The usual question surrounding presidential campaign endorsements from labor unions this year is whether they will go the “safe” route and stick with Hillary Clinton or buck the trends and take their chances with Bernie Sanders. One union, however, made a different choice this week, endorsing Manhattan business mogul Donald Trump. (Keeping in mind that this decision was made before the tumultuous events of the past 48 hours.) But it likely won’t come as much of a surprise to learn which specific union it was. (Government Executive)
A federal employee union representing more than 16,000 workers on Wednesday became the first such group to endorse Donald Trump for president, breaking from both its own tradition and the support offered by its parent organization.
The National Border Patrol Council gave Trump its first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate, saying the controversial frontrunner has shown the leadership the country needs by shunning political correctness and making border security a centerpiece of his campaign…
“We need a person in the White House who doesn’t fear the media, who doesn’t embrace political correctness, who doesn’t need the money, who is familiar with success, who won’t bow to foreign dictators, who is pro-military and values law enforcement, and who is angry for America and NOT subservient to the interests of other nations,” the council wrote in a statement announcing the endorsement. “Donald Trump is such a man.”
There are a couple of aspects of this endorsement which are notable. The first is that the NBPC isn’t a nation-wide federal employees union. They are a specific sub-set of the American Federation of Government Employees, who already endorsed Hillary Clinton several months ago.
Also, their concerns are far more specific than the general pool of unionized government workers. Their job is entirely focused on securing the border and it’s obviously one of the marquee issues which Trump has focused on from the moment he announced his candidacy. But in some ways, this seems to be a signal which is less about Trump himself than it is about Barack Obama and the policies pushed down the chain from the Department of Homeland Security. (Border Patrol falls under their larger umbrella.) It’s been no secret that both Border Patrol and ICE officers are unhappy with the directives they have received, the failure to deliver requested resources and the catch and release theory which seems to drive the current management. Morale among Border Patrol agents is at an all time low and has been there for a couple of years now.
Is it really shocking that they would buck their parent organization and choose not to endorse a candidate who constantly sings Obama’s praises and promises to deliver four more years of the same? And turning to Bernie Sanders doesn’t buy them anything because, if anything, he’s offering up an even more porous border as part of his plans. So if you’re going to jump ship, why not go whole hog and endorse the guy who drives the current management crazy on a daily basis?
I don’t expect any of the Democrats to take this endorsement to heart, modify their positions or look at ways to improve the situation on the border in response to the announcement. But they really should.