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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (L) speaks at a campaign rally with Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in Exeter, New Hampshire January 8, 2012.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
This is ... let's start with "short-sighted" and go on from there. The Laborers' International Union of North America apparently plans to endorse New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for a second term. coverage focuses heavily on one leader of the union:
Ray Pocino is vice president of the LIUNA region including New Jersey, New York City and Delaware. An endorsement would come from LIUNA’s 20,000 members in New Jersey, who are mostly work in heavy and highway construction and building construction.

LIUNA spokesman Rob Lewandowski declined to comment.

“It’s common knowledge here that he’s expected to endorse the governor,” Assemblyman Thomas Giblin (D-Essex) said. “The governor has worked hard at that relationship, appointing him to the Port and Turnpike authorities.”

One hopes that Pocino's support alone doesn't translate directly into the union's endorsement. And it's questionable strategy to endorse Christie before it's even clear what the Democratic primary field looks like, let alone who will challenge him.

But this could be a Christie strategy bearing fruit; at the same time as he has fought to weaken public sector unions, Christie has sought to divide the labor movement by courting some private sector unions, particularly in the building trades, touting construction projects he supports. Never mind the ones he halts and the ones he lies about his reasons for opposing.

Endorsing a guy who currently looks like a sure winner and says he'll help get jobs—in the short term, at least—for the members of your union is almost understandable. But to get from almost to understanding, you have to forget about the part where Christie's tax policy benefits corporations and the wealthy, not working people, and the part where there's a decent chance that in 2016 he'll be running to lead a party openly seeking the destruction of unions, bringing his war with public sector unions as one of his chief credentials in a Republican primary. Like I said, short-sighted is just the beginning of the problems with this.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 03:14 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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