Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Unions Rally at Statehouse, Call for Luna Recall

Posted By on Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 11:31 AM

About 200 picketers outside the Statehouse joined protesters across Idaho Monday in solidarity with public sector workers, who have been under attack in what one legislator called a Republican "war on working people."

The crowd roared when, in his opening remarks, Democratic Rep. Brian Cronin of Boise pointed at the Idaho Capitol and said, “It is such a relief to leave this building and come out and talk to some real people.

“We have really done a number on the teachers,” Cronin said. “Somehow these heroes of the classroom, the people who educate our children, are the villains in conservative ideology. I do not think it’s an exaggeration to call recent actions of various governors and legislatures a war on working people.”

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Dave Whaley, rally organizer and president of the AFL-CIO of Idaho, told the crowd, “We cannot leave this Legislature and not forget what happened here this session. They're stealing your rights."

“Folks, it’s been said, but it bears repeating,” Cronin added. “If you are not angry right now, you are simply not paying attention!”

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Grant told Citydesk an effort to recall State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is under way.

"The recall goes into effect immediately once you get enough signatures. Then,” said Grant, “it would be up to Mr. Luna to either resign or face a special election.”

Recalling Luna will not be easy, however, with 157,000 signatures required to put the question before voters. Petitions to gather those names began circulating this week.CORRECTION: are expected to begin circulating the week of April 18.

“I support that effort," Cronin said, "but I also think that our efforts should really be directed toward the next election and making sure that people we want to throw out now don’t ever get re-elected.”

Similar events were held Monday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls and Pocatello, Whaley said.

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