Mayor Greg Ballard's campaign Facebooked that he had been endorsed by "all four" city AFSCME unions. Here's the post:
BallardforIndy: Proud to be endorsed by all 4 city AFSCME unions. This is the first time a candidate for Mayor was endorsed by all four.
That seems misleading. In fact, back in November of 2009, Melina Kennedy received the endorsement of the Local 1887 (Indy Parks). Here's a portion of the pertinent news release:
ENDORSEMENT: AFSCME Local 1887 (Indy Parks) Endorses Melina Kennedy
November 20, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2009
Indianapolis--Today, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1887 Indy Parks endorsed former Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Melina Kennedy's exploratory committee for mayor of Indianapolis. AFSCME Local 1887 President Shane Brinkman discussed the union’s unanimous endorsement and released the following statement:
“AFSCME Local 1887 Indy Parks has voted unanimously to endorse Melina Kennedy for the office of Mayor of Indianapolis. Melina Kennedy has been a friend of this union for over ten years, and everyday has worked hard for all the citizens of Indianapolis. We cannot think of any person to whom we would rather entrust the future of the parks in our community than Melina Kennedy. We look forward to working with [her] before and after the election.”
Kennedy thanked Brinkman and Local 1887. "AFSCME Local 1887 and its members display their profound commitment to this city everyday, and I am proud to accept their support," Kennedy added.
It's, in my opinion, a strange endorsement for the city unions to have tagged Ballard, and I hear, behind the scenes, that some local AFSCME members were not all that reassured by the Ballard Administration's unclear positions on right to work. I also hear that there's concern amongst some members that the Mayor's Chief of Staff, Chris Cotterill, may have drafted Governor Mitch Daniels' early executive order to end collective bargaining rights for state employees. Cotterill drafted many of Daniels early executive orders (see the fifth paragraph in that article).
I guess I Mayor Ballard should be ready for some snappy right to work and collective bargaining answers because he's going to be asked! Does this put him at odds with the Republicans at the Statehouse? If I were an AFSCME member, I would ask why hasn't the Mayor been at the protests?
I've been told the Local 1887 Indy Parks merged into one of the other unions. It still doesn't change the other questions about Mayor Ballard's positions on right to work.