Burning for Bush

Misled over air quality, shortchanged in federal funding, union wants four more years

"Where's the support from this president? I don't see it," said Rudy SanFilippo, one of two UFA delegates to oppose the Bush endorsement. The implicit message behind the union's move, said SanFilippo, was that the White House and/or Pataki would use their influence to help the union win the city contract it has been seeking for more than a year. SanFilippo said that when he was called Sunday night before the meeting by Cassidy, he asked if there were any promises of support for the contract or the pension bill. "He said, 'No.' So I said, 'Why wouldn't I go along with the rest of labor, including my union international and everyone else?' "

Down the road, SanFilippo said, the union is looking at the likelihood that "hundreds of our members could be fatally affected" by their rescue work at the Trade Center. "Explain this to me: We can't get the governor to sign that legislation, but he's there for our endorsement. The president hasn't held anyone accountable for the lies about air quality, but we're backing him. I don't get it."

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