Council 93 Leaders and Members Celebrate Sweeping Victories in the Four-State Region 11/07/2012

The results of the 2012 Election represented a major victory for labor unions across the nation, but few regions of the country fared as well or better than the four states represented by AFSCME Council 93.

Solid victories in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have Council leaders and members celebrating this morning and taking great pride in their grassroots efforts that helped recapture a U.S. Senate seat, two Republican Congressional seats and deliver 22 Electoral College votes towards President Barack Obama’s impressive re-election victory.

“Our members and staff were an incredible force in these elections,” said Council 93 Executive Director Frank Moroney.   “We turned out more volunteers than any election in recent memory and our numbers were increasing almost daily during the final weeks of the campaign. I want all of our leaders, members and staff to know that their work is deeply appreciated by all of us at Council 93.  Not only did we achieve something truly remarkable last night, we have created a solid foundation of political activism that we will build on in future elections.”

Council 93 President Charlie Owen joined Moroney in praising the efforts of the Council’s activists and staff calling the AFSCME campaign “a model of mobilization and solidarity.”   President Owen, who was an active participant in phone banks, labor walks and campaign rallies over the past two months, noted that AFSCME did more than its share of work in efforts coordinated through the AFL-CIO, but also simultaneously ran its own game plan, coordinating AFSCME specific phone banks as well as education and outreach capped by a strong “Get out the Vote” effort in the final days of the campaigns.  “I’ve been involved with AFSCME for several decades now and I can’t recall a time when our members were more excited or motivated to make a difference in an election,” Owen said.  “This is a very proud time for all of us.”

Both Moroney and Owen also expressed their gratitude for the contributions and support of AFSCME International President Lee Saunders who bolstered the Council’s ground game with a team of 13 experienced AFSCME International Union staffers in the final two weeks before the election.   The International staff traveled to New England from Washington and other parts of the country to assist in member-to-member education, outreach, and volunteer member recruitment.  Staff in the Washington office provided the Council’s legislative department with the technology and resources needed to reach members through robo calls, and a “Tele Town Hall Meeting” with President Saunders.  They also prepared a number of impressive and informative mailings to members highlighting the differences between the candidates in key races in the Council’s region.  “We asked President Saunders for help and he didn’t hesitate for a minute,” Moroney said.  “He had members of his team in my office within 48 hours of my first phone call to him.” 

“President Saunders proved once again that delegates to the 2012 International Convention in Los Angeles elected the right person for the job when they chose Lee to lead our great union,” Owen said.

The victories in Council 93’s region were both numerous and impressive.  While the highlight was clearly Elizabeth Warren’s commanding victory over incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown, Massachusetts also re-elected all incumbent Democratic Congressmen including John Tierney who faced an extremely tough fight from a Republican challenger.  Tierney holds a lifetime AFSCME voting record of 98% through his eight terms in Congress. Joe Kennedy III was elected to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Barney Frank, bringing the Kennedy ideals back to Washington. 

In New Hampshire, Democrats Carol Shea-Porter and Ann Kuster recaptured their congressional seats lost to conservative Republicans in the 2010 election, while Democrat Maggie Hassan handily defeated the right-wing conservative Ovide Lamontagne, a key victory in labor’s ongoing efforts to stop Right-to-Work in the Granite State.  Democrats also increased their ranks in the New Hampshire state legislature including a victory for the New Hampshire House by Council 93 Executive Board Member Andrew O’Hearne.  Local 3657 President Bobby Jones mounted an impressive campaign for state representative in New Hampshire but unfortunately came up just a handful of votes short. 

In Maine, Democratic Congressman Michael Michaud was re-elected as was Democratic Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. Independent Angus King won the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Republican Olympia Snowe.  If King caucuses with the Democrats as expected, it will provide another boost to the Democratic Party’s agenda in Washington.

Rounding out the victory for labor and the middle class in New England were solid wins in Vermont by Governor Peter Shumlin, Congressman Peter Welch and Independent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.    Shumlin’s re-election will be critical to AFSCME’s efforts to secure passage of legislation that will help us organize several thousand homecare workers in the state.

“Those who doubt the power of AFSCME and all of organized labor received a real wake-up call last night,” Moroney said.  “We’re still a force and we are getting stronger every day.”