“As Vermonters rally behind the Wisconsin public employees’ fight to retain their collective bargaining rights, the Vermont Republican Party is inviting the architect of much of what is playing out right now in Wisconsin to come to Vermont and spread his anti-worker, anti-middle-class message here,” said VSEA President Bob Hooper.
VSEA & VT AFL-CIO Call On Vermont Republican Party
To Rescind Reince Priebus Invitation
The Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA) and the Vermont AFL-CIO are calling on Vermont Republican Party (VRP) Chair Pat McDonald to rescind an invitation to newly elected Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Reince Priebus to speak at an April 13 VRP event at the Hilton in Burlington.
Prior to being elected RNC Chair in January 2011, Priebus was chair of Wisconsin’s Republican Party and is largely credited with helping get Scott Walker elected Governor and helping lay the groundwork for the current war being waged on workers’ collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin.
“As Vermonters rally behind the Wisconsin public employees’ fight to retain their collective bargaining rights, the Vermont Republican Party is inviting the architect of much of what is playing out right now in Wisconsin to come to Vermont and spread his anti-worker, anti-middle-class message here,” said VSEA President Bob Hooper. “VSEA thinks this sends the wrong message right now to working Vermonters and we are asking the Vermont Republican Party to rescind its invitation to Mr. Priebus and instead educate him about why a large majority of Vermonters—and Americans—support collective bargaining rights for public employees.”
Vermont AFL-CIO President Jill Charbonneau reminded that just a few weeks ago, the Vermont House overwhelmingly passed a strongly worded resolution supporting collective bargaining rights for Wisconsin public employees.
“By a two to one margin, Vermont representatives denounced what’s going on in Wisconsin right now, so it should be pretty clear that Mr. Priebus’ beliefs are not shared by a large majority of Vermonters,” Charbonneau added.
Charbonneau said the AFL-CIO and VSEA are also concerned about some of the allegations leveled against Priebus by Wisconsin organizations like One Wisconsin Now, whose director warned after Priebus’ election “Now that Reince Priebus will have the RNC’s treasury at his disposal, those across the country interested in fair and clean elections will be on high alert.”
“Is Reince Priebus’ message really one that a majority of Vermonters—Republican. Democrat or Progressive—will embrace, or would even invite?” asked Charbonneau. “We don’t think so, and we call on Ms. McDonald to please rescind the invitation.”
Hooper agreed, adding “I am shocked this is the image the Party wants to project right now to working Vermonters, many of whom enjoy good working relationships with Vermont’s Republican legislators.