Brothers and Sisters,
We’re approaching the presidential election with the finish line in sight, after facing a barrage of messages from both candidates.
Try to step away from that avalanche of campaign rhetoric and ask yourself a simple question: Who is the best candidate who supports our carpenters union? In this election, Hillary Clinton is the only friend that we have. Donald Trump is a popular candidate with our membership, but please consider pausing before voting for him. I have publicly stated that I’m not opposed to Trump because he’s Republican. My opposition to him is that he has demonstrated an anti-union bias throughout his career. He talks about “jobs, jobs, jobs,” but I can assure you that he’s not referring to union jobs.
Before casting your vote for president, I urge you to consider what will happen. This new president will have an impact for decades because he or she will be able to nominate justices to the Supreme Court. He or she is guaranteed to appoint at least one justice’s seat (to replace the vacant seat of Antonin Scalia). The possibility exists that three, even four seats could be up for grabs. (We have one of the oldest Supreme Courts in history.) If Donald Trump appointed three, four or more justices, it would virtually guarantee a majority on the Supreme Court that is ready to support anti-union decisions.
This is the most important election in my lifetime. As a proud union member, the choice is clear. We need to vote for Hillary Clinton.
She might not be a perfect choice or even one that you would prefer. You might dislike her and feel uncomfortable voting for her, but the alternative is far worse.
With Hillary Clinton, we share mutual goals and a history of working together. We have none of this with Donald Trump. The other scary factor in this election is even more unthinkable. If we have the wrong leader as president, with an anti-union bias, he would have the incumbent advantage of being re-elected. Eight years of unfriendly attitude if not downright hostility toward unions is a terrifying scenario.
In addition to the presidential ticket, I will briefly raise one issue that relates directly to the membership in New Jersey. The ballot will have a choice about whether to allow gambling outside of Atlantic City. I urge you to vote “yes” on this issue. We all know that Atlantic City’s fortunes have slipped in recent years. It’s a trend we can reverse. A vote for casinos outside of Atlantic City is a vote for union jobs.
On Nov. 8, you will have one of the greatest privileges in a democratic society: the right to vote and to do so in complete privacy.
I urge ALL our members to vote. I urge you to vote for Hillary Clinton and to allow the expansion of casino gambling outside of Atlantic City. Your vote for Clinton and in support of the gambling issue in New Jersey is a vote for our union membership. And that is a vote for yourself and your families.
John Ballantyne, EST