New York: Murphy Scores Key Support From Unions

Posted March 4, 2009 at 6:29pm

Two major public employee unions on Wednesday endorsed venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) in the 20th district special election. The Civil Service Employees Association, which is the New York affiliate of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the New York State United Teachers, which is affiliated with both major national teachers’ unions and the AFL-CIO, cast their lot with the Democrat over state Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R).

Although it isn’t all that surprising to see organized labor backing Democrats, there was some speculation that the public employee unions would remain neutral in the race because Tedisco represents so many state employees in his state legislative district.

But CSEA President Danny Donohue said Murphy would bring “fresh perspective— to Congress.

Meanwhile, both candidates held major fundraisers Wednesday — and their surrogates were harshly critical.

The National Republican Congressional Committee accused Murphy of hypocrisy for his fundraiser with Democratic Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday evening.

“Scott Murphy’s lack of hesitation to share the stage with tax dodger [New York Rep.] Charlie Rangel and big spender [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi [Calif.] shows just how desperate and hypocritical he is,— NRCC spokesman Ken Spain said. “Murphy is quick to criticize career politicians, but he has no problem running to them for support and cash to funnel to his campaign.—

But the New York State Democratic Party took a swipe at Tedisco, urging him to back out of his Wednesday night fundraiser with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, given Steele’s recent praise for broadcaster Rush Limbaugh.

The harsh rhetoric should continue through the election on March 31.