All candidates who want an endorsement from Teamsters 117 must fill out a questionnaire asking detailed questions about our legislative priorities. We ask questions about whether a candidate will support and work with us on a myriad of labor standards, about their position on "right to work for less" legislation, and a number of other important issues facing working families.
Our questionnaire is created each year by our Statewide Political Advisory Committee, a committee of members from each sector of our Union. Our questionnaire for 2017 is here.
A candidate must turn in their questionnaire, and sit through an in-person interview process where members from our Statewide Political Advisory Committee ask them questions about their support on our issues, and follow up questions to what they include on their questionnaire.
The Advisory Committee then makes an endorsement and contribution recommendation to our full Executive Board.
We highlight all of our endorsements on our webpage so members know who we have endorsed, and we direct members to our webpage via social media and email before an election. Depending on the particular race and its impact on our members, as well as on our capacity, we will do direct voter contact including phone banks or door to door canvassing to help spread the word about the candidate or issue.
In some cases, we will do targeted mail to our members highlighting our endorsement before an election. We work closely with Teamsters Joint Council 28 on these types of mailings.
In some cases, we will also contribute to the campaigns using DRIVE or dollars from our segregated fund to help that candidate communicate their message to voters. We are subject to strict contribution limits when we make contributions from either DRIVE or our segregated fund. All contributions must be approved by our full Executive Board.
The simple answer is no. An endorsement is based on a candidate's answers on both their questionnaire and in their candidate interview. If a candidate is an incumbent, we also look carefully at their record in office on issues important to working families.
We like to say "we don't have permanent friends; we have permanent issues." Our endorsement process reflects that motto. In other words, just because someone has received an endorsement from us in the past doesn't guarantee someone will necessarily receive an endorsement in perpetuity.
That said, any candidate, whether Republican or Democrat or Independent, is more than welcome to go through our process. If you are a candidate and would like to go through our process, you can contact Political Coordinator Dustin Lambro at 206-441-4860 x1262. We will give priority to requests that come from our members.