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Firefighters Make it Official

Tim Craig

The Virginia Professional Firefighters Association, an influential labor organization, officially endorsed Terry McAuliffe in the Democratic primary for governor today at an event in Richmond.

R. Michael Mohler, the president of the association, said the union trusts McAuliffe to create more jobs as governor and run a vigorous campaign this year that will also help Democrats retake control of the House of Delegates.

"We understand the connection between a strong economy and our jobs," Mohler told about 100 union members, who were wearing yellow "Firefighters for McAuliffe" t-shirts. "We have to turn the power of the legislature over to the Democrats. We intend to take on Bill Howell ....We are going to take him out. The person who can do that is with us today, the person with us today obviously has the financial resources, he's got the network, he's got the vision, he's got the energy to get out the message - its about jobs."

During his speech, McAuliffe pledged to create more jobs and talked about the day he spent working as a firefighter in Fairfax County (see video below).

McAuliffe said he "will never forget" the fire fighters, even suggesting they could call him on his cell phone if he becomes governor.

"This is a big deal," McAuliffe said. "You are here. You are putting your effort behind me. I will be put my effort behind you. I promise you, no one will work harder for you. This is a partnership."


By Tim Craig  |  February 18, 2009; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Terry McAuliffe , Tim Craig  
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Comments

Today's event was great! Richmond weather was cold and windy but that wasn't enough to keep me from crossing the street from my office at the Bank of America building to express support. Good, solid endorsement from some of our hardworking heroes.

Posted by: robsmithiii | February 18, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I cross posted this at Left of the Hill and Blue Virginia...

The endorsement came from the VPFF Executive board . They were empowered by all of the regional directors (Regional VPs and Local Presidents) at the January board meeting.

The Alexandria local has endorsed Brian Moran.

The Charlottesville local endorsed Creigh Deeds.

It is customary for us to allow locals to endorse who they want to. We normally don't do primaries with out a compelling reason to jump in. Remember our national organization endorsed Chris Dodd for President quite early. OOPS!

Were I running for Governor I'd love to have VPFF's endorsement (and in fact I sure did get it when I ran for the HOD, twice, but then I really know the secret handshake).

Most of the other Locals are waiting.

There certainly is precedent tho. When then PWC BOCS Sean Connaughton (R) ran for Lt. Gov in '05 our Local in PW got the VPFF to endorse him in the primary. When he lost it was Kaine all the way for VPFF, but as they say "all politics is local".

There is an IAFF policy that prohibits union members from volunteering where they work. This is necessary to avoid Fair Labor Standards Act violations. If a fire fighter already works a 65+ hour week and then adds several more as a volunteer in the same locality that's an FLSA violation.

This is not to say that if you work in PWC you can't volunteer where you live outside the county.

Me. I'm for Creigh 100%.

And Creigh did get a few AFL/CIO Legislator of the Year Awards earlier in the year from the Cops and Building Trades organizations.

b

Posted by: bruce_roemmelt | February 19, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

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