Executive Board Endorses Barack Obama for President
APWU News Bulletin #02-2008, April 9, 2008 | PDF
The APWU National Executive Board has voted unanimously to endorse Barack Obama for president. “Sen. Obama’s message is one of hope and change,” said union President William Burrus. “His message is special, and the timing is right.”
"We believe he will be a strong advocate for working people, and we believe he can win the nomination and the election."
“We are most impressed by Sen. Obama’s commitment to eradicating the undue influence of special interests in the political process,” Burrus said. “Our current political system does not allow for the voices of citizens to be heard over the demands of corporate lobbyists and big-money campaign contributors.
“Sen. Obama has vowed to change that, and his campaign has flourished through the participation of new voters and small contributors,” Burrus said. “We believe he will be a president who will strongly represent the interests of working Americans.”
“His ability to bring new participants into our nation’s democratic process — to get young people involved and to persuade ordinary citizens that they have a real stake in politics — is an inspiration.”
Deciding Not to Defer
Early in the primary season the board postponed making an endorsement, opting to wait until the parties selected their nominees. “But events — and the calendar — lead to the decision to act now,” Burrus noted.
“At the beginning of the process we did not anticipate that Sen. McCain would emerge as the Republican nominee five months before the GOP convention, while Democrats continue to vie for their party’s nomination.”
Why Not McCain?
Serious consideration was given to all of the remaining candidates, Burrus said.
“Although John McCain has served our country well as a warrior and as a U.S. Senator, he has been steadfast in conservative philosophies that are abhorrent to working people.”
“McCain favors privatization and he has voted to privatize federal jobs. He was a strong supporter of NAFTA and the exportation of American jobs,” Burrus said. “He also supports the continued misadventure in Iraq and opposes healthcare reform. He is a strong believer in trickle-down economics — the theory that if taxes for the wealthy are slashed, average workers will benefit from the increased spending by those ‘above’ them.”
“Sen. Clinton has a proud and effective record as a public servant,” Burrus noted. “The main reason for refraining from endorsing the New York senator is because her campaign is based upon her intent to achieve change through the political system as it now exists, where every act of government is influenced by political lobbyists,” he observed.
“Sen. Clinton has willingly accepted contributions from special interests, and these contributions do not come without a price. Despite her best intentions, under the current system she would be thwarted in many of her initiatives,” Burrus concluded. “Her attempts in the early 1990s to establish national healthcare offers a textbook example of how the system resists change, and how no single individual is sufficiently powerful to effect fundamental improvements.”
“The Democratic race is still competitive,” Burrus said, “but Sen. Obama has a clear lead in delegates and in the popular vote. We believe he will be a strong advocate for working people, and we believe he can win the nomination and the election.
“We are pleased to endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president of the United States,” Burrus said, “and we will commit our energy and efforts to help him win the White House. We encourage APWU members to volunteer to assist the Obama campaign and VOTE.”
The next primaries: Pennsylvania (April 22); Guam (May 3); Indiana and North Carolina (May 6); West Virginia (May 13); Kentucky and Oregon (May 20); Puerto Rico (June 1); and Montana and South Dakota (June 3).