Op-ed writer slams Chicago Federation of Labor's attempt to discredit Kessem's union support
Attempts by the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) to discredit state House candidate Ammie Kessem’s pro-union credentials are inaccurate and misleading, according to a recent editorial published on Medium.com.
Kessem, a Republican competing for the 19th District seat held by state Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago), is playing against type by adopting a position normally held by her Democratic rivals, as writer Florian Sohnke stated in a Sept. 30 op-ed piece published on Medium.com.
That’s where the misrepresentation comes into play, Sohnke said. In a “flagrantly dishonest” letter mailed to voters, the CFL asserted that Kessem’s pro-union stance was a “sham.” Although Kessem herself is a union member (she’s a sergeant with the Chicago Police), she also belongs to the Northwest Side GOP Club. That group, Sohnke writes, is linked to two conservative organizations: AM-560 Chicago’s Morning Answer host Dan Proft and the conservative Illinois Policy Institute.
The CFL letter painted Kessem anti-union, despite her stated policy, Sohnke wrote. The editorial alleges the letter may have been crafted with help from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
“In the hazy worldview of the CFL and SEIU, Ms. Kessem’s alignment with the Northwest Side GOP Club naturally disqualifies her authenticity to protect and advance the rights of organized labor,” Sohnke wrote.
Kessem’s union support seems bona fide based on her union membership as a high-school student working at Osco as well as with her 20-years of belonging to the police officers’ union, according to the editorial.
“A member of a labor union for a majority of her life, Ms. Kessem believes that labor has a place and a priority, deserves high consideration, and labor has rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights,” Sohnke wrote. “This CFL letter is a shabby attempt to affix an asterisk to Ms. Kessem as a make-believe champion of labor unions.”
The 19th District includes the city of Chicago and the communities of Leyden, Norwood Park, Elmwood Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge and River Grove.
Proft is a principal of Local Government Information Services, owner of this publication.