Federal Politics

Published — October 4, 2010 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Gerry McEntee

Introduction

Labor unions face an extremely daunting political landscape in this year’s elections, which explains why veteran AFSCME president Jerry McEntee is working overtime on multiple fronts to mobilize his troops to get out the labor vote.

To ensure that Democrats keep control of the House and the Senate, McEntee’s 1.6 million member union has boosted its spending by 25 percent from 2006, to a hefty $50 million this time around.

AFSCME has some 250 staff currently working in the field and expects that number to grow to 300 by Election Day. McEntee says that about 75 percent of the group’s budget will be devoted to get-out-the-vote operations, with the rest going chiefly to advertising.

McEntee, 75, pulls no punches in regard to this year’s challenges: unemployment is stuck at around 9.5 percent, and Democrats are in danger of losing the House and perhaps even the Senate.

“A lot of our people are asking, ‘Why should we be enthusiastic?’ It’s still tough to build enthusiasm,” says McEntee. But McEntee, who has been at the helm of AFSCME for almost three decades, quickly adds that “people don’t want to go back to the world” of GOP leadership. “This is the race of our lives.”

Even though Congress and the Obama administration haven’t delivered on labor’s top priority — making it easier for workers to unionize workplaces — McEntee stresses that the Obama administration has registered significant accomplishments: “He’s had real success with health care as far as we’re concerned.”

McEntee’s clout in the labor movement extends well beyond AFSCME. Since 1995 he has chaired the AFL-CIO’s political committee, which this year is focusing heavily on the union’s coordinated national program with the SEIU to educate and mobilize some 17 million union voters.

McEntee also chairs Working America, a key unit of the AFL-CIO, which will pour another $25 million in soft money into mobilizing both nonunion workers and about three million AFL-CIO members who do not have collective bargaining relationships with their employers. “They have a great method of targeting and turning out nonunion members,” he said.

McEntee began his labor career in the late 1950s as an organizer in Philadelphia. His affinity for the labor movement comes naturally: His father was an AFSCME union leader in Pennsylvania.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.