In March 2011, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu disregarded a union strike to cross a noisy picket line and give a speech to a business association that donated to her campaign, The Daily Caller has learned.
While members of the local chapter of the national Unite Here! union were in the middle of a cold, two-month outdoor protest against Madison Hotel’s policies, the senator and her staff drove into the hotel in a black SUV. (RELATED: Republicans Could Win Louisiana Outright… With A Tweak)
“I was standing on the sidewalk as her sedan was driven into the garage-like area of the hotel,” a conference attendee told TheDC. “I saw her look right at the protesters as she drove in. They were so loud and created such a presence that no one in a two block area could have missed them.”
Workers with Unite Here! Local 25’s two-month winter campaign were protesting a corporate acquisition of the Madison Hotel by Jamestown Properties. “According to the union… the new management fired 27 employees without warning and refused to honor the existing contract,” the Washington Post reported two weeks after Landrieu crossed the line. “Housekeepers saw their room quotas at the 353-room hotel increase to 16, from 14.”
She was visiting the hotel to speak at a conference hosted by the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO), an association the D.C. senator’s campaign was familiar with. Since 2008, NADCO has contributed $12,500 to the senator’s campaign, including $2,500 in 2008, $5,000 in 2010 and a further $5,000 in 2012. The contribution in 2010 — the year before the conference — was the second highest of any congressional contribution the organization made that year (beat out by Democratic New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez), and was twice as high as NADCO’s second-highest Senate donation.
The day the Louisiana senator’s SUV broke the picket, the temperature dipped as low as three degrees above freezing.
In the state she represents, Landrieu has been sharply criticized for registering to vote at her parents’ bungalow, but listing her actual residence at her $2.5 million brick mansion on D.C.’s Capitol Hill, 2.4 miles from the swanky hotel. (VIDEO: Elbert Guillory Attacks Mary Landrieu For Flying ‘Private Jets’ While Black Community Struggles)
So far in 2014, NADCO has not donated to the struggling senator, according to data provided by OpenSecrets.org.
Landrieu has, however, been able to count on the loyal support of labor unions, pulling in an impressive $70,000 in union-dues support from 2009 to 2014— a period of time that covers her decision to disregard Unite Here! Local 25.
Among her top 100 donors between 2009 and 2014 are five unions: The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ($30k), the Sheet Metal Workers Union ($25k), the Laborers Union ($15k), the Operating Engineers Union ($15k) and the Teamsters ($15k). Those unions did not return requests for comment.
Landrieu’s campaign also did not return a request for comment.