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Politics | State | Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010, 11:29 am

Endorsement season is on

We’re officially in endorsement season, folks. It can often seem like just so much political theater (no one will be surprised when the Chamber of Commerce supports the Republican candidate), but endorsements do carry consequences in elections. They mean money, access to voters through mailing lists and bodies on the ground to help their candidate win.

In not completely surprising news, the Maine AFL-CIO, the state’s federation of labor unions, has endorsed Sen. Libby Mitchell for governor. Said Mitchell in a press release:

“The debate during this election is centered on who is best equipped to create jobs in Maine. Since the beginning of my campaign I have made the case that I am that person. As Senate president, I successfully advocated for passage of a bond package that will put people back to work this summer. As governor, I will continue the hard work of putting Maine people back to work.

I have stood with Maine’s working families my entire career, supporting safe workplace conditions, fair wages, and recently joining with the state’s paper-makers to protest illegal paper-dumping from China and to support fairer trade policies.”

The Maine AFL-CIO has given Libby a 100 percent “Right” rating (as opposed to “Wrong”) for her voting record during the last legislative session. The percent was calculated based on how Mitchell voted on four key labor issues during the 2008 legislative session — legislation including L.D. 2095, An Act To Ensure the Freedom of Family Child Care Providers To Jointly Negotiate with the State.

As said before, no surprises here. Ask anyone who labor unions are going to support and you will hear a near-unanimous chorus of “Democrats.” But labor unions are some of the most effective get-out-the-vote organizations that exist. The Maine AFL-CIO also has a direct line to their members, all 26,000 of whom will inevitably be getting “Vote Libby” mailers explaining how the Vassalboro Democrat has their best interests in mind as the election draws nearer.

In another campaign nonshocker, the unions also supported Rep. Mike Michaud (Maine labor’s golden child) in the 2nd Congressional District and Chellie Pingree in the 1st CD.

Mario Carmine Moretto is editor of Politicator and a founding editor of the Observer.

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