Long-time union boss says it’s okay to vote for Senate candidate Sullivan

Earlier this week, I posted an ad featuring labor leader Joey Merrick pitching voters to join him in voting for Mark Begich for the U.S. Senate. Evidently, not everyone with a union background feels likewise.

Former Alaska Teamster Local 959 head Jerry Hood, who is also Rep. Don Young’s long-time campaign manager, appears in this ad sponsored by the pro-Dan Sullivan super-PAC, Alaska’s Energy/America’s Values. The ad begins airing in Fairbanks today and later in Anchorage.


21 thoughts on “Long-time union boss says it’s okay to vote for Senate candidate Sullivan

  1. Rocker

    Beltrami is an egomainiac. He’s out of control and small minded. His ego allows him to be played like a fool. Walker has no principles or values. That’s Vince’s guy. If Walker wins, it’ll be interesting to see if VB can bring home the green.
    Oddly enough, the environmentalists, liberals and anti-development folks are supporting Walker too. For some reason, their values aren’t the values that VB talks about in terms of job creation. Too bad.

  2. Garand Fellow

    Mr. Beltrami,

    I am a strong union supporter, at least the working unions; bureaucrats not so much. But too often in Alaska union leaders choose ideology over jobs, and that sometimes leads to a Donnybrook in which everyone suffers. Nonetheless I understand your points about Mark Begich even as I think he has been bad for Alaska, and in his support of Barack Hussein Obama he has been bad for America.

    But my question pertains to another race. You support Republican Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallot I believe. Mr. Mallot ran Sealaska Corp. when it harvested billions upon billions of board feet of old growth timber, and while many environmentalists rue that industry and many foresters wish the timber had been harvested on a sustainable basis I think the rapid, one-time harvest was planned and expected. During much of that time there were union logging camps but not one board foot of Native timber – Sealaska timber and village corporation timber harvested by Sealaska subsidiearies – was logged by a union logger. Sealaska Corp. very much avoided the union logging companies and the union mills. As federal timber was taken off the market those union logging companies and those union mills closed even as Native timber could have kept them going. The union mills in particular provided year-round, family wage jobs. Moreover those union jobs provided a stability to several Alaska communities that now lack much of an economy except for tourism (which is seasonal, nonunion and low-wage) and petroleum-driven state spending and subsidies. In what way does the Walker-Mallot ticket comport with your apparent principles and goals, and is there an ideology that you share with Bill Walker and Byron Mallott that is beyond the understanding of rank and file trade union members?

  3. Proud Alaskan

    There are MANY workers who belong to unions who agree with my point of view, it should worry people like you.

  4. Jon K

    Raven, you keep missing the point. But worse you are mischaracterizing Dan’s position on pebble. He has never supported the mine. He has supported Pebble’s right to go through NEPA and the permitting process to see if it can build a safe mine. This isn’t a difficult concept to grasp.

    Regarding state revenue from mining – local governments get significant revenue as do native corporations and the state gets some revenue. But more importantly, mines provide high paying jobs in every corner of this state. That is the ultimate point here – NARF and ENGOs advocate positions that kill jobs. This isn’t a debatable point. So why aren’t unions attacking the true job killers?

  5. Raven

    The State doesn’t get squat in revenue from the mining industry. But yet it manages to suck up the State’s resources-in about every way. Not a lot of union jobs happening on that front either. You’re probably thinking of the handful of classified State employees that write permits, violations etc. Dan Sullivan just doesn’t know what development projects/industries create union jobs and neither do you. Not going to get excited that Pebble could provide 1000 mining jobs of which 20 may be union, especially at the detriment of Bristol Bay (which btw Sullivan is too chicken to admit he supports).

  6. Proud Alaskan

    I have belong to a union for several years, the once, much needed unions have become nothing less than communists. If you don’t agree with their political views they will terrorize you and threaten you with thuggery. Vince B is too ignorant to realize that resource development, hard work & capitalism is what will make our state strong. I am proudly committed to conservatism and despise what the VBs have turned the unions into, narsicistic political hacks that could care less about the individual worker.
    I stand with Dan & Jerry.

