Saturday, April 19, 2014

Imagine a Republican with a Koch Industries office

That's not something you can imagine, right? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has taken to the Senate floor and accused Republicans of being Koch brothers puppets dozens of times. So have other Democrats. Even if Republicans were all the things Democrats say they are, they wouldn't be stupid enough to have their headquarters in a corporation's building. The appearance alone would be fodder for the media for months.

So no Republican has their campaign office at Chevron. Or Marriott. or Georgia Pacific. So why bring this up? Democratic congressman Mike Honda's campaign office is at SEIU headquarters. He is in a tough re-election battle with fellow Democrat Ro Khanna. Of course, Honda has been depicted as being anti-business and in labor's figurative back pocket for years, but he clearly sees no problem with doing away with all pretext and coming out and saying it. This can't go over well with Silicon Valley business interests. Or most voters who aren't in the SEIU. It's a freebie for Khanna that he can use to get votes.

Of course the reason Honda does this is that he, and many Democrats, see organized labor not as a special interest, but simply as the middle class. He doesn't perceive that there'd be any conflict between SEIU's interest and the interests of the rest of his constituents. So it probably never entered their mind that being in the literal back pocket room of organized labor could be a negative.

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