Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Bucks and Bennett at Democratic fund-raiser

Sept 27 2004 Newsday

Dennis Rivera, head of Local 1199 of the health care workers union, has re-invented the role of local labor leader as political power broker. Although associated with Democratic and liberal causes, he has taken to endorsing Republicans when it suits his needs.

His willingness to turn on Democrats has earned his union the sarcastic tag L6611 - the local's number inverted and backward - by some pols and labor activists.

He got off the hook on one endorsement during the primary when Democratic Assemb. Steven Kaufman lost a race in the Republican Primary to fill a vacant state Senate seat.

Rivera had to endorse Kaufman as a favor to Sen. Joseph Bruno, leader of the Senate's Republican majority. The labor leader is still on the hook for his endorsement of Republican Al Curtis against Democrat Diane Savino for a Senate seat in a Brooklyn/Staten Island district soon to be vacant.

There is no doubt that Rivera will honor his commitment, but one labor official close to the Savino campaign said it remained to be seen whether Rivera would back up his endorsement with actual volunteers and money.

For the full story, go to the web site of Newsday.

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