Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Coattail Politics

The landslide victory of the Members Party in New York's Local 802 elections represented the latest in a series of blows to Tom Lee's status quo. But at their inaugural ceremony, these new officers will be sworn in by none other than Tom Lee.

Lee knows his politics and is aware that his survival is in the balance. He will use the swearing-in ceremony as he uses all such opportunities: to charm potential adversaries and solidify support. Even though new Local 802 officers were elected on a platform of change and progress past the divisions and stagnation of Tom Lee's nine years in power, Tom Lee will claim that he is on their side. He is a master in the art of coattail politics.

Take, for example, an article in the September 2008 International Musician. The headline reads

"The AFM Reaches Agreement for Musicians on Wonder Pets!"

But read carefully, and you'll see that it was Local 802 which negotiated the agreement. This piece from Allegro by Fred Barton, explaining the deal in detail, makes no mention whatsoever of participation by Tom Lee, the AFM, or the IEB.

Tom Lee is ready and willing to misappropriate the achievements of others to justify the failure of his nine years in power. The question is, when will we stop believing him?