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NJ Lt. Gov. Nominee On Christie: A Bully, Not A Leader

Democrat Barbara Buono’s selection of union leader Milly Silva to run for lieutenant governor transformed New Jersey’s governor’s race into a national referendum on working class issues and the labor movement.

Smart move. It drives me bonkers that so many of the New Jersey voters I know have fallen for Christie's "I yam what I yam" schtick (despite terrible economic policies), and it's got to help if the SEIU gets on board with the smart and progressive Barbara Buono:

For leaders of the nation’s largest union, Democrat Barbara Buono’s selection of union leader Milly Silva to run for lieutenant governor transformed New Jersey’s governor’s race into a national referendum on working class issues and the labor movement. That belief was reinforced by the Christie campaign’s dismissal of Silva yesterday as “wholly unqualified” and a “special-interest organizer.”

George Gresham, president of Service Employees International Union Local 1199 Healthcare Workers East, to which Silva belongs, pledged that the SEIU would go all out raising money and mobilizing volunteers to support Buono and Silva, the first labor leader to run for statewide office in New Jersey in 70 years.

“We see this not just as a New Jersey race, but as a national election focused directly on the needs of working people, especially now that we have a labor leader on the ticket who is a working mother and a Latina and understands the needs of working families,” Gresham said in an interview after Silva gave a rousing speech to a hotel ballroom packed mainly with union people.

“We are the largest union in the country, we have the largest political action committee of any union, and over 75 percent of our members make voluntary contributions to our political action fund because they know that politics has a distinct effect on their lives,” Gresham said. “We expect to raise considerable sums to make this campaign meaningful. The sky is the limit.”

Asked if the SEIU could raise several million dollars for the cash-starved Buono campaign and aligned independent expenditure committees, Gresham said, “That’s totally my expectation.”

As you know from yesterday's chat, Buono is also endorsed by Blue America. You can contribute here.

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