a stand on an issue that’s so critical to our economic recovery and prosperity,” House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, said. “It’s clear that he and the Democrats are ducking this issue.”
IdahoReporter.com has asked for a response from Allred’s campaign, and will provide coverage of the Democrats’ convention this weekend in Worley. Read the House GOP’s news release below.
WHY AREN'T IDAHO DEMOCRATS ASKING WHETHER ALLRED IS JOINING THEM IN BIG LABOR'S POCKET?
As Idaho Democrats gather this week for their annual state convention, even a casual observer of Idaho politics might ask: Do they still oppose right-to-work, or are unions wasting all that money they’re investing in Keith Allred, the Democrat candidate for governor?
Allred, after all, is working awfully hard to maintain his “nonpartisan” credentials while using the Democrat organization and manpower to promote his candidacy. So just how far is he willing to go to show that he’s “independent” from Democrat dogma?
Is he ready to follow the Obama lead of using government rules to help labor unions gain membership and influence at the expense of jobs and opportunity? Is he ready to toe the Democrat line at the expense of Idaho taxpayers by taking his marching orders from such groups as the Idaho AFL-CIO and the Idaho Education Association? Will he oppose efforts by the Obama Administration to force "Card Check" through federal mandate?
“It’s no surprise that Allred hasn’t taken a stand on an issue that’s so critical to our economic recovery and prosperity. It’s clear that he and the Democrats are ducking this issue. They know that our right-to-work law is tried and proven, and supported by the vast majority of Idaho voters,” Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, said.
The Idaho Democratic Party’s platform states unequivocally that “we support repeal of the so-called ‘right-to-work’” law, which was approved by Idaho voters 24 years ago in order to keep unions from requiring payment of dues as a condition of employment in our state.
But even after becoming his party’s duly nominated candidate for governor, Allred remains silent on the issue. And Idaho Democrats aren’t pushing him to take a stand. It’s their version of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Neither wants to give up the lucrative support of deep-pocketed organized labor unions that already have invested over $10,000 in Allred’s campaign.
The last thing Allred wants to do is take a meaningful stand on something that might be controversial or downright unpopular, especially with Democrats’ union base. And the last thing Democrats want to do is to show their hypocrisy by promoting a candidate who disagrees with one of the principal planks of their own platform.
“This is where being an academic and a consultant falls way short of preparing someone to run a $3 billion-a-year operation with more than 20,000 employees – you have to be able to make tough, sometimes unpopular decisions and stand by your principles and values. We’re not seeing any signs of that kind of toughness from Allred,” Idaho House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, said.
So Allred has a choice: Own up to his opposition to repealing the right-to-work law and face the consequences from his fellow Democrats, or state openly that he opposes right-to-work and drop his “nonpartisan” charade.
Democrats have a choice too: Abandon their own platform and principles and keep supporting Allred, or stick to their right-to-work opposition but acknowledge that they have nominated an “independent” DINO – Democrat in Name Only – as their party’s standard bearer.
First, though, somebody needs to ask: Where does Allred stand?
“Either way, it’s time for him to come clean with Idaho voters,” Idaho House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, said. “To paraphrase Alexander Hamilton, ‘Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.’ It seems like that’s the dilemma facing Democrats right now. Are they going to fall for Allred’s ‘nonpartisan’ nonsense or insist that he take a stand?”