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Wichita/Hutchinson Working Families Voting Guide

Wichita/Hutchinson Working Families Voting Guide



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Published by Stuart Elliott
Candidate endorsements for the November 2008 election
Candidate endorsements for the November 2008 election

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Published by: Stuart Elliott on Oct 07, 2008
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We build your planes. We construct your buildings. We process your mail.We teach your children. We staff your call centers and maintenance shops.We build America.We are union and we vote.
A Voter Guide for those who earn aliving. Produced by the Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation ofCentral Kansas, AFL-CIO
Letter from Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation Judy Pierce
The 2008 election will likely be the most important election of our lifetime. When it comes to the issues that face workingfamilies, never before has so much been at stake. Obviously we must work to elect a President and Congress that can not onlyundo the damage caused in the last 8 years but carry forward a progressive agenda to protect workers rights, make healthinsurance accessible to millions of uninsured Americans and insure millions of Americans, and protect our national security. Atthe state level, we must elect candidates who will vote to raise our shamefully low state minimum wage, expand workerscompensation, fix our public schools, and restore fairness to our tax system. At the county level, we must ensure that any newCounty Commissioners or Sheriff would support the right of county employees to form unions.The Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation represents over 30,000 union members, their families, and the unions to which theybelong. We are tasked with an awesome responsibility to screen hundreds of candidates for state and local races across theseven counties we represent. We do not take this responsibility lightly. Many weeks of hard work went into researching,surveying, interviewing, debating, and ultimately endorsing candidates.We have assembled this voter guide to assist union members and any other voter who cares about the issues facing workingfamilies in picking the right candidates this November. You can rest assured the candidates that the Wichita / Hutchinson LaborFederation has endorsed are the best choice in that race to represent working families.On your right you will see a table of contents to help you navigate the guide. First we discuss the National level candidates, andget you familiar with the issues that will face the next President and Congress. Then we proceed to lay out in depth the issueswe face in Kansas, present our recommendations for Kansas Senate and House, and show you how the candidates stack upon the issues. Finally, we turn our attention to the local level and which candidates for County Commissioner, Sheriff, Judge,Board of Education, and District Attorney carry our endorsement.At the end of the guide, we have summarized all the endorsements into a quick reference guide that you can cut out and takewith you to the polls.To truly make a difference in this historical election, you need to do much more than vote. If you find a candidate that you like,consider volunteering a couple hours or donating even a small amount. We have provided contact information for everyendorsement.Finally, we ask that you consider helping out with our 2008 Labor Votes program. Wewill be sending letters and making phone calls to union members to educate them onwhat is at stake in this election and how they can help elect labor-friendly candidates. Ifyou can volunteer even a small amount of time, please contact our Executive Director,Jake Lowen at 316-941-4061 or jakelowen@me.com.I hope this guide assists you with the many choices you will have to make thisNovember. If we can be of any assistance please to do not hesitate to contact us.Sincerely,Judy PiercePresident
PageTable of Contents
3President3Congress4Kansas Senate6Senate Survey Responses7Kansas House13House Survey Responses14County and BOE races16Quick Reference Guide
 Endorsed candidate:
Barack Obama (D)CONTACT:
(866) 675-2008www.barackobama.comThe AFL-CIO hasendorsed Sen. BarackObama (D-Ill.) forpresident.The AFL-CIO GeneralBoard, which voted toendorse Obama,includes presidents ofall 56 unions in the AFL-CIO, as well asExecutive Councilmembers andrepresentatives of stateand local federations,trade departments andconstituency groups.Said AFL-CIO PresidentJohn Sweeny, “
Obama has vowed to fight for working families and for an economy that works for all—and he has the record to prove it. As a church-based community organizer,Obama assisted those affected by closing steel mills. As a state senator in Illinois, he sponsored legislation to expand health care and protect overtime pay. As a U.S.senator, Obama has earned a 98 percent lifetime rating from the AFL-CIO. And all along,he 
s marched on picket lines and rallied with striking workers.” 
AFSCME PresidentGerald McEntee,chairman of the AFL-CIO PoliticalCommittee, pledged to
“work our hearts out for Barack Obama.
Our program is going to be worker to worker and neighbor to neighbor.We 
re ready to mobilize.We 
re ready to rock and roll.
This country and our people are ready for change.” 
Says Electrical Workers(IBEW) President EdwinHill,
“We want to engage our members and all working people on the need for action on the issues that make a difference in our daily lives.
It is time to move beyond name calling and division so that our country can take positive action on the challenges we face.” 
United Steelworkers(USW) President LeoW. Gerard said,
s plan to revitalize American manufacturing and his commitment to make workers the top priority in any trade agreement gives our members hope that his election will lead the country in a new direction that 
s long overdue, and inspire us to work as never before to secure his victory.” 
United States Senate
 Endorsed candidate:
Jim Slattery (D)CONTACT:
www. slatteryforsenate.com
2008 presents a uniqueopportunity for Kansasto elect a United StatesSenator who will put thepeople before corporateinterests. Jim Slatteryably served in theKansas legislature andthe United SatesCongress from 1983 to1995 and received theendorsement of thelabor movement in eachof those elections.Incumbent Senator PatRoberts has anextremely poor votingrecord. In hisCongressional careerhe has voted withworking families only 12percent of the time andonly 26percent in 2007.In 2007 Roberts votedagainst increasing theminimum wage, againstthe Employee FreeChoice Act, againstcollective bargainingrights for federalemployees, against theDavis- Bacon prevailingwage act, and to banmajority sign-up forunion recognition. Asthe chairman of theSenate IntelligenceCommittee Robertsensured there was noserious investigationinto how theadministration fixed theintelligence that took theUnited States to war inIraq or the fabricateddocuments used asevidence to do so.Because of all this wewholeheartedly endorseJim Slattery for the U.S.Senate.
Kansas 4thCongressional District
 Endorsed candidate:
Donald Betts (D)
(316) 312-7777
Incumbent FourthDistrict CongressmanTodd Tiahrt has anextremely poor votingrecord, consistentlyvoting against workingfamilies and for flawedtrade treaties that harmAmerican workers. Inhis Congressionalcareer he has votedwith working familiesonly 10 percent of thetime and only 13percent in 2007.In 2007 Tiahrt votedagainst increasing theminimum wage, againstthe Employee FreeChoice Act, againstcollective bargainingrights for federalemployees, against theDavis-Baconprevailing wage act, andto ban majority sign-upfor union recognition.State Senator DonaldBetts has demonstratedleadership and acommitment toprogressive values inthe Kansas legislature.A Wichita native, stateSenator Donald Betts isa young man whoovercame earlyobstacles to become aleader in the Kansaslegislature. In 2004Betts became theyoungest person everelected to the KansasSenate. He has servedhis state legislativedistricts in both theKansas House andSenate.Therefore, the Wichita/ Hutchinson LaborFederation endorsesDonald Betts for the USCongress from the 4thDistrict.

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