Blanche Lincoln officially announced her 2010 campaign team today for her re-election as Arkansas’ senior senator, according to the Arkansas Blog. It’s obviously been no secret that Lincoln is running for re-election, as she’s been amassing a war chest for almost a year now. But today’s announcement also mentioned Lincoln’s campaign staff, including campaign manager Steve Patterson. Patterson previously served as Lincoln’s Chief of Staff in the House and Senate, and as campaign manager on Lincoln’s first reelection campaign in 2004.
Funny story about Patterson that I was reminded of today. Back in June, Patterson was invited to speak to the Benton County Democratic Women club (Benton County is the home of Wal-Mart). Why was Patterson speaking there? He was invited as the logical counter-point to a pro-Employee Free Choice speaker from the AFL-CIO. From the Benton County Record at the time (which TPM also hit):
Steve Patterson, the former Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D), will discuss Sen. Lincoln’s position regarding the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).The proposed legislation would allow workers to gain union representation if more than half of a group of employees sign union cards. The EFCA legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate, but has not yet gained the support of the 60 Senate votes needed to prevent a filibuster.
Last month the club hosted AFL-CIO representative Amy Niehouse who spoke about the EFCA and described the benefits to workers and communities when workers choose to organize a union.
Sen. Lincoln announced in April that she “[c]annot support and will not support moving it (EFCA) forward in its current form.”
Club President Suzanne Jessup said the club members wanted to hear from both sides of the issue, which prompted the invitation to Mr. Patterson to speak at this month’s meeting.