Smoot pro-union, really?

Published 11:09 pm Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In the Democratic primary runoff for the 7th Congressional District seat one candidate seems to say one thing in campaign literature, but her actions speak volumes about her stand.

Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot’s website makes a point of ensuring union workers that she is with them and she has “a long history of fighting for workers and workers rights.”

The campaign piece talks about her losing a job at a television station in Lansing, Mich. for her efforts to organize local auto workers in 1990.

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It would be interesting to see more than just a paragraph about stepping out of her role as a reporter for a television station into the realm of organizing auto workers in a region of Michigan where the UAW has been active since the late 1930s.

Despite her affinity for the worker and unions, Earl Hilliard Jr., an opponent who didn’t make the runoff, captured the majority of union endorsements during the primary, including that of the United Auto Workers.

Hilliard isn’t endorsing anyone.

That leaves Smoot to try to court labor to get its support to counter Selma native Terri Sewell’s astonishing fundraising ability.

Smoot has an arduous task getting labor to back her. She’s made a couple of fatal mistakes.

Before the primary election Smoot criticized the way the unions decided to interview candidates, something the devout aren’t about to overlook.

But the greatest sin of this self-proclaimed pro-union candidate rests in her campaign literature.

Recently, some pieces of campaign literature appeared in the district without the union bug appearing anywhere on it.

Pro-union? A bug isn’t that hard to get, Ms. Smoot.