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September 25, 2008


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So sad; what a wasted journalistic opportunity this interview turned out to be.

Mr. Lessenberry ("Jack," to his friend Mark Gaffney) could have asked some good, hard questions about things that have been poorly reported or have been kept secret by the AFL-CIO up until now. Things like how much money the AFL-CIO will spend on electioneering and "member mobilization" this year. It was about $40 million in 2006. Or how much AFL-CIO money has been funneled to 527 organizations such as "The Patriot Majority Midwest." That is the group, run out of a Washington, D.C. office building, that is running some of the most scurrilous televsion ads Detroit has ever seen, against Republican Congressman Joe Knollenberg in the closely-watched Michigan 9th Congressional District.

Speaking of money and voting, it might have been nice if Mark Gaffney had been asked about his union's position on affording its membership the same voting privileges in the workplace that they enjoy in public affairs. Simple things, like the ability to cast a secret ballot in union elections.

Mr. Lessneberry missed all of those opportune questions. I suppose that it is a matter of 'so little public radio time, so much campaigning for Barack Obama to be done..."

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