The Other McCain

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Senate Rival Gary Glenn Calls on GOP’s Hoekstra to Disavow Hoffa Comments

Posted on | September 10, 2011 | 9 Comments

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) is up for re-election in 2012 and former Rep. Pete Hoekstra is the most prominent Republican to throw his hat in the ring to challenge Stabenow. But last month, veteran conservative activist Gary Glenn entered the GOP primary, and has not been afraid to hit Hoekstra’s record:

Noting Hoekstra’s votes for the $850 billion Wall Street bailout, earmarks such as the $223 million “Bridge to Nowhere,” and for budgets and debt ceiling increases that added trillions of dollars to the national debt, Glenn cited “Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
“Over the last twenty years, Debbie Stabenow and Pete Hoekstra have both voted for budgets and debt ceiling increases that resulted in trillions of dollars of crushing new debt on our economy and our children’s future,” Glenn said. ”A Democrat who’s been there 14 years, a Republican there 18 years in Congress and two more as a lobbyist, over three decades combined as part of the culture that got us where we are now. Is it rational to expect we’ll change the fiscal insanity in Washington by sending either one back there again?”

In the wake of outrageous comments this week by Teamsters boss James Hoffa Jr., Glenn is now calling attention to Hoekstra’s longstanding relationship to Hoffa. Here’s the press release from the Glenn campaign:

Right to Work advocate calls on Hoekstra to
publicly disavow Hoffa threat to Tea Parties

MIDLAND, Mich. — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gary Glenn, Midland, who has championed Right to Work legislation banning compulsory unionism, Wednesday said fellow GOP Senate candidate former Rep. Pete Hoekstra — because of his close relationship with Teamsters union president James Hoffa, Jr. — should publicly disavow Hoffa’s Labor Day comments in Detroit that some have interpreted as threatening violence against members of the Tea Party movement.
Glenn cited comments Monday in which Hoffa, referring to Tea Party activists, told a Labor Day rally, “Let’s take these son of a bitches out.”
“Given Pete Hoekstra’s opposition to Right to Work and his cozy relationship and past endorsements by Hoffa and other Teamster union bosses, Pete needs to make clear to the public that his deafening silence does not indicate approval of his friend Jimmy Hoffa’s threats,” Glenn said.
“I urge Pete to join me in publicly condemning Hoffa’s violent rhetoric and use his cozy relationship to press Hoffa to retract those threats and expressly disavow actual violence against the patriotic Americans who make up the Tea Party movement,” Glenn said.
“While he’s at it, Pete should disavow his own opposition to freeing American employees from the compulsory ‘pay up or you’re fired’ unionism enforced by Hoffa and other Big Labor bosses, and join the 82 percent of Michigan Republicans who support Right to Work legislation.”
Glenn, a speaker at the first Tea Party rally in Midland in April 2009 and at dozens of Tea Party rallies and meetings since, led the campaign that succeeded in passing a Right to Work law in Idaho in the 1980s and is a founding member of the recently-launched Michigan Freedom to Work coalition, which is pushing the same legislation in Lansing.

Hoekstra opposes Right to Work legislation and has been endorsed and funded by Teamsters union officials in his past campaigns for Congress and, most recently, in his 2010 GOP primary campaign for governor.

The New Republic magazine called Hoekstra “Hoffa’s greatest booster.”,0

According to the Teamsters’ website, Hoekstra in 2006 “lauded the Teamsters…at the union’s 27th International Convention for being the ‘voice of America’s workers’ with the unique ability to get things done. ‘American workers need a voice for equality and fairness, and that’s you,’ Hoekstra told the more than 7,000 convention delegates. Hoffa called Hoekstra in return “a true friend of the Teamsters.”

Veteran political reporter Tim Skubick wrote during the 2010 gubernatorial race that Hoekstra’s “close relationship with Teamster’s head Jimmy Hoffa Jr. is Hoekstra’s ace in the hole.”

Hoffa told ABC News in 2000: “Because of our contact with Hoekstra, he has now taken himself out of any endorsement of national Right to Work laws. So this type of dialogue is paying benefits with the Republicans.”

In 2007, Hoekstra joined Sen. Debbie Stabenow and then Sen. Barack Obama in cosponsoring legislation that by federal mandate would have forced every state, county, city, township, and village in America of at least 5,000 in population to unionize its firefighters, police officers, and paramedics. HR 980:

Opposed by the National Right to Work Committee as well as by the National Association of Counties and the National League of Cities, the legislation would have funneled hundreds of millions of more compulsory dues dollars into the coffers of the Teamsters, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and other unions that represent government employees. In 28 states without Right to Work protections, including Michigan, union membership and/or financial support is compulsory as a condition of employment.

