Northeast Times

Pa. AFL-CIO rounds out labor choices for Nov. 6

May­fair’s Scott Cum­mings (left), a former body­guard for Don­ald Trump (right), wants to be Mitt Rom­ney’s run­ning mate.

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The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, which earli­er this year en­dorsed Pres­id­ent Barack Obama, has made its choices for the re­main­ing races on the Novem­ber bal­lot.

The uni­on is back­ing the en­tire state Demo­crat­ic tick­et: U.S. Sen. Bob Ca­sey Jr., Treas­urer Rob Mc­Cord, at­tor­ney gen­er­al hope­ful Kath­leen Kane and aud­it­or gen­er­al can­did­ate Eu­gene De­Pasquale.

In races for U.S. House seats, the uni­on en­dorsed 14 can­did­ates, all Demo­crats. The list in­cludes Reps. Bob Brady and Allyson Schwartz.

The uni­on is back­ing 13 Demo­crats and no Re­pub­lic­ans in state Sen­ate con­tests. Sens. Shir­ley Kit­chen and Mike Stack earned nods. Kit­chen is un­op­posed. Stack faces Re­pub­lic­an Mike Tom­lin­son.

“Can­did­ates like Mike Stack have earned our sup­port by stand­ing with us and our uni­ons in meet­ing the most dif­fi­cult eco­nom­ic chal­lenges and at­tacks we have faced in dec­ades,” said Frank Snyder, sec­ret­ary-treas­urer of the AFL-CIO.

In state House races, the uni­on made 140 en­dorse­ments, all but 15 of them Demo­crats. All loc­al in­cum­bents were en­dorsed. They are Re­pub­lic­an Reps. Tom Murt and John Taylor and Demo­crat­ic Reps. Ed Neilson, Brendan Boyle, Kev­in Boyle, Mike McGee­han, John Sabat­ina Jr., Mark Co­hen and Dwight Evans. The uni­on also en­dorsed Steve Mc­Carter and James “Scoot” Clay, Demo­crats run­ning un­op­posed in open-seat races.

Wil­li­am Dun­bar, the Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in the 177th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, is cri­ti­ciz­ing Re­pub­lic­an Rep. John Taylor for vot­ing for the 2012-13 state budget.

Dun­bar ac­know­ledged that state funds are lim­ited and that cuts have to be made. But he be­lieves it was wrong to cut $250 mil­lion for child care, home­less as­sist­ance, men­tal health ser­vices, vet­er­ans’ ser­vices and grants for people with dis­ab­il­it­ies.

“This budget was bal­anced by in­creas­ing the bur­den on the most vul­ner­able mem­bers of so­ci­ety,” he said.

The House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives voted 120-81 on June 28 to pass the budget.

Loc­ally, Reps. Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.) and Ed Neilson (D-169th dist.) joined Taylor in vot­ing for the budget.

In op­pos­i­tion were Demo­crat­ic Reps. Larry Curry, Brendan Boyle, Kev­in Boyle, Mike McGee­han, John Sabat­ina Jr., Tony Payton Jr., Mark Co­hen and Dwight Evans.

The Sen­ate passed the budget 32-17 on June 29. Demo­crat­ic Sens. Tina Tartagli­one, Shir­ley Kit­chen and Mike Stack voted against it.

The $27.7 bil­lion budget in­cluded a 2 per­cent in­crease in spend­ing from a year ago. Sup­port­ers noted that it con­tained no new taxes, no tax in­creases and no cuts to pub­lic schools or uni­versit­ies. It provided busi­ness tax cuts and an in­crease in the Edu­ca­tion­al Im­prove­ment Tax Cred­it.

Dun­bar op­posed a pro­vi­sion giv­ing tax cred­its to en­tice a com­pany to build a pet­ro­chem­ic­al re­finery in Beaver County.

“Any Phil­adelphia le­gis­lat­or who sup­ports raid­ing pub­lic health and edu­ca­tion fund­ing to give massive tax cred­its to gas com­pan­ies on the oth­er side of the state is be­tray­ing his con­stitu­ents,” he said. “Res­id­ents of the 177th will be dir­ectly af­fected by the cuts in this budget. I am go­ing to make sure they know where the money went.”

U.S. Sens. Marco Ru­bio of Flor­ida and Rob Port­man of Ohio and Wis­con­sin Rep. Paul Ry­an are among the most talked-about can­did­ates to be Mitt Rom­ney’s run­ning mate on the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial tick­et.

However, a loc­al man in­sists he has the right cre­den­tials to team up with Rom­ney, a busi­ness­man and former gov­ernor of Mas­sachu­setts.

Scott Cum­mings wants to be con­sidered as Rom­ney’s No. 2. He’d be a “cheer­lead­er” for Rom­ney’s quest to make Barack Obama a one-term pres­id­ent.

“Amer­ica wants a row house guy,” said Cum­mings, who lives on the 3100 block of Friend­ship St.

Cum­mings, who cites the late May­or Frank L. Rizzo as his polit­ic­al idol, is a former pres­id­ent of the May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation and youth sports coach. He was once Re­pub­lic­an lead­er of the 62nd Ward. He lost a 2006 spe­cial elec­tion for an at-large City Coun­cil seat to Demo­crat Bill Green­lee. He also lost a 2007 bid for Traffic Court.

Pro­fes­sion­ally, he’s worked as a body­guard for Don­ald Trump and Henry Kis­sing­er and also pro­tec­ted the likes of Mi­chael Jack­son, Elton John and Ir­ish polit­ic­al fig­ure Gerry Adams.

As for his vi­ab­il­ity as a vice pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate, Cum­mings cites the 2006 cam­paign. He re­ceived 69,611 votes city­wide, more than former Sen. Rick San­tor­um (67,452) and many more than GOP gubernat­ori­al can­did­ate and famed foot­ball star Lynn Swann (45,502).

“I can de­liv­er Pennsylvania,” said the Mans­field Uni­versity gradu­ate. ••

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You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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