LIBN Column: Labor looks to sink Mangano

Kris LaGrange's picture
Aug 16, 2013

Big decisions were made July 22 at the unionized Hilton in Melville, where hundreds of union leaders representing scores of industries converged to hold their triennial convention.

These “masters of the workforces” reviewed successes, discussed defeats, elected leaders, compiled political agendas and, last but not least, endorsed political candidates for this year’s elections.

The biggest of the big decisions: The unions unanimously decided to endorse Tom Suozzi to replace Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.

Traditionally, high-ranking incumbents split union support during elections. But this year, the house of labor is not divided.

For some officeholders, mistreating public employees is commonplace, and as long as a few building projects go union and the police unions are pacified, savvy politicos can speak out of both sides of their mouths and claim the mantle of “labor’s candidate.”

But when politicians demean the public workforce, throw the trades a bone and barely placate the cops, it also creates a perfect storm of shady labor relations. This defines many morally shallow politicians, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who enjoys some trade union support while he works to eliminate collective bargaining for public workers.

Add Mangano to this sorry list.

Mangano has carried the agenda of the defunct Tea Party for too long. By not raising taxes, he’s eliminated services, closed precincts, promoted crime and basically stalled Sandy-recovery investments. Little infrastructure work has been done and several of his Sandy-related contractor awards are under investigation.

Meanwhile, Nassau’s Industrial Development Agency is handing out fat deals to out-of-state contractors.

Any wonder why labor unions are lining up behind Suozzi? Just wait – after the Democratic primary, police unions will do the same. And with labor’s help, Mangano’s dismal record will soon be in every newspaper, radio ad and mailbox in Nassau.

This unionized love-fest can make Suozzi the next executive, while proving that everyone benefits when labor unions work together.

And you don’t need a membership card to reap these benefits. Rising tides raise all ships, and right now, labor is looking to retire the sinking USS Mangano.

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