Charlotte’s mayor under fire by opponent fighting for promise that DNC jobs stay local

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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On Wednesday the Democratic Party’s Charlotte, N.C. mayor, who local conservatives refer to as “Obama-lite” because of his deep ties to the president, will face a barrage of criticism, The Daily Caller has learned.

Republican mayoral candidate Scott Stone told The Daily Caller that, at about 11:30 a.m., he’ll show up at city hall in Charlotte and demand that Democratic Mayor Anthony Foxx pledge to not give any 2012 Democratic National Convention jobs to union workers from other states and try to keep all the workers it hires within Charlotte’s city limits.

“The DNC contract that the national party has with the city of Charlotte has union stipulations in it,” Stone said in a phone interview. “It’s very specific: union labor shall be used.”

“The DNC staff says ‘we will maximize union labor,’” Stone added.

Stone said there’s a small problem his Democratic opponent fails to mention when he’s talking about how local businesses will benefit from the convention in Charlotte next year: North Carolina is a “right to work” state, making union labor harder to find.

Stone said that to fill the union requirements in the DNC contract, the party will have to import union members from other states, like Illinois, to do the work.

“I think one of two things is going to happen: either the workers are going to come from out-of-state, either Chicago or Philly, and they’re going to come and get the work,” Stone said. “Or, they’re going to force local people, local employees and local companies, to unionize if they want to get a piece of this project. So, one of those two things is going to happen and neither one is good.”

In his political showdown with Foxx on Wednesday, Stone said he’ll ask the Democrat to pledge he won’t hire out-of-state or out-of-city workers for any job that local workers, union or not, can do.

Stone told TheDC he expects Foxx to thwart his call to sign the pledge, just like the Democrat has avoided debating him — according to Stone, Foxx has failed to accept his invitations to debate, and they’re scheduled to have just one showdown before the next election.

Stone said Foxx is clearly a hypocrite, as during his 2008 campaign the Democrat sent a man in a “chicken costume” to his GOP opponents’ events when the Republican wouldn’t debate him.

“We put another call out yesterday for debates,” Stone told TheDC on Tuesday. Foxx hasn’t answered the call. Stone said Foxx is “trying to be real cute about it and say we’ve got all these forums” that basically count as debates.

He said the forums don’t really count as debates, though, because the two never get to have a dialogue and discuss the issues. Sometimes if they’re lucky, Stone said, the two will hear each others’ remarks at the “forums.” More often than not, though, they’ll miss each other as one will talk with an audience for 30 minutes, then the other.

The Democratic Party considers Foxx a rising star, and has put a lot of stock in his future. “He’s very close to the president,” Stone said. “He spends a lot of time in Washington and the DNC convention coming here next year gives him the opportunity to shine on a national stage.”

“Whatever the president has in his new ‘jobs plan,’ for example, Foxx, as the mayor of Charlotte, was one of the first ones to come out and endorse it,” Stone added. “Whenever the White House needs an endorsement from elected officials across the country, Anthony Foxx is among that first wave of endorsements every time.”

Stone said that Foxx has shared political staff with the DNC and the Obama campaign. “I think [Foxx] is certainly looking long-term and what he’s going to run for in the future,” Stone said. “He sees his future tied very closely to the Democratic national party.”

For months, Stone said Foxx hasn’t answered questions about whether DNC jobs will stay local. As early as February, the Charlotte Observer, the local newspaper of record, reported that the DNC was going to try to use entirely union labor.

“It’s not a secret that the DNC has a strong labor component to how they carry these conventions out,” Foxx told the paper in a follow-up article. “How that looks going forward will be the product of a lot of work to develop a plan.”

On top of that, Democrats’ bashing of Bank of America may emerge as an issue. Stone told TheDC that Foxx hasn’t stood up for Bank of America – and, by extension, the local economy and local jobs.

Though North Carolina unemployment is 10.4 percent, more than a full point higher than national 9.1 percent unemployment rate, Foxx considers the state’s Governor, Bev Perdue, the “jobs governor.” Recently, Perdue faced national criticism for recommending the suspension of federal congressional elections as a means to fix the economy.

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