Are you wondering how much muscle the unions brought to bear on the Wal-Mart bill that just cleared the Maryland General Assembly?
Consider Del. Joseph J. "Sonny" Minnick (D), a restaurant owner who represents a blue collar district east of Baltimore. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is popular there. So are the unions. After all, the district was at one time home to factories for Bethlehem Steel, General Motors, Western Electric and Lever Brothers, a soap manufacturer.
Minnick did not vote last year when the House of Delegates approved the bill that would effectively force Wal-Mart to pay more for employee health benefits. And Ehrlich was counting on his vote Thursday to help sustain his veto of the bill.
Then, Minnick started hearing from the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Service Employees Interational Union. He got a call at home from a union official in New Jersey whose mother worked on Minnick's campaign. E-mail arrived from members of construction trades. The day before the vote, he said he arrived at his Annapolis office to find 10 U.S. Steel workers waiting in his office.
Wednesday night, he said, a fellow delegate from the district received a call on his cell phone from Teamsters president James P. Hoffa.
Minnick said he "anguished over it" before dialing up the governor.
"I told him I was going the other way," Minnick said. "He was not happy, but he understood."
SEE HOW YOUR LAWMAKER VOTED....
Here's a look at how Washington area lawmakers voted on overturning Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s veto of a bill requiring Wal-Mart to spend more money on employee health care.
YES: Dels. Virginia P. Clagett (D), Michael E. Busch (D), Mary Ann Love (D). NO: Dels. David G. Boschert (R), Joan Cadden (D), Robert A. Costa (R), Donald H. Dwyer Jr. (R), Terry R. Gilleland Jr. (R), John R. Leopold (R), Tony McConkey (R), Herbert. H. McMillan (R), Theodore J. Sophocleus (D); Sens. John C. Astle (D), James E. DeGrange (D), Janet Greenip (R), Philip C. Jimeno (D)
YES: Del Galen R. Clagett (D). NO: Dels. Joseph R. Bartlett (R), Patrick N. Hogan (R), Paul S. Stull (R); Sens. David R. Brinkley, Sen. Alex X. Mooney (R). ABSENT: Richard B. Weldon Jr. (R).
YES: Dels. Elizabeth Bobo (D), James E Malone (D), Shane E. Pendergrass (D), Neil F. Quinter (D), Frank S. Turner (D) Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer (D). NO: Dels. Gail H. Bates (R), Steven J. DeBoy Sr. (D), Warren E. Miller (R); Sens. Allan H. Kittleman (R), Sandra Schrader (R).
YES: Dels. Charles E. Barkley (D), Kumar P. Barve (D), William A. Bronrott (D), Jean B. Cryor (R), Kathleen M. Dumais (D), Brian J. Feldman (D), Peter Franchot (D), Marilyn R. Goldwater (D), Michael R. Gordon (D), Ana Sol Gutierrez (D), Henry B. Heller (D), Sheila E. Hixson (D), Anne R. Kaiser (D), Nancy J. King (D), Jane E. Lawton (D), Susan C. Lee (D), Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D), Adrienne A. Mandel (D), Karen S. Montgomery (D), Gareth E. Murray (D), Carol S. Petzold (D), Luiz R.S. Simmons (D), Joan F. Stern (D), Herman L. Taylor II (D); Sens. Jennie M. Forehand (D), Brian E. Frosh (D), Robert J. Garagiola (D), Sharon Grosfeld (D), P. J. Hogran (D), Roma Kramer (D), Ida Ruben (D), Leonard H. Teitelbaum (D)
PRINCE GEORGE'S (All Democrats)
YES: Dels. Joanne C. Benson, Anthony G. Brown, Mary A. Conroy, Dereck E. Davis, Barbara A. Frush, Tawanna P. Gaines, Melony G. Griffith, Anne Healey, Marvin E. Holmes Jr., Carolyn J.B. Howard, James W. Hubbard, Darryl A. Kelley Pauline H. Menes, Brian R. Moe, Doyle L. Niemann, Rosetta C. Parker, Obie Patterson, James E. Proctor Jr., Victor R. Ramirez, Justin D. Ross, Veronica L. Turner, Joseph F. Vallario Jr., Michael L. Vaughn; Sens. Gwendolyn T. Britt, Ulysses Currie, Nathanial Exum, John A. Giannetti Jr., Leo E. Green, Gloria G. Lawlah, Paul G. Pinsky
YES: Dels. John L. Bohanan Jr. (D), Sue Kullen (D); Sens. Roy P. Dyson (D), Thomas M. Middleton (D), Thomas V. Mike Miller (D)
NO: Dels. Sally Y. Jameson (D), Murray D. Levy (D), W. Daniel Mayer (R), Anthony J. O'Donnell (R), John F. Wood Jr. (D)
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