The AFL-CIO will consider a resolution next week at its convention that would prohibit any Clark County commissioner who votes against the gas tax next month from getting labor's endorsement.
The resolution, attached here, contains eight sections explaining why the tax plan makes sense and then concludes with:
"Resolved, that the Nevada State AFL-CIO supports the implementation of the fuel tax indexing by the County Commission and will not endorse any Commissioner who votes against the impementation of the fuel tax indexing that is so badly needed to provide the resources necessary to repair our roads."
The resolution was proposed by the building trades -- specifically, the Laborers District Council. That group has been decimated by the recession and surely sees the thousands of jobs that would be created.
"They feel strongly enough about it to send a message," said longtime AFL-CIO chief Danny Thompson, who has to remain neutral until the resolution is passed, defeated or pulled.
It also seems as if the resolution targets Steve Sisolak, who is mulling a run for governor, especially because it appears the votes are there to pass the gas tax on Sept. 3. (Advocates need five out of seven and Sisolak has been the only outspoken foe. Lawrence Weekly, whom I chatted with today, does not seem committed either way, which may lessen the margin for error.)
"I am very disappointed to hear of this resolution," Sisolak said. "I have always fought for the working men and women of Nevada and done everything in my power to help the private sector create new jobs. This is simply a tax increase that I cannot support. Political endorsements or campaign donations have not and will not influence how I vote."
My guess is the resolution may have trouble at the convention next week because some other elements of the AFL-CIO may not want to go so far out on a limb in what could be a precedent-setting move. But just the fact that it is on the table shows how strongly some labor folks feel about this issue.