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jeff wiggins

Jeff Wiggins

Kentucky Steelworker says Sanders and Warren are the 'only to people really fighting for us in Washington' 

Kentucky Steelworker Jeff Wiggins didn’t just vote for Barack Obama both times the president ran.

He wore out shoe leather campaigning for him in 2008 and 2012.

But Wiggins, the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL CIO Area Council president, is less than happy with Obama and other Democrats who are pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

“It’s ten times worse than NAFTA,” said Wiggins, area council president and president of United Steelworkers Local 9447 in Calvert City.

Wiggins doesn’t understand how Obama, who earned the AFL-CIO endorsement both times he ran and who had a strong pro-labor voting record when he was an Illinois senator, could support TPP. “It’s backed by Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and the other Republican union haters,” he said.

"I feel like there are only two people really fighting for us in Washington. One is Elizabeth Warren and the other is Bernie Sanders. They are fighting the president tooth and nail over this trade deal.”

Added Wiggins: "I feel like there are only two people really fighting for us in Washington. One is Elizabeth Warren and the other is Bernie Sanders. They are fighting the president tooth and nail over this trade deal.”

Warren is a Democratic senator from Massachusetts. Sanders is Vermont’s independent senator.

“Bernie Sanders is an independent because he is too liberal to be a Democrat,” said Wiggins.

Sanders calls himself a socialist, though he recently tossed his hat in the ring for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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Sanders’ political views are pretty much in line with western European democratic socialist, social democratic and labor parties.

Wiggins said Sanders and Warren “are my idols and the people I look up to most in Washington.”

Wiggins has met both senators. “You couldn't ask for finer people."

Wiggins knows Sanders can’t beat former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

But like several Americans who pack union cards, he hopes the senator can keep Clinton “right on the issues important to working people.”

Sanders also admires Obama and Clinton. So does Warren. All four have enviable pro-labor voting records.

Sanders has backed the union position on bills 98 percent of the time he’s been in the senate, according to the AFL-CIO’s Legislative Scorecard. Clinton scored 94 percent for her 2001-2009 tenure as a New York senator.

Obama notched a 98 percent rating when he was in the senate from 2005-2008. Warren has a perfect score of 100 so far.

Sanders never misses a chance to praise unions, in or out of the Green Mountain State. A YouTube video of Sanders speaking at a March 31 town hall meeting in Austin, Tex., is making the Internet rounds.

Berry Craig

Sanders spoke at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 520 hall in the capital of the Lone Star State. The video is worth a look, even to folks with “I’m Ready for Hillary” stickers on their bumpers.

Berry Craig