Ok, this is kinda funny. It seems the union leadership is falling for his tagline all over again. “Trust Chafee”.
Last year, after hours of hearings and discussion the General Assembly passed a pension reform bill and Governor Chafee signed it into law. This move quickly drew the ire of the unions who supported is candidacy and helped him get into the Governor’s seat. In November 2011, GoLocalProv’s Dan McGowan reported:
“…top union officials say the Governor has gone back on his word by supporting a complete overhaul of the system”
“We like Candidate Chafee’s plan much better than Governor Chafee’s plan,” [NEARI’s Robert] Walsh told GoLocalProv in October.
However, not much more than a year later, Governor Chafee seems to be having some second thoughts about going back on his word to labor with the bill he signed.
Governor Chafee thinks it is a good idea for the state to sit down with the unions and discuss negotiating the pension law as it goes to court. WJAR’s TurnToTen.com site reported:
“Some have said that now is not the time for negotiation,” Chafee said. “I disagree. The state has leverage only so long as there is still uncertainty as to the outcome of this case.”
Chafee met Tuesday with Bob Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, and George Nee, president of the AFL-CIO. Walsh said specifics weren’t discussed but Chafee expressed interest in striking a compromise.
Wondering how the discussions went?
“We’re right where we want to be with the governor,” Walsh said of the hour-long discussion. “It was a good first date.”
So if I have this straight, before he was Governor, Linc Chafee reportedly made some promises to some people in the area of labor. Then he got elected, went back on those promises. Now he sees that he’s stabbed the labor people in the back and realizes he’ll probably need at least their support to get re-elected in 2014 so he’s trying the whole scheme all over again. If that doesn’t sound crazy enough that Linc Chafee is trying it, the crazier part is it seems that the same people are believing it.
Like they say, politics makes strange bedfellows.