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News :: Labor : Organizing : Politics
Nice coverage of our campaign in Boston Globe North
11 Sep 2006
Check out the article about our campaign that appeared in Sunday's Boston Globe North edition:
Click on image for a larger version

Union official in race for auditor, new party
By John Laidler, Boston Globe Correspondent, September 10, 2006

After nearly three decades in the trenches as a labor organizer, local union official Rand Wilson is taking a new tack in advocating for working people.

Wilson, on leave from his job as organizing director of Local 201 of the International Union of Electrical Workers-Communications Workers of America in Lynn, has launched a long-shot candidacy to become state auditor -- a move that has drawn mixed reaction from his labor colleagues.

The 53-year-old first-time candidate, an unenrolled Somerville resident, will face off against popular five-term Democratic incumbent A. Joseph DeNucci in the Nov. 7 state election.

Though running to win, Wilson said the primary impetus for his candidacy is to promote the creation of a new Working Families Party in Massachusetts and passage of Question 2 on the Nov. 7 ballot, which would allow candidates to accept the nomination of more than one political party or designation.

"A vote for Rand Wilson . . . is a vote that sends a strong message that people are fed up with politics as usual and want to refocus the political dialogue on the issues that are important to working people -- which are good jobs, affordable healthcare, and quality education," he said.

"That is the aim of our political party , and that's the aim of my campaign."

Wilson is on the organizing committee of the Working Families Party. Currently considered a political "designation," the Working Families Party needs to gain at least 3 percent of the vote in a statewide race this year to qualify for official party status in the 2008 state election.

The group chose to compete in the auditor's race since, with only one other candidate running, there is no prospect that its nominee could serve in a "spoiler" role, inadvertently helping elect a candidate that does not reflect the platform of the party. Wilson was tapped to carry the party's banner.

Wilson said Ballot Question 2 would bolster the Working Families Party and other third -party groups because, by nominating the same candidate already chosen as the Democratic or Republican nominee, a third party could avoid playing a spoiler role in a race while still being able to quantify the support for its platforms.

Wilson has been bringing his campaign and his message about the need for a new political party to radio shows and to labor groups across the state, including the monthly meeting of the North Shore Labor Council last month.

"I think you only need to see what is happening to the standard of living of working people in Massachusetts to realize our political system is failing us," he said, noting recent reports showing the relatively low wages of working people in the state and across the nation.

As for the office he is seeking, Wilson said, "I'm sure I would be a very capable auditor. I have stood up and organized people and stood up to special interests all my life."

DeNucci, 67, a former five-term House member, said last week that "everyone has a right to run for public office." But he said, "I don't particularly like being opposed by a 'Working Families' candidate because I consider that's what I've been doing all my career -- fighting for working families."

He said he was seeking another term because "I don't think there's any other kind of work that I'd want to do that would give me more satisfaction than helping people who need government."

Wilson's candidacy is drawing a mixed reception in the labor community.

Robert J. Haynes, president of the state AFL-CIO, said his organization is "four-square behind Joe DeNucci," whom he praised for doing "a good job auditing the books of the Commonwealth and ferreting out fraud and abuse." He said DeNucci has also "carried out the law" that allows the state to privatize a function only if it can show that it would save money and produce equal or better services.

"I'm disappointed he's taking on Joe DeNucci," Haynes said of Wilson. "I'm sure his intentions are good, but Joe DeNucci has a stellar record. I wish they found some other place to run and accomplish their goals."

But Jeff Crosby, president of Local 201 of the IUE-CWA, said he personally supports Wilson's candidacy. He said the local does not endorse in statewide races but it supports both Question 2 and creation of a Working Families Party. (Crosby is also president of the North Shore Labor Council, but he said that group's endorsements are made through the state AFL-CIO, of which it is a part).

"We are fortunate to have good Democratic candidates around here, but we also need to have more options when on occasion there is not much difference between the two parties," Crosby said.

Crosby praised Wilson, who has the endorsement of several Boston-area unions and the community group ACORN, as someone who "has devoted his entire working life to the labor movement."

Wilson was employed at a medical testing device manufacturer in Cambridge in the late 1970s when he and other workers decided to join a union. That effort spawned his career as a labor organizer.

Through that work, which included a stint with a now-defunct carpenters' union in Beverly, Wilson has been on the front lines of many battles to organize and support unions and to advance an agenda for working people at the community, state, and national level.

Some of those fights have been high-profile ones, such as the three-month strike in 1989 by Boston-area telephone workers and the 15-day national strike by United Parcel Service workers in 1997. He was founding director of Massachusetts Jobs With Justice, a coalition of unions and community groups that promotes universal health care and other causes.

Leslie Greenberg has worked side by side with Wilson on health issues over the years as a founding member of the Lynn Health Task Force, a nonprofit healthcare advocacy group. She enthusiastically supports his candidacy.

"I think it's really exciting" to have a candidate "that's been out there . . . that really understands what the issues of the community are," said Greenberg, adding that Wilson also "understands the bigger picture."

© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.

Rand Wilson, Candidate for Auditor
Wilson for Working Families
30 Hall Ave, Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 623-8405
rand (at)

Be sure to check out the Mass Ballot Freedom campaign site at
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Rand Wilson is a fraud and a charlatan
11 Sep 2006
He's campaigning to give the Democrats, the party of My Lai, Fallujah, and the KKK, a "working families" facade.

No votes for Democrats, Greens, or Republicans, the parties of capitalism! Build a workers' party!