Monday, June 29, 2009

Disciplining the apostate

One of the things that fascinates me about party politics is the tactics party actors use to punish or threaten officeholders who disappoint them. The ultimate weapon is firing the officeholder, either through the recall (where it's available) or through funding and supporting a primary challenger. But there are a number of other options short of this, including making fundraising more challenging.

Organized labor finds itself in such a situation in Colorado right now, with Gov. Ritter having recently dissed them quite publicly twice, despite their very generous support for him in 2006 and the fact that he's vulnerable in his reelection campaign. Labor is obviously upset. But what to do? Well, one thing they've done is to just be dickish to him. This was in evidence yesterday during a commemoration of the 1914 Ludlow Massacre. Not only did organizers neglect to include Ritter on the program, but when he finally spoke, they turned their backs on him.

The more forceful thing to do, of course, would be to run someone against him in next year's Democratic primary. Arguably, the state has swung leftward enough recently that a more liberal Democrat could still prevail statewide. Hell, "Boulder liberal" Mark Udall pulled that off last year. But who could they get to run for governor?

Denver Mayor Hickenlooper has claimed that he's been approached to run for governor, but that he's not interested. Of course, he neglected to say who approached him. It's a curious article. Is Hickenlooper just keeping his name in the fray? Was he actually approached by labor? Did labor just want to float the idea of Hickenlooper as a threat to Ritter, even if they don't plan to follow through?

And if not Hickenlooper, would anyone else be willing to take on Ritter?

9 comments:

dmarks said...

Colorado is one of those forced-unionization states. So the union is flush with money that it takes from people against their will.

Seth said...

Um, in what sense is Colorado a forced-unionization state?

Eric Rubin said...

seth - you should run!!!

dmarks said...

Colorado is one of the states where workers are forced to join unions against their will. That makes it a forced-unionization state.

Seth said...

Colorado, like 27 other states, allows for closed union shops, meaning that a business can make joining a union a precondition for hiring. If that's what you mean by forced-unionization, fine. But it's not like you have to join a union to get a job in Colorado. Less than 10% of Colorado's workforce is unionized.

dmarks said...

It would probably be even less if workers in those workplaces you mentioned had a choice of whether or not to join the union.

Anonymous said...

FORCED UNIONIZATION IS AGAINST GOD'S LAWS AND LEADS TO TEH GAY AND FRENCHNESS AND IS ONE STEP AWAY FROM FORCED ABORTIONIZATION WAKE UP SHEEPLE

Seth said...

Well spoken.

dmarks said...

Actually, closed shop violates worker's rights. But if you religion contradicts that, I will let you enjoy.