(Politico) – Labor won big on trade last week, but Democrats are still seething over the scorched-earth tactics that unions employed en route to their dramatic, if perhaps short-lived victory on the House floor.
The ill will — even among lawmakers who typically consider themselves friends of labor — is unlikely to subside soon, interviews with more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers and aides indicate.
The AFL-CIO pummeled some pro-trade Democrats with scathing TV ads and threats of primary challengers. In the end, most House Democrats voted to derail President Barack Obama’s bid for expanded powers to negotiate trade deals, though Republicans are trying to chart a new legislative path around the Democratic objectors.
“I didn’t like what I was reading and seeing in the public from the [union] presidents in terms of trying to single members out and pick on members,” said Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who voted against fast-track. “I’m one of those guys that really protects my friends, and the Democrats are my friends and I didn’t like the fact that [labor was] doing that.”