Clay critical of Carnahan as congressional primary nears | St. Louis Public Radio

Clay critical of Carnahan as congressional primary nears

Jul 13, 2012

Updated 4:35 p.m. with Carnahan response

Missouri Congressman Lacy Clay continues to hurl a number of criticisms at Congressman Russ Carnahan, as they vie for the Democratic nomination for the 1st Congressional District.

During a press conference Friday at the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Training Center in south St. Louis, the Democratic incumbent accused Carnahan of selling out workers by voting for the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.

Clay says the bill changes the rules for holding elections, making it harder to give workers the opportunity to have union representation.

"The bill makes it easier to strip away union rights in the case of mergers between airlines or railways," Clay said. "And it also allows election results to be challenged in-person, not by workers, but by their bosses, which opens up union elections to voter intimidation."

Clay also criticized Carnahan's support for the $700 billion TARP bailout, which he says did not defend working people.

Here is a statement released to the press in response from Carnahan's campaign (link included is theirs):

“It is a shame that Mr. Clay continues to conveniently misunderstand the facts,” said Carnahan spokesperson Maurice Henderson. “In 2008, our nation was in the midst of one of the worst financial collapses in history. Congressman Carnahan courageously stood with then-presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama and a number of Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate, including a number from the Congressional Black Caucus, to cast a tremendously difficult vote to ensure that the nation did not go into complete financial collapse.

Whether it was standing up to ensure that people’s retirement investments would not take further losses or when President Obama called upon Congress to pass the stimulus package to put America back to work, Congressman Carnahan was there to stand up on behalf of the St. Louis region to lead.

Most economists, including those who have testified before the Financial Services Committee Mr. Clay has so often ignored, believe that without TARP, our nation could have seen dozens of banks fail, bankrupting thousands of businesses and resulting in a second Great Depression.

As then Senator Obama said, 'To the Democrats and Republicans who have opposed this plan, I say this– step up to the plate do what’s right for the country even if it’s not popular, because the time to act is now.'

Congressman Carnahan stood up to protect our economy while Lacy, once again, sat down."

Follow Julie Bierach on Twitter: @jbierach