Unionists face awkward run-ins at DNC

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Richard Iannuzzi, NYSUT president, gets the crowd going Richard Iannuzzi, NYSUT president, gets the crowd going during an education rally to protest against proposed cuts in state education funding at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. (March 22, 2011) Photo Credit: Lori Van Buren/Times Union

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Dan Janison Melville. N.Y. Tuesday January 26, 2010. Daniel Janison,

Dan Janison has been a reporter at Newsday since 1997, initially as a staff writer for the New

Public-employee unionists will appear in full force as delegates to the Democratic National Convention next month. That's typical for the party. But given the current climate, these labor activists may find themselves awkwardly rubbing shoulders with some of the budget-vexed elected executives with whom they've fought -- even while they all call for re-electing President Barack Obama.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, as New York's top Democrat, is expected to attend the conclave only on its final day. According to a state party committee list, the delegation includes Richard Iannuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers, which lost the fight against Cuomo's tax cap; Lillian Roberts, head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 37, who in 2010 told members not to vote for Cuomo; and Kenneth Brynien, who weeks ago lost his re-election bid as president of the Public Employees Federation following contract concessions to the administration.

Such friction seems even more pronounced elsewhere, and not only in states like Wisconsin with GOP governors. At the Illinois state fair last week, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn was booed and heckled by union activists, and a plane flew overhead towing a banner that called him anti-worker. Even in California, where Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is generally seen as a labor ally, his administration in June prodded the largest state employee union into agreeing to slash compensation for members for a year by nearly 5 percent -- after demonstrations in Sacramento, the state's capital.

L.I. IN N.C.: Elected officials on the Democratic delegate list for the convention, which runs Sept. 3-6 in Charlotte, N.C., include: Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko; North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman; Reps. Steve Israel of Dix Hills and Gary Ackerman of Roslyn Estates; Assembly members Earlene Hooper of Hempstead, Philip Ramos of Central Islip and Charles Lavine of Glen Cove; and Nassau legislators Kevan Abrahamsof Freeport and Judi Bosworth of Great Neck.

 

BIPARTISAN BANKING: The State Senate Democratic campaign still owes the National Bank of New York City, based in Flushing, about $1.4 million from a loan first taken in 2010. The board of directors of the low-key local bank happens to have a touch of Long Island pedigree, including Francis Purcell, the former GOP Nassau executive, and lawyer Gilbert Henoch, of the Garden City firm Berkman Henoch, where Nassau Republican chairman Joseph Mondello is of counsel.

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