John Yarmuth Makes Kentucky State AFL-CIO's First Website 'Wall of Fame'

John Yarmuth
Kentucky State AFL-CIO

This guest post from Berry Craig originally appeared at the  Kentucky State AFL-CIO. The Kentucky legislative session begins today.

"Which Side Are You On?" is a grand old union song.

Billy Thompson, United Steelworkers (USW) District 8 director, came up with a Wall of Fame-Wall of Shame banner to show which side state senators and representatives were on when they voted on those union-busting bills last January.

We think the banner is a great idea. So we're starting a complementary Wall of Fame-Wall of Shame on our website.

We want to show our union brothers and sisters how Kentucky lawmakers in Frankfort and Washington are voting on bills important to organized labor. (We invite other state federations, central labor councils and union locals to start Walls of Fame and Shame for state and federal legislators in their neck of the woods. (Click here to check us out on The Union Edge: Labor's Talk Radio.)

First up is the Republican Robin-Hood-in-Reverse tax legislation.

Like most Americans, most union members oppose the legislation, which the AFL-CIO has called "a job-killing tax plan that makes working people pay the price for massive tax giveaways to millionaires and wealthy corporations."

Not surprisingly, Kentucky Republican Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and Reps. James Comer, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie, Hal Rogers and Andy Barr voted for the bill.

Again, Rep. John Yarmuth, the only Bluegras State Democrat in Congress, came through for us and voted against the bill.

So Yarmuth's name is the first to go up on our Wall of Fame. The GOP sextet is debuting on our Wall of Shame.

We're including a percentage that shows how often legislators back the president on bills. We think that's important information because when GOP lawmakers are back in Kentucky they often promise the home folks that they're not just Donald Trump rubber stamps. Evidence shows they are, more often than not.  

The evidence comes from "Tracking Congress In the Age of Trump: An updating tally of how often every member of the House and Senate votes with or against the president." Click here to see the House score and here for the Senate score.

WALL OF FAME (voting no on the tax bill)

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville (17.5)

WALL OF SHAME (voting yes on the tax bill)

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville (96.3)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green (84.6)

Rep. James Comer, R-Tompkinsville (94.7)

Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green (98.2) 

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Vanceburg (71.9) 

Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset (98.2)

Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington (94.7) 

"Reward your friends and punish your enemies," said union pioneer Samuel Gompers, the first and longest-serving president of the American Federation of Labor.

John Yarmuth is one of labor's best friends in Washington. McConnell, Paul, Comer, Guthrie, Massie, Rogers and Barr are about as anti-union as legislators get.

Paul introduced a national "right to work" law. The other six Kentucky Republicans are pro-right to work. All seven were gleeful when the Bluegrass State went right to work.

We hope our Wall of Fame-Wall of Shame will help Kentuckians who pack union cards remember, too, when the Matt Bevin-led, GOP-majority state legislature convenes in January to continue its holy war against unions and working people, and the GOP-majority Congress, egged on by Trump, stays its anti-union and anti-worker course.