Skip to comments.Bush, Hoffa Relationship Grows Cozy
Posted on 01/30/2002 2:36:29 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
WASHINGTON (AP) - Teamsters President James P. Hoffa's growing relationship with President Bush has gotten downright cozy.
Hoffa scored a VIP seat in the first lady's box for Bush's State of the Union speech, blurring the lines of the traditional rivalry between Republicans and organized labor.
Hoffa said Wednesday that it was a great honor to be asked.
"We have a growing relationship and we're very proud of that," Hoffa said in an interview.
Hoffa and Bush have been courting each other for some time and with varying motives. Their staffs talk to each other weekly. The Teamsters even employ former Bush campaign consultant Tony Feather as a lobbyist.
"We have many areas in common and we've worked very close together with the administration on those areas," Hoffa said.
The Teamsters support drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because of the new jobs it could create. Opening the refuge to drilling is a component of Bush's energy plan, which won House approval last year after aggressive lobbying by the Teamsters.
Bush made a public appearance at the Teamsters' headquarters about two weeks ago to promote the bill, which awaits a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
At the same time, the Teamsters have stepped up efforts to persuade the administration to end the government's 13-year supervision intended to rid the union of organized crime. The Bush administration earlier this month relaxed financial oversight of the union.
Hoffa's ability to play both sides of the aisle is nothing new. The union flirted with Republicans in the 2000 election before throwing its hat to Democrat Al Gore, and it has made known its openness to supporting Republicans in congressional elections this year.
But Hoffa's State of the Union seat of honor was criticized by one conservative group.
"James Hoffa's views supporting forced union membership are anti-ethical to those of George W. Bush, who pledged during his campaign his opposition to the practice of forcing workers to pay union dues as a job condition," said Mark Mix, senior vice president of the National Right to Work Committee.
Please explain, I'd be curious to know what list of accomplishments your father's Republican Party racked up.
Hope they are keeping an eye on the pension funds.. Just one big ATM machine to mobsters.
He's right. They are totally incompatible here.
Hoffa and his nutcases think people should pay for the *right* to work for a particular company, Dubya has stated otherwise.
I would so like to see the Unions broken. They simply act like leeches, bleeding cash from their hosts.
Of course, their hosts are too stupid to realize this is what's happening to them.. They are content to have union middlemen there to take their hard earned cash, keep them from promotions and raises based on merit and otherwise reduce them to clock punching robot status.
And the Federal government is the biggest Union employer of all. I wish I had saved those stats I saw posted the other day, something like < 10% of revenue for the unions actually goes to negotiate for the workers..
A gigantic scam, Jessie Jackson would be proud.
The GOP should court the UNION vote just as hard as it does te Hispanic vote.
Ain't nothing wrong with working Americans who carry lunch pails and wear blue collars...
Oh my gosh! It's time the for Demorats to insist on handing over all the union's notes and papers plus an investigation!
I guess your father didn't vote for Ronald Reagan. Reagan had the endorsement of the Teamsters.
There's nothing wrong with a real working man. It's the ideologues who run the union and misuse the union dues who are the trouble-makers.
Don't forget the Teamsters supported Ronald Reagan so I'm really not surprised they are working so well with GWB. Our membership is about 40/60, GOP to RAT. And besides, it was former Teamsters President Ron Carey who was in bed with X42. There was a tremendous amount of money going to the DNC- I'm sure not all of it was legal. That relationship nearly bankrupted the Teamsters. Hoffa will do fine, just him a chance. He's a good guy!