Democrat Doug Beck calls out Lenihan’s dishonest pandering
By TIM ROWDEN
In the race for the Missouri Senate’s 1st District, the choice is clear.
Democrat Doug Beck, a member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 and current state representative from Affton, is a trusted friend of Labor and, if elected, would provide a voice for union building trades and all unions, in the state senate.
His opponent, David Lenihan, who calls himself a rare pro-union Republican, has been campaigning with Republican state representatives David Gregory, John Simmons and Senator Andrew Koenig – all of whom have supported deceptive anti-union “right-to-work” (RTW) legislation.
What’s worse, Lenihan was recently caught lying to would-be constituents about his position on Proposition A, the union-busting RTW measure overwhelmingly defeated by Missouri voters in 2018.
RTW requires unions to represent non-members for free, draining their finances and weakening their bargaining power. Working families in RTW states earn an average of $8,740 less per year. As such, union members rightly want to know where candidates stand on the anti-union legislation.
LYING TO VOTERS
In a Facebook exchange on Oct. 1, Lenihan, who has been supportive of the Carpenters union, posted photos of work starting on a new medical school for Ponce Health Sciences University at Jefferson and Cass avenues in St. Louis. Lenihan, who is president of Ponce, was praised in the comments section by a retired Carpenters Local 3202 member for his support of union labor.
Lenihan replied, “Investment comes in many forms and engaging the carpenters and their skills is one of the ways we are investing in Missouri and St. Louis.”
Later in the comment stream, Lenihan was asked by IBEW Local 1 journeyman wireman about his feelings on Prop A, to which Lenihan replied “I did not support it!”
The Local 1 member then asked Lenihan pointedly if he had personally voted “No” on the measure, to which he replied, “I voted against Prop A.”
DIDN’T VOTE AT ALL
However, St. Louis County voting records show Lenihan didn’t even vote in the August 2018 primary election when Prop. A was on the ballot. He didn’t vote in that year’s general election either.
In fact, according to records maintained by the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners, the last time Lenihan voted in an August primary election was 2010. That’s an alarmingly lax voting record for someone seeking election to the state Senate.
By comparison, Beck, a union pipefitter for more than 30 years, who argued against RTW as a representative in the Missouri House and was directly involved in the successful campaign to defeat Prop. A at the ballot box in 2018, has cast a ballot in every primary election since 2008.
The exchange between Lenihan and the union voters has since been removed from his campaign’s Facebook page.
‘WRONG’ AND ‘OFFENSIVE’
Beck was quick to call out Lenihan’s attempt to mislead union voters about his position and actions regarding Prop. A.
“It’s wrong, and it’s offensive, on an issue that is that important to Labor, that he would actually lie to people to get a vote,” Beck said. “That’s the difference between him and me. I know not every voter is going to agree with me on everything, but I would never lie to them to get a vote.”
In a recent post on his own campaign’s Facebook page, Beck said: “I will always be authentic and honest, even to my possible detriment, because that is what you deserve.”
As a state representative, Beck has been a fierce defender of workers’ rights, opposing RTW legislation that would lower wages, fighting to protect prevailing wage laws and collective bargaining, and opposing other anti-worker legislation.
For more information on Beck’s campaign and where he stands on the issues, visit beckformo.com.