Sen. Tim Kaine a Former Civil Rights Lawyer Who Respects Workers’ Rights
According to the U.S. Constitution, the vice president has three required duties. Of those, two are largely ceremonial. The most important is casting a tie-breaking vote if the U.S. Senate is deadlocked.
Casting a vote when the Senate is deadlocked could be quite consequential. For instance, one vote could mean whether we have a U.S. Supreme Court justice who tends to hand down decisions that benefit the interests of working Americans — or not.
The main reason the vice president is important, of course, is to make sure there is a clear line of succession should something happen to the president. UAW members have experience with both candidates, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, and Gov. Mike Pence, R-Indiana. Despite their initial support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, both are now opposed to the trade deal that would adversely affect so many UAW members.
Which one has the experience and judgment to serve as president should that become necessary? Which candidate’s positions on issues important to UAW members and other working Americans would better serve our nation?
Kaine has a reputation for being able to reach across the aisle and get things done, a rare commodity in Washington these days.
Our experience with Governor Pence is not a positive one, said Ken Lortz, director of UAW Region 2B, which includes Indiana. Pence, a former U.S. Representative, opposed the auto rescue that directly saved tens of thousands of UAW jobs, and the pensions and health care of hundreds of thousands of UAW retirees. He said he believed the private sector should have funded the rescue, even though experts agree that no private funding was available at the time. Pence now says that vote was “a thing of the past.”
“If Mike Pence had his way America would have 2.6 million less jobs and $284.9 billion in lost income for just 2009 and 2010 alone. Every day in communities across Ohio and Indiana the auto rescue pays
dividends through family paychecks,” Lortz said. “It’s astonishing he would double down on his opposition to a bill that saved the American middle class.”
Kaine, a former missionary, teacher and civil rights lawyer, also is a former mayor and governor. In the Senate, he serves on the Armed Services, Budget, Foreign Relations and Aging committees. Our experience with Kaine is positive, said Ray Curry, director of UAW Region 8, which includes Virginia.
“Senator Kaine has been a friend of working people for his entire public service career,” said Curry. “We’re confident he will keep the interests of ordinary working Americans at heart. He has a record of doing so. We also know that should the need arise in the Senate he will cast votes that keep the interests of workers in mind.”
Kaine also has a reputation for being able to reach across the aisle and get things done, a rare commodity in Washington these days.
Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, tweeted this after Kaine accepted his party’s nomination:
“Trying to count the ways I hate @timkaine. Drawing a blank. Congrats to a good man and a good friend.”
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