Less than two weeks after my WHAS11 story revealed a Teamsters letter that accused House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark of lying to union members, Clark has scored an endorsement from a different labor group.
Teamsters Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman has announced the union is instead backing Republican Brian Simpson in the 46th House District.
Yet, in a news release on Monday, July 19, the Kentucky State Building & Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO announced it was sticking with the veteran Democrat, Clark.
“By any objective standard, Larry Clark is one of the most effective, hard working members of the General Assembly when it comes to standing up for Kentucky’s working men and women," said AFL-CIO State Director Larry L. Roberts in a the statement, "He has not missed a vote since arriving in the General Assembly in 1984."
Clark has made the same voting claim, yet it has not been verified.
My earlier story on the Teamsters' trashing of Clark's labor record came out the same week as The Kentucky Gazette's glowing feature on Clark as a "union man at heart."
The split between the AFL-CIO and the Teamsters is not just over Clark. The Teamsters are part of the rival "Change to Win" coalition of labor unions that is challenging the AFL-CIO for primacy in the U.S. Labor movement.
As a result, it will be interesting to see if other local unions such as the United Food and Commercial Workers and Jefferson County Teachers Association follow the Teamsters.
It is still unclear if distillery giant Brown-Forman will take an active role in the campaign to combat what its union workers allege is anti-business legislation pushed by Clark.
When I filed the original story, Brown-Forman - the distiller in Clark's district - said it was too early to comment on whether the company will take a stand in Clark's race.
News Release from Kentucky State Building & Construction
Trades Council Endorses Larry Clark
FRANKFORT – The Kentucky State Building & Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO consisting of 15 construction trade unions representing over 35,000 workers endorsed House Speaker Pro-Tem Larry Clark for re-election in the 46th District.
Larry L. Roberts, State Director for the Council said, “By any objective standard, Larry Clark is one of the most effective, hard working members of the General Assembly when it comes to standing up for Kentucky’s working men and women. He has not missed a vote since arriving in the General Assembly in 1984. Larry Clark grew up in a blue collar neighborhood and is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 369 which gives him a better understanding of the issues that affect our members.
As the ONLY member of Democratic leadership from Louisville/Jefferson County - in either the House or Senate – it is critical to Jefferson County and the working men and women of the Metro-Louisville area continue to have a strong voice in leadership decisions, especially decisions that impact our members and their families.
The Council will aggressively communicate with our members to insure they understand the importance of this election. Our members are prepared to knock on doors, staff phone banks and engage in other grassroots activities to re-elect Larry Clark.