It seems that Wesley Chesbro will be announcing his candidacy for 1st District Assemblyman on June 21st at the Labor Temple. His campaign sent out slick invitations to select labor organizations asking for their endorsement/active support and attendance at his reception. I am sure he will be asking all the leaders for a picture photo op to show their backing. This is way before any labor organizations have sent invitations to prospective candidates to interview for union endorsement consideration. I hope local union representatives will hold off on making official announcements until all candidates are identified and interviewed.
Of course rumor has been out there on the labor scene of my potential candidacy for 1st District Assembly position. I ran unsuccessfully for the position in 1995, but had the most cost effective campaign during the election cycle that particular primary. I have been offered help from all political corners if I decide to challenge Mr. Chesbro. I have not made an official announcement one way or the other, and realize that it would be an uphill battle. But I would like to bring up topics near and dear to my heart locally, and it is a great public forum. Put up or shut up, and I am not good at the second.
I do have concern as a union member and union organizer of Mr. Chesbro’s record with labor. At the pulp mill over the years we have had labor and corporate issues that have been high profile over the years. I do not remember Wesley stepping up as a local leader from his County Supervisor seat or from his seat on the State Senate concerning over 200 prime paying jobs at the mill. I never heard a word of encouragement or acknowledgement of organizing success out at the Louisiana Pacific Chip facility or his support of the hundreds of Carpenter’s Western Council of Industrial Workers who lost their employment through labor actions and attrition. In his own Arcata based area the workers at Arcata Particleboard numbering 150 at the time were given no words of encouragement by Wesley’s office when I attempted to organize them. What exactly has Wesley done for labor?
Here is a quote that I will let you all guess who said it. I will give you a hint that he was a president of a labor organization: “Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”