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Results of targeted races in New England Posted by on

Connecticut
Ballot issues in Bridgeport led extended voting hours, confusion and uncertain results in a couple of close races. By Wednesday morning, there still hadn't been a winner called in the Governor's race between NERCC-endorsed Dan Malloy and Tom Foley. Though Foley held a lead, it was narrow, only 10,000 votes separated the two after more than a million ballots had be cast. Ten percent of precincts had yet to deliver results.

Fourth district incumbent Representative Jim Himes also had to deal with the anxiety of Bridgeport ballot problems and a very close race. But the carpenter's choice was being declared the victor in his fight for re-election.

Chris Murphy, the Democratic incumbent in the 5th District scored a relative comfortable win over Sam Caligiuri winning 54% of the vote to the Republican's 46%.


Massachusetts

After Scott Brown's surprise win earlier in the year, Republicans had their eyes on more upsets in Massachusetts. Energized by national money and national momentum, they targeted both congressional and constitutional offices in the state. They lost every one of them.
The big news was Deval Patrick's win over Charlie Baker for Governor. Patrick was a solid ally of union carpenter issues in his first four-year term. His re-election ensures important progress on issues like misclassification in the construction industry won't be wiped away.

Carpenters were heavily involved in six congressional races, all of which ended up being wins with more convincing margins that some expected. Barney Frank, John Tierney and Nikki Tsongas won re-election by double digit margins while Bill Keating held on to the 10th Congressional seat for Democrats by beating Jeff Perry in a race that national GOP operatives thought very winnable. Keating will take over for the retiring Bill Delahunt.

At the state level, all constitutional offices stayed in Democratic hands, though some will have new faces. Attorney General Martha Coakely rebounded from her stinging loss to Brown by soundly winning re-election. Steve Grossman and Suzanne Bump won larger than expected victories for Treasurer and Auditor, respectively.

Of the three ballot questions considered by Massachusetts voters, the union had endorsed a position on only one: a no vote on Question 3. The question, which would have made a significant cut to the state income tax that would've had a devastating impact on local aid, was soundly defeated.

Maine
Two of the three carpenter targeted races in Maine resulted in victories on election day. Both incumbent Representatives won by comfortable margins. District 1 Representative Chellie Pingree took 57% of the vote in her contest against Dean Scontras. In the 2nd District, Mike Michaud was also a big winner, besting Republican Jason Levesque by 12 percentage points.

The race for Governor didn't go quite so well as Libby Mitchell lost a three-way race. Republican Paul LePage and Independent Eliot Cutler were locked in a tight race that hadn't yet been called by Wednesday morning, but would see one of them elected likely with less than 40% of the vote.

New Hampshire
The toughest night for Democrats in New England was undoubtedly in New Hampshire, where Republicans swept to massive victories in the State House with the exception being the corner office.

Governor John Lynch, endorsed by union carpenters, won a fourth two-year term, unprecedented since colonial times.

The New Hampshire delegation going to Washington will have a significantly new look. Republican Kelly Ayotte defeated Congressman Paul Hodes in the race to replace Republican Judd Gregg.

The seat Hodes gave up to run for Senate was also lost to Republicans as Charlie Bass won a return ticket to Washington by defeating Ann Kuster. Bass had served six terms as a Congressman before being defeated by Hodes in 2006.

Carol Shea-Porter, surprise winner in the 2006 elections, also went down to defeat at the hands of Republican Frank Guinta.

Rhode Island

Carpenters in Rhode Island had targeted two races, one on the state level and one on the federal level.

Carpenters endorsed former Republican Senator turned Independent Gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chaffee, who was victorious. Chaffee defeated Republican John Robitaille and Democrat Frank Caprio. The son of long-time former Senator John Chaffee, Lincoln Chaffee left the GOP in 2007 after being defeated in a bid for re-election to the Senate by Sheldon Whitehouse.

Taking over Patrick Kennedy's seat in Congress will be David Cicilline, who defeated Republican John Loughlin. Cicilline was elected Mayor of Providence in 2003.

Vermont

The two targeted races in Vermont went in dramatically different directions, but in the end were both good news for union carpenters.
Democrat Peter Shumlin had to wait until 9 a.m. Wednesday before getting a call from Republican Brian Dube conceding the race for Governor of Vermont. The closely fought race came down to just a few thousand votes. Shumlin will take over for Jim Douglas who did not run for re-election to a fifth two-year term.
Senator Pat Leahy cruised to re-election over Republican Len Britton. His 33-point win sends him back to Washington for a seventh term. Leahy will be the second most senior member of the Senate in its next session.




