GOP's Cravaack picks up union's backing in 8th District | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

GOP's Cravaack picks up union's backing in 8th District

Posted: July 12, 2012 - 6:10pm
In this Wednesday, June 13, 2012 photo, U.S. Rep Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., talks during an interview with The Associated Press in Minneapolis. Cravaack is seeking another term in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District.   AP Photo
AP Photo
In this Wednesday, June 13, 2012 photo, U.S. Rep Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., talks during an interview with The Associated Press in Minneapolis. Cravaack is seeking another term in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District.

Press Release from International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49
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International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 Announces Endorsement in MN 8th Congressional District

Earlier this week members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 gathered in Duluth to screen candidates for Congress in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. This screening was open to all Local 49 members that lived in the 8th District, and was widely advertised on our website and distributed via email. Members in attendance represented all corners of the 8th District.

After hearing from all 3 candidates running in the Democratic Primary, and Congressman Cravaack, we had what turned out to be a very difficult conversation about who we should stand with in this election. The conversation centered around jobs, our union, and the ability of our members to earn a good living. These are the core issues that bind us together as a group, and we decided that this should drive our endorsement.

The members held a secret ballot vote the night of screening, and the strong majority voted to endorse Congressman Chip Cravaack.

Ultimately the membership decided we needed to take our partisan hats off, keep political party affiliation out of it, and make an evidence based decision.

When we took a look at Congressman Cravaack’s term in office, it became clear that he has done a good job of staying away from partisan Washington politics, and really focusing on bread and butter issues that are important to construction workers in his district. He is not afraid to stand up to his party when he disagrees with their direction, and his votes reflect that.

There have been 7 attempts in this Congress to repeal critical local contractor and worker protections in the Davis-Bacon act. All 7 times Congressman Cravaack stood with local workers and local contractors and voted against his party line. Just recently, there have been several attempts to eliminate the ability of the government to use Project Labor Agreements on federal projects which save the taxpayers money and ensure quality construction. Congressman Cravaack voted against the party line, and with the local construction workers and contractors that benefit from Project Labor Agreements.

Congressman Cravaack has an outstanding record on construction job creation - that is the 49ers number one issue. Congressman Cravaack strongly supports the Keystone Pipeline, mining projects like Polymet, the recently passed St. Croix River Bridge, dredging and maintaining the port of Duluth, and most importantly the recently signed into law Federal Infrastructure Bill. Thousands of construction jobs in Minnesota are or were at stake with these projects and Congressman Cravaack fought hard for those jobs.

Quote from Jason George, Legislative and Political Director International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49:

“The members of Local 49 have spoken, and we are pleased to endorse Congressman Cravaack in the 8th District. Local 49 is always ready to work with candidates of any party that are willing to support our jobs and our union. Congressman Cravaack has fought hard for construction workers in the 8th district, and we are going to stand with him this November.”

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack (cruh-VAK') has picked up the support of a construction workers union as he faces a closely watched re-election fight in northeastern Minnesota.

Local 49 of the International Union of Operating Engineers announced the endorsement Thursday, saying the union picked Cravaack over Democrats Jeff Anderson, Tarryl (TEHR'-uhl) Clark and Rick Nolan. The union cited Cravaack's votes against proposed bans on prevailing wage agreements and his vote for a transportation bill signed into law last week.

Union support is key in the labor-heavy 8th District, where unions have typically backed Democratic candidates.

The Democrats are competing in an Aug. 14 primary to challenge Cravaack.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.