Although a lot of media attention is devoted to the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association’s protests of the mayor’s trip to Des Moines, Iowa, another union announced its objection as well.
Transport Workers Union President John Samuelsen blasted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his trip and announced a union campaign to take out a series of digital ads, billboards and newspaper spreads in the Des Moines Register. Samuelsen, and the union, refer to de Blasio as a fake progressive with antiunion policies who doesn’t stand up for blue-collar workers.
“This is an all granola, no-grit brand of phony progressivism, and it will not benefit America’s working families,” said Samuelsen in a statement. “Mayor de Blasio is very quick to throw his so-called principles in the gutter when it’s politically expedient. He’s a situational progressive, and definitely not an ardent trade union supporter. De Blasio is as phony as a three-dollar bill!”
Some of the ads greeting the mayor when he landed in Iowa included a caricature of the mayor named “Phony Bill,” a $3 bill with a human face.
De Blasio’s in Iowa this week to raise money for the Democratic Party, to help elect progressive politicians around the country and to push the party’s agenda. Samuelsen and company believe that his courting of wealthy real estate developers and other wealthy donors cancels out anything he tries to do on behalf of working people.
When asked by reporters in Des Moines about the protests from TWU and the PBA, de Blasio said, “This is nothing new... both of these unions have done this kind of thing before.”
In an op-ed for the New York Daily News in 2016, Samuelsen said de Blasio is only in it for himself and doesn’t care about unions. “He’s quick to throw his so-called principles in the garbage when it’s politically expedient,” wrote Samuelsen. “He's a situational progressive at best, and definitely not an ardent trade union supporter.”