New England resists national red tide Posted by on

A message from Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters:

Yesterday's election results indicated, once again, that voters in New England are independent thinkers and do not necessarily follow national trends. While Carpenter-endorsed candidates did not win every race in every state, they were overwhelmingly successful. Our efforts were critical in holding back the national Republican anti-union tide. Once again, the members of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters demonstrated their readiness to work hard on behalf of those politicians who have continued to defend workers rights in the most difficult economic and political environment of our lifetimes. Our members made signs, phone banked, attended rallies, knocked on doors and did all the crucial things that make up the ingredients of a winning campaign. I am as proud of our organization -- its members and its staff -- as I've ever been. Thank you all for your hard work. It paid off.




Mock Election held at Quinnipiac Posted by on


From Quad News/by Emily Morgan
11/2/10

Protesters Back on Mount Carmel
Election Day may have been Nov. 2, but protesters from the carpenter and steel workers unions wanted to get the vote a day earlier with their own election.

"We wanted to play off Election Day and find out Lahey's approval rating on campus," said Jeff Wolcheski, a business representative and organizer with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

Members of the Quinnipiac and Hamden communities driving up Mount Carmel Ave were met with the familiar sight of the protesters handing out flyers, but this time participants were asked to stop and cast their vote. In response to the question, "Do you approve of the way President Lahey handles construction projects on your campus?" voters could choose to mark either "approve" or "disapprove".

Responses were mainly verbal though, as the cool temperature kept participants from getting out of their cars to fill out a ballot, according to Wolcheski.

"Many of the people we've spoken to have said they disapprove," Wolcheski said.

The protesters are still looking to sit down with the Quinnipiac administration to discuss responsible employer language in the contracts the school gives to contractors they hire for their projects.

In September, Joe Rubertone, associate vice president for facilities administration, called Bruce Lydem, vice president and director of organizing for the Carpenters Local 24 union, to ask about the protests. According to Wolcheski, the phone call came after the school's Board of Trustees met at the university and saw the protesters.

While Lydem and Rubertone corresponded back and forth, protesters scaled down their activities. But on Sept. 28, all communication ceased, according to a press release sent out by William Jordan, a business representative and organizer for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. After this, protesters decided to ramp up their efforts again.

Protesters have been handing out leaflets along Mount Carmel Ave and at the North and South lot entrances to the university since June

"We're asking for a level playing field," Wolcheski said. "[The Quinnipiac community] deserves quality work on campus."

The Connecticut Department of Labor has already issued stop work orders against two contractors working on campus projects because of the illegal misclassification of employees as independent contractors, according to the press release sent out by Jordan.

"We have a solution to the misclassification," Wolcheski said. "We want to speak about responsible employers working on campus."

Wolcheski has said their protests are not about hiring union workers over nonunion workers.

"If Quinnipiac University was acting responsibly and hiring responsible contractors who abide by community standard wages, benefits, retirement packages and state and federal laws, we would not be out here right now," Jordan said in the press release.

Wolcheski compared Quinnipiac's hiring practices to Yale University.

"Yale doesn't allow third and fourth tiered subcontractors," Wolcheski said. "Quinnipiac wants to be in the same league [as Yale] but won't act with the same responsibility."

The university has no comment on the matter according to a statement by John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations.

In September, Joe Rubertone, associate vice president for facilities administration, called Bruce Lydem, vice president and director of organizing for the Carpenters Local 24 union, to ask about the protests. According to
Wolcheski, the phone call came after the school's Board of Trustees met at the university and saw the protesters.

While Lydem and Rubertone corresponded back and forth, protesters scaled down their activities. But on Sept. 28, all communication ceased, according to a press release sent out by William Jordan, a business representative and organizer for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. After this, protesters decided to ramp up their efforts again.
Protesters have been handing out leaflets along Mount Carmel Ave and at the North and South lot entrances to the university since June

"We're asking for a level playing field," Wolcheski said. "[The Quinnipiac community] deserves quality work on campus."

The Connecticut Department of Labor has already issued stop work orders against two contractors working on campus projects because of the illegal misclassification of employees as independent contractors, according to the press release sent out by Jordan.

"We have a solution to the misclassification," Wolcheski said. "We want to speak about responsible employers working on campus."

Wolcheski has said their protests are not about hiring union workers over nonunion workers.

"If Quinnipiac University was acting responsibly and hiring responsible contractors who abide by community standard wages, benefits, retirement packages and state and federal laws, we would not be out here right now," Jordan said in the press release.

Wolcheski compared Quinnipiac's hiring practices to Yale University.

"Yale doesn't allow third and fourth tiered subcontractors," Wolcheski said. "Quinnipiac wants to be in the same league [as Yale] but won't act with the same responsibility."

The university has no comment on the matter according to a statement by John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations.

Read the article on the Quad News website here.


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