The mass confusion over the Michaels Brown in the at-large council race, which threatens to take out incumbent Phil Mendelson, is a labor union’s nightmare: They’re faced with losing their biggest advocate on the Council over nothing. To protect Mendo, the 32BJ Service Employees International Union is shifting part of its its $50,000 campaign budget into mailers that will go out this weekend to 12,000 likely voters in Wards 7 and 8. Plus, they’re sending out their ground troops to canvass for the embattled Mendelson.
“We actually did make a last-minute adjustment the second we heard of the news,” says 32BJ rep Julie Karant.”It was absolutely not part of the plan. Like everybody else, we were absolutely stunned that he had this issue.”
If Michael Donald Brown hadn’t shown up on the scene, Karant says, that firepower might have been used for the rest of 32BJ’s preferred candidates—but at this stage in the game, people like Kwame Brown, Jim Graham, and Tommy Wells don’t really need the help quite as much.