The Committee on Political Education (C.O.P.E.) met this Saturday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to endorse candidates statewide including Iowa’s U.S. Senate and Congressional Districts. Since the advent of the 2016 C.O.P.E. Convention yielded a “No Endorsement” in the first congressional district, individual unions are free to issue individual endorsements: Today the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) in Iowa did just that. Iowa State Council of Machinists President John Herrig released the following statement:
“Today it is my great pleasure to announce that the Iowa State Council of Machinists—with District Lodge 6 and all its affiliated local lodges—is giving its full endorsement to Pat Murphy, candidate for Iowa’s First Congressional District. Pat has worked tirelessly fighting alongside labor to help ensure better lives for not just union members, but for working families in all walks of life; and, he has the record to show it.
Pat is not a newcomer to his working family values, they stretch back over more than 25 years and that is the kind of stability that we need and look for in a candidate. Although Ms. Vernon is a capable candidate and is with us on many of our issues now, this has not always been the case. It comes down to who do you feel comfortable with and who do you trust to not just say the right things, but to also follow up with doing the right things, [regardless of those actions’ popularity or chances for success]. There is only one person in this race who has consistently followed through on what he said he would do; that person is Pat Murphy.”
The Machinists voted to endorse Murphy at their State Council Meeting on February 7, 2016 after both Murphy and Vernon addressed the council on the preceding Saturday session. However, according to Herrig, the council held back from going public until after the C.O.P.E. Convention. “It is long held that union locals, districts, and councils hold off and not do formal endorsements because the Iowa Federation of Labor (IFL) is the unions’ political body that facilitates such actions. We respect that process and the IFL and the important role it serves. When the delegates voted to make no endorsement for CD001 it freed us up to make this announcement today.”