This morning Ken Sager, the Treasurer of the Iowa Democrat Party, and President of the Iowa Federation of Labor told the six Iowa Democrats who voted against the prevailing wage legislation that the labor unions are unhappy with them. So unhappy, that he welcomes primary challenges against those individuals. The comments were made at a taping of Iowa Press which airs tonight on Iowa Public Television at 6:30 p.m.
Sager is identified as the Treasurer of the Iowa Democrat Party on campaign disclosures from obtained from the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.
The following is a transcript of the exchange between Sagar and Mike Glover of the Associated Press and David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register during the taping of Iowa Press. Neither Yepsen or Glover, pointed out that Sagar is also an official with the Iowa Democrat Party.
Mike Glover of the Associated Press: “Mr. Sager, it wouldn’t be an official Iowa Press show if we didn’t spend a little time talking about politics. Your labor organization and other unions spent a lot of time, effort and money electing Democrats to the legislature. The Democrats in that legislature rejected the first major piece of labor legislation that came up this year. Are there going to be some primaries next year?”
Sager: “I think we’re clearly going to look closely at those people who’ve supported us and will look closely at some of the others. We’re trying to do an analysis to see where we have possibilities to do some positive things in terms of electing people who are going to support working families’ issues. We are going to start putting together some committees in some districts and I’m sure that as time goes by we’ll have longer list of districts…”
Glover: “So your message to people in the legislature is: ‘if you don’t support us, watch out.'”
Sager: “That’s always been labor’s message. The business community does the same thing. If you don’t support ABI’s proposals, they’ll find somebody to run against you. It shouldn’t be any surprise that the labor movement has the same philosophy with regard to our agenda.”
David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register: “But Mr. Sager, a strategic question: Don’t you run the risk of weakening some of these Democratic incumbents. They’re called the six-pack — the six Democrats in the Iowa House of Representatives who have not gone along with you on prevailing wage. We’re talking about those legislators. If you primary them, aren’t you going to weaken them — enabling the Republicans to win in November?”
Sager: “That’s entirely possible.”
Yepsen: “And that doesn’t bother you?”
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