Dave Reichert Endorsed by Stimulus-Backing Union Over Democrat Suzan DelBene

Eastside Republican Congressional Representative Dave Reichert said "nay" to the 2009 federal stimulus bill. But in spite of that, this morning the Dem-loving, stimulus-supporting International Union of Painters and Allied Trades gave him its endorsement over challenger Suzan DelBene. Talk about a political slap in the face.

IUPAT's election page is blatantly partisan. It links to stories arguing that Dems will retain control of the U.S. House in November. And endorsements in other local races have gone to Democrats. The union is also backing a plan unveiled by President Obama yesterday to put another $50 billion of federal money into infrastructure projects like roads and bridges--aka Stimulus II.

Seemingly DelBene would be exactly the person the union wants to see in office. She's a stimulus-backing Democrat running with the campaign slogan "A lifetime of promoting innovation and creating opportunity."

DelBene's website includes a 10-page white paper on jobs wherein she promises that if elected she'll seek tax credits for companies doing research and development, expanded trade, and support federal investment in major infrastructure projects similar to the kind proposed yesterday by the President.

A DelBene spokesperson says he doesn't know why the union came down against her. "That's a question for them."

IUPAT spokesperson Chris Sloan says the union's biggest concern is who will get its members back to work, regardless of which party the candidates fraternize with. He notes that IUPAT endorsed Reichert in 2006 but gave its support to challenger Darcy Burner in 2008.

According to Sloan, Reichert has been a friend to unions. Earlier this year the Representative sponsored a bill to extend tax breaks for people and businesses that make their homes and buildings more energy efficient. In theory it will encourage people to hire construction workers.

Sloan dismisses Reichert's previous vote against the first Obama stimulus bill saying "it's one vote, and it was an important vote, but we moved forward."

He adds that the union feels that thanks to Reichert's position on the powerful House Ways and Means committee, he will be a big asset in helping get some version of the President's new stimulus proposal passed. Though oddly Sloan did not know whether or not Reichert supports the plan itself. The Reichert campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.

Later this morning the union rallied for a more intuitive choice of candidate--Patty Murray.

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