In 2009, Hoekstra said on public television’s Off the Record with Tim Skubick:I think it would be a bad idea to put (Right to Work) on the ballot. I don’t know if it would pass or not. I’d probably not vote for it.”

During the 2010 race for governor, the Center for Michigan reported that Hoekstra was the only Republican candidate who — in response to the candidate survey question, “Should Michigan become a Right-to-Work state?” — joined Democrats Virg Bernero and Andy Dillon in answering “no.”

Dome magazine in Lansing reported of Hoekstra: “The Hollander refused to sign a no-tax pledge and declared he wouldn’t vote for a ballot initiative on Right to Work, seen as the holy grail by business groups, a powerful Republican constituency.”

The website of Republican students at Western Michigan University reported simply, “Hoekstra opposes Right to Work.”


9 Responses to “Senate Rival Gary Glenn Calls on GOP’s Hoekstra to Disavow Hoffa Comments”

  1. Kehoe
    September 10th, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

    Any pol in Eastern Michigan who has been in office more than one term is tight with the unions. They believe they have to be. Not an excuse for this just saying people outside the state should know this about any of these people. They are scared to death of the union  

  2. Anonymous
    September 10th, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

    Understood, but isn’t this like saying politicians in the South had to be “tight” with the Klan 50 years ago? I mean, the power and influence of the unions is never going to be defeated if no one ever dares to challenge them. 

  3. Kehoe
    September 10th, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

    Oh I agree completely…..I guess what I should say is any incumbent in E.MI is a problem the longer in office the worse the problems. Maybe I didn’t do a good job explaining myself I was trying to expand upon your post by pointing out this guy isn’t unique here. He is actually very well thought of even amoung Repubs. We need fresh faces here badly. My district rep (D) won in 10 by not campaining in person. In his defence he’s 80 and uses a walker, yes it is that bad here we make Taxachussets look red.

  4. Adjoran
    September 10th, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

    The absolute most that can be achieved is reelecting Stabenow. 

    The purists want to fight every battle right now, this cycle, and the world never works that way.  If we divert the issues from jobs to Social Security, we’re giving Obama a chance.  If the race in Michigan becomes a referendum on unions instead of a review of Stabenow and the Democrats’ economic record, her reelection chances improve dramatically.

    Remember that when Henry Clay declared in the Senate, “I would rather be right than President!” he got his wish.

    Besides, when “purists” have been nominated, they haven’t exactly done their causes proud lately, have they?  O’Donnell, Angle, Buck, Maes, Miller . . . losers every one.  Only in South Carolina, where Republicans were already in firm control of the state and already tired of their own establishment, was a pure reformer able to win both the nomination and election – and Haley isn’t exactly governing like a reformer, not so much a Sanfordian as clearing out the old establishment for some new blood.

    I’m sure the comparison of unions to the KKK will help Glenn a lot in Michigan, too.

  5. Anonymous
    September 10th, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    The drumbeat calling for the election of anything calling itself a Republican is growing tiresome. If the Republican party doesn’t stand for conservative principles it might just as well fall. You can’t turn a blue state red by electing blue Republicans. One of the reasons Blue states are so consistently blue is because there are not enough significant differences between the two parties candidates.  

  6. Anonymous
    September 10th, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    All these strategerizin’ types seem to ignore the fact that the 2012 elections are the best opportunity in fifty years for changing the game, because the country is in an anti-big-spending mood, if not downright anti-marxist mood.

    You don’t get if you don’t try.

  7. DaveO
    September 10th, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    Adjoran: the trend of the last several months has been Establishmentarians picking fights with TEA Partiers/non-conformists.

    Conformity versus fiscal ideological purity: which would you have?

    At the end of the day, is it worth it to the US to keep Michigan as a state, or ‘decertify’ back into a territory and place it under federal control until the people figure it out. 

  8. Anonymous
    September 10th, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

    Hoekstra was a lot more conservative when I helped vote him into office waaaay back in the day.  For a former executive at a decidedly non-union company, Hoekstra has disappointed. 

  9. Anonymous
    September 11th, 2011 @ 2:11 am

    This is why they should be primaried often.