As the media fades to irrelevance in the last days of the campaign, the people who matter are the ones doing Get Out the Vote, GOTV to the insiders.
And a major Bloomberg campaign player who has, until now, escaped notice is Maura Keaney. On loan from the union UNITE HERE, she’s running Mike’s GOTV operation, playing a similar (if better-funded) role to 1199’s Patrick Gaspard on the Ferrer campaign.
Her low-profile spot running an election day operation expected to include about 10,000 people (not the 50,000 number the campaign touts, but still a lot) says some interesting things about labor politics.
For one thing, her union, UNITE-HERE, has quietly become a more important political force in the city than it gets credit for.
“We don’t have a process, as some unions do, about generating a lot of press about the numebrs we have,” the union’s chief of staff, Chris Chafe, says. “We just put our shoulders into it and get it done.”
It’s also a reminder that, for all the (accurate) reports of the decline of labor, unions are still the masters of GOTV. Keaney’s working for Mike under ex-1199er Patrick Brennan.
And, as Chafe notes, Keaney’s and Gaspard’s roles are a sign of the strength of the Change to Win unions, which include SEIU and UNITE HERE, and which recently split from the AFL-CIO.