Scandal fallout: Tarnished UAW may lose presidential election clout

January 14, 2020, 10:52 AM

The United Auto Workers' legal messes could undercut its impact on 2020 political campaigns.

"The biggest player in state Democratic politics will be preoccupied with larger priorities," notes Detroit News editorial page editor Nolan Finley.

Political Action Committee booklet cover. (Photo: UAW)

Though he doesn't press a thumb on the column's scale, it's easy to imagine a wry smirk behind this belief:

The bribery and kickback scandal that has engulfed the top leadership of the United Auto Workers is expected to reduce the union’s influence and limit its ability to push a challenger to President Donald Trump over the top in Michigan, predicted again to be one of a half-dozen that will decide the election. 

Trump already has strong support among blue-collar workers, notes Finley, who adds that now "the added worry is whether an official endorsement from the UAW might do more harm than good with an angry and mistrustful membership." In addition:

Alienation between the membership and leaders may make it tougher for the UAW to produce the get-out-the-vote volunteers it typically delivers for Democrats who receive its blessing.

And the scandal offers GOP candidates an opening to grab more union votes than they typically get in Michigan. ...

For the long-term, the scandal risks further loosening the UAW's hold on the state Democratic Party.

It's quite likely, considering how widespread the corruption is at the top of the union, that the UAW will end up under government oversight ... [which] could include restrictions on how the UAW spends money raised from members.

Read more:  The Detroit News

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