State Democrats Call for War’s End, Impeachment
Union Man Only Speaker To Lift Up Party Faithful
By Edward Shanahan
Forget Gov. Deval Patrick, a morning no-show at the recent Massachusetts Democratic State
Convention at the Mullins Center at UMass. Why bother with Sen. John Kerry who, along with
Patrick, finally turned up at a reception much later inthe day after most of us delegates and alternates
had headed for home.
My man is Robert Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, the only speaker who brought
delegates to their feet and got them cheering, after exceedingly somnolence-inducing
presentations by Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, new Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley, and
Secretary of State William Galvin. Convention host State Sen. Stan Rosenberg
actually wasn’t too shabby, as the lead-off speaker.
But it was Haynes who finally got the juices flowing through slightly atrophied
Referring to the national government, Haynes made it simple: “We can’t have these fools running
our country anymore, they’ve got to go, for our kids sake, for our grandkids sake. Let’s run them
out of town … let’s put a Democrat in the White House.”
Most of the speakers had trouble making their case because so little has been accomplished
by the new governor since his election, despite that 88 percent of the elected state offices are held
by Democrats, according to Haynes.
Yet Haynes had no trouble whatsoever making the case for the party and for “this little AFL-CIO
of mine” which he said visited 120,000 union households before the election, distributed 500,000
pieces of literature to workers at job sites, and reached out to 400,000 union members to get them
to the polls.
Referring often to “this little AFL-CIO of mine,” he displayed a passion the other speakers lacked
when it came to talking about health care needs in the Commonwealth, failures in the educational
system, and the array of other social and economic woes facing working families.
He said it was surprising, given the dominance of the Democratic Party in the state, that so many of
the programs favored by Democrats and supported by rank and file union members remain stalled.
“Sixteen years,” he reminded delegates, Republicans have held the governor’s office. “Their time
is done, our time is now.”
But he also declared that “if this administration fails, it will be all of our fault,” because not enough
citizens have challenged the government and become engaged in political action.
He also said he prayed every night for the continued well-being “Teddy” - Sen. Edward Kennedy -
because of his nearly 50 years of commitment to social and economic programs that help
mainstream Americans. Kennedy’s clout in Washington is greater than ever, Haynes said with relish.
In addition to being galvanized by Haynes, delegates also had a chance to push though some
absolutely essential resolutions from the floor, which made most of us feel better for having spent
Saturday morning at the Mullins Center.
After some healthy debate and by loud voice votes, the Massachusetts
Democratic StateConvention approved the following resolutions submitted
from the floor by activist delegates:
**A call to action by the Congress to deal with the issue of widespread
mortgage foreclosures by a reorganization of the nation’s banking
system to prevent mass homelessness of thousands of American
**A petition calling for impeachment proceedings to begin against
President Bush and Vice President Cheney because their actions
have undermined our constitutional system of government, damaged
the reputation of America, and threatened our national security. One
local delegate speaking in support† of the resolution was Darcy
Sweeney of Ward 5 in Northampton’s Bay State Village, who said
if the voters lead the representatives will follow;
**A statement urging enactment of H.R. 1234 which calls for the
withdrawal of all US armed forces, contractors, and military bases,
within three months of passage of the bill.
All and all, a good morning’s work – being lifted up by Brother Haynes, and becoming actively
engaged in the two most pressing issues facing the nation – impeachment and the Iraq war.
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