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Despite Delaware County GOP Accepting Nearly $2M in Building Trades Donations, Labor-Backed Dem Opponent Labeled a “Union Boss”



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John J. Dougherty describes himself as “one of the so-called ‘Philly labor bosses.’” Business Manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98, Dougherty recently wrote an impassioned letter to the Delaware County Daily Times decrying Republican 26th District state Senate candidate Tom McGarrigle for being a hypocrite.

After pointing out that he has happily “worked with and supported the Delaware County Republican machine for many years,” Dougherty goes on to express frustration with McGarrigle’s attempts to turn the campaign into a referendum on Democratic opponent John Kane’s character.

“For the life of me, I don’t get McGarrigle’s deceitful, pervasively negative campaign against my friend and union brother, John Kane, the Democratic state Senate nominee in the 26th District race,” he writes. “Tom McGarrigle snidely refers to me and the other hard-working leaders of the Building Trades as ‘union bosses.’ He’s a hypocrite.”

Dougherty goes on to explain:

The Delaware County Republican Party, to which McGarrigle pledges his allegiance, has gladly accepted $1.8 million in political contributions from the Philadelphia Building Trades in the last two election cycles alone. And now we’re the bad guys? What a joke.

And on the subject of character assassination:

John Kane would never shamelessly drag his Republican opponent’s family into the middle of a heated political race. But that’s what Tom McGarrigle did, in a final, desperate attempt to smear John Kane. McGarrigle’s half-hearted denial that his camp wasn’t involved in this latest effort to embarrass John convinced no one.

Dougherty isn’t all anti-McGarrigle in the letter, though. He waxes enthusiastic about Kane’s prospect:

John Kane has talked about creating family-sustaining jobs. He’s talked about taxing the Marcellus Gas industry to help plug the huge funding gap for our public schools. He’s talked about being a defender of Delco’s many middle class families, fighting for jobs, tax breaks and lower college tuition costs. I have sat next to John at many meetings when we talked about creating after-school programs, raising more than $1 million for United Cerebral Palsy, adopting Alex’s Lemonade Stand as a charity, building playgrounds and rec centers for under-privileged youth, participating in the Gary Papa Prostate Cancer Run, and delivering toys and turkeys every holiday season, many to families in Delaware County.

Kane is clearly Dougherty’s man, and the local Republican party is failing to hold on to a once-loyal proponent. “The new breed of Delco Republicans aren’t gentlemen,” says Dougherty. “They’re hit men.”


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