Saturday, November 1, 2008

Special Interests to the Rescue

Whether or not the Indonesian ambassador to the U.S. brought a suitcase full of cash with him for Faleomavaega's campaign when he visited recently, it looks like the veteran delegate will have all he needs to buy himself re-election. Following a $5,000 contribution earlier in the week by the Teamsters Union, just yesterday Faleomavaega scored another $11,000 from an array of people with Asian names, Asian special interest groups and labor unions. Beyond his secret tuna boat deal, just what interest the Asians have in him is unclear but there is little doubt about the union money.

Last year the U.S. House passed something called the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would do away with secret ballots in union organizing drives. The bill died in the Senate thanks to a Republican filibuster but Democrats have vowed to pass it next year if they have the votes--which they likely will--and a friendly White House--also likely.

The Teamsters some years ago tried to unionize our tuna canneries but were rebuffed. There is no doubt their contribution to Faleomavaega is designed to grease the skids for another attempt after EFCA passes and is signed into law.

Can Faleomavaega's defeat stop this? No, but we don't have to have our own delegate leading the charge to our economic destruction. And maybe after election day there still will be enough Republicans in the Senate to stop the bill or at least exempt us.

What Eni is going to do with all this campaign cash remains to be seen because there is only so many radio and newspaper ads you can buy. No doubt this is for "election day operations." Expect to see an army of paid election day "workers" and perhaps barbecues in every village. (a chicken in every pot?) In some eastern Mainland cities, this is called walking around money.

Will it work once again? We'll find out Tuesday night.

No comments: