(photo: Neil Parekh/SEIU)

In the wake of health care reform, unions, led by SEIU, started to huff and puff and threaten primary challenges to members of Congress who voted against the final reform package.

First SEIU threatend Rep. Mike McMahon (D-NY) with an opponent in his next race, which fizzled out. Next, an AFL-CIO leader threatened to run against Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), a threat that fizzled out. Same goes for labor-backed possible challenges to Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-SD) and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA).  Then SEIU set its sights on North Carolina, where three Democratic members of Congress voted against the health care bill, by not only threatening to run candidates, but to create a whole new political party.

At the time, FDL News’ David Dayen yawned at the threat, saying, “wake me when SEIU runs candidates.” Well, David, keep on sleeping. Not only is SEIU not running candidates yet, they failed to get the required signatures to officially certify the party.

A labor-backed effort in North Carolina to challenge House Democrats in the midterm elections appears to have failed because organizers of a proposed third party have not submitted enough petition signatures by the Monday deadline.

Gary O. Bartlett, executive director for the state board of elections, said Monday afternoon that none of the agency’s precincts had received petitions from the upstart party but that officials had a 5 p.m. deadline and a final count cannot be made until Tuesday morning.

The party had to submit roughly 85,000 signatures to local election officials by May 17, then have the certified petitions to the state by June 1.

According to reports, SEIU will continue to identify and recruit candidates, but they will have to run on the Democratic line, and by extension, primaries – potentially less potent than having its own ballot line.

Well, so much for that. Indeed, it seems the only health care opponent successfully targeted by unions is Blanche Lincoln, whom labor was eager to target health care or not. SEIU and the rest of labor is doubling down in the three weeks before the run-off election.

Michael Whitney

Michael Whitney

My name is Michael Whitney. I'm a progressive online organizer working with FDL Action. Rush Limbaugh called me "clueless" once. He went into rehab two days later.