In what appears to be yet another flip-flop, John Kerry reportedly crossed a picket line in Chicago to speak at a Rainbow-PUSH meeting, Instapundit reports this evening:
Northwestern Univ. Law Professor James Lindgren sends this email:
As the New York Times reported yesterday, John Kerry refused to cross a picket line on Monday in Boston to speak to the National Conference of Mayors. He was quoted as saying on Sunday night: “‘I don’t cross picket lines,’ he said. ‘I never have.'”
Yet this morning (Tuesday) in Chicago Kerry spoke at the annual meeting of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow-PUSH Coalition, which was being very actively picketed by a labor group, Voices of Morality (VOM). VOM is leading a labor discrimination protest against Daimler-Chrysler (the signs that the picketers were holding looked very much like ones in pictures on the VOM website). Jackson and the PUSH conference were being targeted because, according to a local Chicago ABC TV news report, Jackson has ties to Daimler-Chrysler. The reporter referred to the PUSH coalition conference as one on “labor,” but neither the official text of the Kerry speech nor the PUSH website lists that as the topic of the conference, though of course PUSH is best known nationally for its labor activities–picketing corporations and negotiating financial deals with them.
Sure enough, Chicago’s ABC station confirms the professor’s report in an exclusive story on its website:
While Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry addressed education during a speech at Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, critics of Daimler-Chrysler picketed outside the building.
Reverend Jackson is trying to help Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry connect with African American voters and this year’s Rainbow PUSH conference provided a perfect venue. But Kerry’s appearance this morning was overshadowed by a crowd of black activists. They’re angry at Jackson for allowing an allegedly racist auto company to underwrite a portion of the [Rainbow-PUSH] conference.
“The black vote is not for sale. The black vote is not for sale,” chanted the demonstrators.
Nearly a hundred African American demonstrators protested outside the Rainbow-PUSH convention. They accuse the Reverend Jesse Jackson of selling out the black community by allowing automotive giant Daimler Chrysler help underwrite the cost of the convention. The carmaker is accused in a lawsuit of subjecting black buyers to racially discriminatory sales policies and making derogatory racial comments about African Americans.
It appears from the story that not only did the pickets exist, but that the demonstration was large enough even for a Senator to notice. It also calls into question Kerry’s association with Jesse Jackson’s organization, which has raised eyebrows in the past for its arm-twisting — some would say extortionate — practices in getting money out of corporations, not to mention the disposition of the cash afterwards.
John Kerry, of course, had this to say on Sunday evening:
Later Sunday night, after attending Mass and receiving communion at St. Vincent’s Waterfront Chapel overlooking Boston Harbor, Mr. Kerry was asked how he would respond to the mayor. “I don’t cross picket lines,” he said. “I never have.”
The question of the day for Kerry: Which is it, Senator? Do you cross picket lines or not? Perhaps he wouldn’t cross picket lines before he would.