Laborers union all in for...Michele Fiore?

Why would a prominent Nevada union invest $10,000 in an assemblywoman who once suggested unruly union picketers should get a "a bullet in your head" and used her elected position to try to squelch union protests?

I wondered about that after Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, not known for her respect for the law or for political foes, filed a revised campaign report after initially showing zero contributions last year, an obvious falsity. Fiore's new report shows about half of her large contributions came from three political action committees controlled by the Laborers Union. (UPDATED: This originally said Fiore was the only lawmaker to receive Laborers' money last year, but that's because she listed the name of one of the PACs wrong on her form (so the SOS site listed only her contribution). She was by far the largest beneficiary. It turns out they gave to another Republican, Stephen Silberkraus, as well as Victoria Seaman, a few Democrats and the Senate caucus. Mea culpa).


Tommy White, the head of Local 872, told me Thursday that while the organization previously gave to the Democratic Party, "What we learned at that last session in Carson City is nobody knew the difference between construction unions and public unions."

"She paid attention to us," White told me of Fiore. And, he added, many of his members "care about the 2nd Amendment and efforts on limiting firearms," a Fiore obsession. "A lot of our members like that she's there to protect the 2nd Amendment," White said. 

The labor leader scoffed at my suggestion that it was strange, despite her votes for union on issues related to construction jobs, that Fiore was the only lawmaker the organization gave to in 2015. "She basically told my board members what they needed to hear and stood up for it," White said. And then this from White of Fiore, who is running for Congress (or so she says): "In the future, if she runs for anything else, we'll probably support her for that."

Stunning, no?

White told me the union will "play big" in politics this year and will continue to give to both sides. This really shows that labor is not monolithic. And it also could present quite the issue for any Fiore primary opponent.