  7. Jon K

    Raven, I didn’t say every project was great or without concerns. I pointed to the long list of projects that environmental and some native groups oppose. This opposition has taken jobs away from Alaskans, deprived the state of much needed revenue, and driven away investment. It’s just a fact.

    These groups have also tried unsuccesfully to shut down developments that have been extremely beneficial as far as jobs are concerned – Red Dog, Kensington, CD-5 to name just a few.

    You can oppose development but at least have the honesty to admit that such opposition kills jobs, harms communities, takes revenue away from the state, and has a negative impact on the state’s economy. Heather and groups she is associsted with groups the ones that have harmed union jobs far more than anything DNR Dan has done.

  8. Raven

    Jon you are so full of crap. Your fan-boy gushing of Sullivan is an embarrassment. You and your former boss seem to think all development projects are just wonderful! Peaches and cream. The affected communities–and people who use a particular resource–be damned. Heather Kendall-Miller is hardly anti-development; she’s a Native Rights advocate. You went up against her in court and lost get over it.

  9. LS

    This former Teamster agrees with Jerry and more importantly there are many rank and file Teamsters and past Teamsters who will Stand With Dan and Jerry Hood!

  10. joeblow

    Begich is a stiff who will soon be working for the same lobbying firm as Blanche Lincoln. He should have changed parties last year, might have had a chance.

  11. Jon K

    Vince, these are really good points but if you were responding to me you missed my point. The people that are the biggest threat to union jobs in this state are supporting Begich. Heather Kendell miller is a prime example. NARF and groups Heather is aligned with seek to shut down resource development projects across this state. These are the people that have taken tangible and direct action to threaten Alaskans jobs and our economy. And they don’t reside in DC. They are suing and have sued to prevent development in every corner of this state and most of these people are aligned w Begich and all of them are aligned w Reid.

    Begich clearly supports oil and gas development – there is no denying that. But some of his core supporters do not. And yet unions are spending scarce resources attacking DNR Dan for being anti-union and a threat to union jobs when the man spent most of his time during his state service trying to ensure that we have a vibrant economy that provides good paying jobs.

    If you want to ensure Alaskans have a future, stand up to those that oppose economic development.

  12. Vince Beltrami

    Aside from the ad hominem attacks from anonymous cowards who won’t say who they really are, here are a couple of the fundamental economic arguments. We will always be treated as a remote colony in DC except for the powers inherent in our delegation. Everyone can say Sen. Begich is just Obama/Reid all they want, the fact is OpenCongress ranks him as one of the most centrist senators around.

    Capital spending that creates jobs in Alaska come from the Senate Appropriations Committee. I believe, but am not sure, we are the only state with both of our senators on the powerful committee. And this is only possible because we have one from each party. Any state that has two senators from the same party will NEVER have both on Appropriations. This assures we always have a member from the president’s party, whomever the president may be. Obama will only be around two more years. The next president will likely be a Democrat, making Begich’s inclusion on this job-creating committee invaluable, and he’s already brought back billions. It’s foolish to throw that away for partisan advantage, or disadvantage in this case.

    Regardless, by Senate rules Sullivan would be the least senior senator, period. That’s right, dead last. Number 100. Unions in Alaska have always valued practicality over partisanship despite the fallacies spread by the most rabid of republican types.

    On oil and gas, for folks to diminish Sen. Begich’s efforts and accomplishments in this industry is ridiculous. Begich has accomplished probably more on oil and gas issues than any of our delegation in decades. His efforts, and YES, it was a push against Obama, to open up and keep drilling hopes alive in the OCS with Shell have been remarkable. Having a pro oil and gas Democrat in the Democratic caucus is also of tremendous value.

    And last I looked, there is and has been virtually full employment in the construction industry, union and non-union for several years, oil industry and otherwise. To suggest Democrats are stifling job growth in our state is to be divorced from reality.

