Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nurses Union and 7 Other Unions Endorse Craig Johnson for State Senate

The New York Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU) has endorsed Craig Johnson over Maureen O'Connell, an ex-nurse, in the Feb 6 special election for an open State Senate seat in northwestern Nassau County. O'Connell has been playing up her record as an ex-nurse in her run for office. This rebuttal comes as O'Connell is refusing to release an audit of her office, raising questions about her record as Nassau County Clerk.

Here's the press release:
More Momentum as Eight Unions Endorse Johnson

Nurses union endorses Johnson over Ex-Nurse O'Connell as best health care advocate

Momentum continued to build for Democrat Craig Johnson's campaign for the State Senate today as eight unions simultaneously announced their endorsements, six days before Election Day. The unions praised Johnson's plans to make Nassau County more affordable by cutting property taxes for working families and making health care more affordable.

The most unexpected endorsement came from the New York Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU), which passed over Johnson's opponent, Maureen O'Connell, who describes herself as "a registered nurse."

Naomi Zauderer, the Executive Director of NYPNU said, "As nurses, we believe nothing is more important than ensuring high quality, affordable health care for every New Yorker. Craig Johnson shares our deep commitment to this goal."

"Craig Johnson also takes an unapologetically aggressive stance when it comes to protecting nurses and all health professionals from political extremists who would do them harm as they perform their duties. While we do not take a position on stem cell research, as nurses who understand the importance of educating the public, we respect the commitment that Craig Johnson has shown to presenting this complex issue factually, clearly, and completely. For these reasons, and because he has demonstrated a deep understanding of the core values we hold as nurses, we endorse Craig Johnson for State Senator."

In 1998, the same year that a doctor who performed abortions was gunned down outside Buffalo, O'Connell voted against the Health Care Facilities Anti-Violence Act.

The other unions who endorsed Johnson include:
  • Communication Workers of America (CWA), District 1;
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), District Council 9;
  • Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU);
  • United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Local 1500;
  • United Auto Workers, Region 9A;
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 32BJ; and
  • the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association (PBA)
Chris Shelton, Vice-President of CWA, District 1, said "For working people, the choice is clear: Craig Johnson will help Long Island families struggling to pay for health care, housing and a college education for their children. These are issues that matter, and that's why we support Craig Johnson."

Joe Ramaglia, the Business Manager for IUPAT District Council 9, said, "Our members know Craig Johnson as a long time ally of working people and strongly supported him for our endorsement. Craig fought in the county legislature for the Nassau County living wage law and he'll keep fighting for our members as our State Senator. We're working to send Craig to Albanyso he can lower our taxes, raise our living standards and create a better life for working people here and across the entire state."

Nassau PBA President Gary DelaRaba said, "Craig Johnson has a strong record of being tough on crime, getting more cops on the streets and protecting our children. In the county legislature, Craig wrote laws to protect children from sexual predators and from the dangers of pesticides and second hand smoke."

Stuart Appelbaum, President of RWDSU said, "As a County Legislator, Craig worked closely with County Executive Tom Suozzi to turn around the finances of Nassau County and bring back fiscal responsibility. In Albany, Craig will support Governor Eliot Spitzer's push to reform Albany and the way our government works. We need that kind of leadership in the New York State Senate."

Mike Fishman, SEIU Local 32BJ President said, "Craig Johnson is a friend to working families. In the Nassau County Legislature, he helped pass a living wage law, and he supports strengthening this important measure. In Albany, Craig Johnson will keep fighting for higher standards for workers here on Long Island and across the state."

Dwight Loines, Political Director of UAW, Region 9A said, "Lots of our members grew up here on Long Island - but it's not clear how our kids are going to be able to raise families here, if property taxes keep rising. High property taxes are also tough on seniors with fixed incomes. Craig Johnson grew up here, and he's raising his kids here, and he understands how important it is to be able to keep families together."

Pat Purcell, Organizing Director of UFCW Local 1500 said, "Long Island has some of the greatest public schools in the country. That's one reason so many of us love to live here. Craig Johnson will fight hard to make sure we get our fair share of state funding to keep our schools the best they can be."

Craig Johnson responded, "I'm thrilled to have all this support from labor. All of the best things about Long Island come from our strong, large middle class. There isn't a better tool in America for growing the ranks of the middle class than the labor movement. When I get to Albany, I'm going to be the strongest advocate for making Long Island, and all of New York, a great place to live for hard working families."

Johnson is the Democratic and Working Families candidate for the 7th Senate District seat vacated by Michael Balboni. Balboni resigned from his seat to serve as Director of Homeland Security under Governor Spitzer.

The district encompasses the entire town of North Hempstead. It also includes the communities of Elmont, Floral Park, South Floral Park, Stewart Manor, Bellerose, Franklin Square, and part of Hicksville.

Johnson has also been endorsed by Governor Eliot Spitzer, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer; U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Lt. Governor David A. Paterson, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, State Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli, People for the American Way and The New York Times.
7 days until Election Day!

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