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As a United Steelworkers Local Union president, I am very familiar with the efforts of my western Pennsylvania brothers and sisters' efforts to get Jason Altmire elected.  Unfortunately, I am also very familiar with our frustration at his performance ever since the ballots were counted.  Amazing how easily politicians forget the folks who were their friends and allies when they were simply candidates.  It's a story as old as elections themselves, I'm afraid, but this time the final chapter may just be written by us.  

Forget loyalty, Mr. Altmire, it's far too late for that.  There is still time, however, to do the right thing and be on the right side of history today.  If you have no interest in history, maybe you should think of it this way:

YOUR JOB COULD VERY WELL DEPEND ON YOUR VOTE TODAY!

I'm from the Philadelphia area, and I enjoy the friendly rivalry my brothers and sisters from this area have with our brothers and sisters from the western part of the state.  Eagles vs. Steelers; Flyers vs. Penguins; Phillies vs. Pirates (ok, there isn't much said about that one from my western PA brothers and sisters); you name it, we talk about it.

In 2006, while we were working our asses off for Joe Sestak and Patrick Murphy, our western Pennsylvania counterparts were doing the same in a (we thought) futile effort on behalf of Jason Altmire.  I was very proud of what they were able to accomplish in that election and we all share fond memories of our hard work and ultimate victories.  Now, I know that no matter how hard you work for a candidate, you will not agree with every vote they cast.  I'm a big boy, I get it, but Jason Altmire has been truly frustrating for those who worked so hard on his behalf.

Yesterday, that frustration led to a sit-in at Altmire's Aliquippa, PA office:

Today the Steelworkers made it clear that we will not forget!

Saying a vote against the health care bill would be a betrayal of workers and working families, the United Steelworkers threatened to draft a local labor leader to run against Rep. Jason Altmire if the congressman votes against the legislation today.

snip...

Instead, the Pittsburgh-based union would back Allegheny County Labor Council President Jack Shea in a run against Mr. Altmire, said Tim Waters, director of the USW's Rapid Response political arm.

"We're tired of listening to politicians like Jason Altmire promise that he's going to stand with us and stand with working families in his congressional district and then side with corporate interests and insurance companies and big hospitals," Mr. Waters said Saturday. "Our families burned up a lot of shoe leather ... to get him in office because he promised us he was with us."

snip...

"Anyone turning their back on us now is going to be met with the harsh reality that we're going to be looking for other alternatives and actively seeking other alternatives," he said.

Again --

Forget loyalty, Mr. Altmire, it's far too late for that.  There is still time, however, to do the right thing and be on the right side of history today.  If you have no interest in history, maybe you should think of it this way:

YOUR JOB COULD VERY WELL DEPEND ON YOUR VOTE TODAY!

UPDATE:

Here is Mr. Altmire addressing USW activists shortly after his first election:

UPDATE #2:

USW and other union and healthcare activists are protesting at Jason Altmire's house right now!

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Originally posted to Savage on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 09:46 AM PDT.

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