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Politically Myopic? The IAFF's Endorsement of Kerry - James W. Dundas
James W. Dundas

Kerry and the IAFF

I have been retired for almost seven years, and although I don't know why, I still maintain my retiree membership in the IAFF. In fact, I came from the same department as Harold Schaitberger, yet I couldn't be more removed from his politics or his leadership of the IAFF.

I never knew Harold, nor would he ever know me. We met only once when I first joined the IAFF in 1973. He went on to bigger and better things in the union, and I finished out my career with the department. At first, I was happy and proud that he became President of the International.

Today, I see him as a reckless gambler, risking the image and reputation of a once honorable and unreproachable organization.

That he gathered to himself the support of the top leadership of the union is a testament to his management skills. That he has done so without a mandate from the membership is disheartening.

Firefighters are practical people who easily see through deception. Like our colleagues in law enforcement, we become skeptical and suspicious after we've witnessed life's worst every day of our careers. To endorse a candidate based on narrow-minded labor issues is political myopia, at best. Cynicism could suggest other, more egregrious motives.

If Kerry is elected President of the United States, I will be able to cash my fat retirement paycheck while dodging hijacked airliners piloted by Islamic terrorists.

The safety of my family and the security of my country are greater issues to me than whether another state loses right to work status.

Day by day, Kerry loses ground on all the issues in which he has cloaked his campaign, and day by day, he appears increasingly hollow and insubstantial.

The fact that Harold Schaitberger could lend his organization's endorsement without the consent of its membership shows that hollow begets hollow.

James W. Dundas, Jr.
Battalion Chief, Retired
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
Ashburn, Virginia