After President Obama nominated United Transportation Union (UTU) General Counsel Daniel Elliot to become a member of the three-person Surface Transportation Board, UTU International President Mike Futhey said in a statement: "The selection by President Obama of Dan Elliot and [former UTU official] Joe Szabo to head major transportation regulatory agencies is tribute to the political influence of the UTU, which flows from the UTU [political action committee (PAC)]. We have good reason to expect President Obama to reach into the UTU ranks for other appointments in the near future."
Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) strongly criticized the UTU during a panel meeting on Wednesday.
Rockefeller called the UTU statement "embarrassing, ridiculous, self-aggrandizing, inappropriate and harmful." Hutchison labeled it "troubling."
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said Elliot "seems to be highly qualified," adding that it was Futhey -- not Elliot -- who made the controversial statement. Isakson called Futhey's comment "totally inappropriate."
Good to see a little bipartisan venting about this... anyone have video of Kay venting about it? Sounds like Democrat Rockefeller, who has a lot of union members in his state, really went out on a limb by calling it "embarrassing, ridiculous, self-aggrandizing, inappropriate and harmful." Kay's "troubling" comment is pretty good I guess, but it seems flipped... usually the Republican would be ranting about union wrongdoing, which the Democrat would be tepidly criticizing the union.
I wonder what exactly got Rockefeller so fired up...