It is Council 75's goal in our endorsement and interview process to develop and maintain a reputation for being open and accessible to all candidates, regardless of political affiliation or economic status.
Everyone who aspires to serve our state in a political office should be taken seriously and treated with respect. No candidate should ever feel they have been "excluded" because of a perceived deficit or political persuasion or affiliation. It is through this kind of an open democratic process that public employees and their Union will receive the level of respect needed to move a political program and message - both with the members we represent and the elected officials.
To achieve this goal we feel it is important that every local and every member feel like they have had their views heard and acknowledged. While we attempt to interview candidates in a manner that is significantly equal in every part of the state, we also understand that anytime human nature is injected into a process there are ultimately slight differences in perceptions. We think the process outlined will give us the best overall rating system with the most input from the most diverse group of individuals represented by AFSCME Council 75.
When making recommendations to Council 75 the PAC will consider. past AFSCME voting records when appropriate and personal interviews. Other labor voting records may be considered, but will not overshadow the AFSCME record.
Staff, in consultation with the Pac Chair, appropriate members and other professionals will develop a candidate questionnaire for use by all interview committees. The Council PAC Co-Chairs will utilize the questionnaire as a guide for the interview process. No committee will deviate significantly from the questionnaire.
The Co-Chairs will recruit a representative from each local union represented in their Congressional District to participate in an interview committee for legislative and congressional races. The Co-Chairs shall coordinate their recruitment process with the local elected leadership. As much as possible, each local in the district and all state-wide locals shall have an opportunity to participate. The Co-Chairs shall encourage and emphasize the importance of equal representation and participation so that recommendations are consistent.
The Co-Chairs in consultation with staff shall schedule a mutually convenient time and location for candidate interviews. The Co-Chairs shall identify an interviewing location that is convenient and cost effective. Food and beverages for the interview committee will be provided when necessary and appropriate. Alcoholic beverages are not appropriate.
Council 75 staff will mail candidate questionnaires to all announced and certified candidates as soon as practical. Copies of the completed questionnaires will be mailed to the appropriate Co-Chair as soon as they are returned. The Co-Chairs will make copies available to the interview committee.
After the interviews are completed, the interview committee for each Congressional District shall make a list of endorsement recommendations and refer those recommendations to the Council 75 PAC for concurrence or discussion. The Council PAC Chair shall refer the final recommendations to the Council 75 Executive Board for final approval.
Once all recommendations are made and approved they will be advertised and posted on the AFSCME Web Site.
Local Unions shall not make legislative or congressional endorsements separate from the Council 75 Political Action Committee. Council 75 will not make endorsements in local government races or measures without an express written request from the Local Union and its elected leadership.