  13. T. James

    It’s difficult to rationally argue against Jerry Hood’s statement. Obviously, Vince Beltrami disagrees.
    Basically, I’ve been teetering back and forth on who to vote for in the senate race. I’ve finally decided that the two factors that will influence my vote are: 1. Who do I believe will do the best job for the economy?
    2. Which candidate can I trust?
    The conclusion I have come to iis that Dan Sullivan has a record of commitment and success in terms of economic development. Likewise, Begich has been caught in so many lies this campaign cycle, his integrity leaves lots to be desired. Begich’s integrity has been criticized in the LA Times, Time magazine and a Tampa newspaper. Probably others too. Consequently, I find it easier, much easier, to put my trust in Dan Sullivan.
    I’ll be voting for Dan Sullivan.

  14. 959 PROUD

    I don’t really know Mr. Beltrami; however, I can speak to the integrity and commitment of Jerry Hood to working families. Jerry Hood cares. He’s right about jobs and job creation. Beltrami appears to be the partisan with his head in the ground. At the federal level, I believe that Republicans have proven to be the best for Alaska’s economy and job creation. We are a resource extraction state. Our economy is driven by oil and gas development, mining and forestry. At the federal level, Democrats fight all of these industries all the time. I’ll be voting for Dan Sullivan too. I’m sick of Begich’s excuses and watching him be the patsy-boy for Harry Reid’s liberal agenda. Further, Begich plays the game of standing up for 2nd ammendment rights but his campaign is being funded by Bloomberg whose goal is to outlaw guns. Go figure this one out Beltrami. I’d take Jerry Hood over Beltrami any day of the week. Jerry would have never been so dumb as to be one of the architects of the phoney unity ticket. If Walker wins, we lose all the good work done on the pipeline. It would be like Palin all over. When she was Governor, she started over and it amounted to years of delays and hundreds of millions of dollars wasted. Look around Beltrami, the same clowns that were around Palin are around Walker. I don’t think the Teamsters have ever had a leader as dumb as Beltrami. Give em hell Jerry. I’m sticking with you on Don and Dan.

  15. Jon K

    Vince – where is the vitriol towards those groups that do everythig they can to shut down resource development in this state? The resource extraction industry is one of the few places where working class people can earn living wages. We have people like Heather Kendall miller spending a ton of money and resources shutting down projects that employ thousands of people. And yet the unions are silent. CD-5, Point Thomson, Arctic OCS, pebble, Kensington, Red Dog, and on and on and on. All of these projects have been opposed by Dems and Begich’s supporters. Their opposition directly impacts union jobs. And yet you remain silent. If you cared abou jobs you would run ads calling out those in this state that are doing everything in their power to prevent development and the high paying union jobs that go with development. Instead you attack those like DNR Dan who has spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort trying to ensure that alaskans continue to have job opportunities.

  16. Art

    Wow – these comments show Vince Beltrami for the classless thug he is. Jerry Hood has never done anything that didn’t fight for worker rights while bringing both sides to the table for good jobs and projects that went forward for the good of all. How in the world can Vince make a rational case that Obama and Reid are good for Alaska jobs? A vote for Begich is a vote to continue policies that are bad for working Alaskans.

  17. Vince Beltrami

    Sadly, Jerry Hood wouldn’t know union pride if it smacked him in the face. It shows you just how far Hood has sunk when he’ll shill for a guy who supports anti-union policies and whose total financial backing comes from people who are trying to wipe good hard-working unions and their members off the face of the map. Congressional Republican job creators?!? Now that’s rich Jerry!

    This republican isn’t like the other republicans we’ve proudly supported in the past. The sad truth is Hood became a 100% partisan hack years ago, after (probably not coincidentally) his membership booted him out the door. If you had any “union pride” left you’d be ashamed of yourself. There isn’t one current or former Teamster leader I’m aware of who agrees with you on this one.

  18. Jon K

    What makes Dan tick is providing good paying jobs for Alaskans. This is why he was constantly fighting the Feds – it drove him nuts to see jobs lost and projects delayed because of federal decisions or environmental group court challenges. His proudest accomplishments related to turning around Cook Inlet and the Point Thomson settlement. These actions resulted in a ton of good paying union jobs for Alaskans. It’s too bad Vince and the others feel compelled to waste limited resources attacking someone who has done a lot more for Alaskan jobs than many of Begich’s core supporters.

Comments are closed.