On the campaign trail

— The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) America’s largest federation of labor unions, released its list of endorsements last week, and, not surprisingly, the candidates were overwhelmingly democratic.

Among the endorsed candidates running for New York State Assembly in Central New York were William Magee, Al Stirpe and Sam Roberts. The union did not endorse a local candidate for State Senate.

In the congressional races, the AFL-CIO endorsed Democrats Dan Maffei for Congress and Kirsten Gillibrand for Congress.

“The endorsement of the New York State AFL-CIO is not just a piece of paper,” said Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, in a release. “We will coordinate grassroots campaigns and get out the vote efforts throughout the state to ensure that our members understand the critical issues in these elections and just how important it is that they get to the polls and support our endorsed candidates.”

The AFL-CIO is made up of 56 national and international unions, together representing more than 11 million workers.

In addition, the Civil Service Employees Union released a limited slate of endorsements Thursday, Aug. 23, cutting the number of candidates it supports by a wide margin.

“Many lawmakers who have long enjoyed CSEA support will not have it this year because they abandoned the working people of this state," said CSEA President Danny Donohue. "CSEA is holding lawmakers accountable for their actions. The CSEA endorsement has to be earned or else it has no meaning.”

According to its release, “the limited endorsements come following extensive review within CSEA. For two years, lawmakers rubber-stamped state budgets that undermined state operations, and shortchanged localities and schools and they forfeited oversight responsibility on important public policy issues. They also imposed a property tax cap that is causing fiscal chaos in local government and school district budgets. Additionally, lawmakers made a dark deal with Gov. Andrew Cuomo last spring trading support for onerous and unnecessary public employee pension tier changes in exchange for favorable legislative redistricting.”

CSEA has thrown its support in the 2012 race behind Gillibrand and Maffei, as well as Stirpe and Roberts.

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