Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Streetsblog Capitol Hill

Transit Union Apologizes to Senate After Campaign-Finance Flap

11:21 AM EDT on August 6, 2009

The United Transportation Union (UTU) is moving quickly to smooth over relations with the Senate Commerce Committee after sparking bipartisan ire with a claim that a former UTU counsel won a presidential nomination thanks in part to the union's political contributions.

Elliott_Daniel.jpgObama administration nominee Dan Elliott (Photo: UTU)

The UTU released a document last month asserting that the White House's nomination of Dan Elliott to the Surface Transportation Board -- as well as that of Joe Szabo to lead the Federal Railroad Administration -- "is tribute to the political influence of the UTU, which flows from the UTU PAC [political action committee]."

The suggestion of political influence drew harsh remarks yesterday during the Commerce panel's debate on the Elliott nomination, with committee chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) calling UTU's remarks "embarrassing, ridiculous, self-aggrandizing, inappropriate, harmful, and a few other words."

UTU President Mike Futhey sent a letter of apology to Rockefeller and his GOP counterpart, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), late yesterday.

"[T]he statement that appears to attribute Mr. Elliott's nomination to the influence of UTU PAC was not in any way appropriate and is certainly not an accurate reflection of the facts surrounding his nomination," Futhey wrote.

The UTU, affiliated with the AFL-CIO, represents more than 100,000 rail and transit workers across North America.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

NYC Debuts Public E-Bike Charging for Delivery Workers

Finally, they’re taking charge! The city’s first public e-bike charging station opened in Cooper Square on Thursday — the start of an overdue six-month pilot that is part of a “Charge Safe Ride Safe Action Plan” for delivery workers that Mayor Adams announced last year.

March 1, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Have Questions

What's an optimal rebate to get people to buy e-bikes without wasting money on those who were going to buy one anyway?

March 1, 2024

To Recruit Transit Workers, More Than Just Higher Pay Is Needed

Labor shortages continue threatening public transit systems, and a new report adds another layer to the conversation.

February 29, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Streets for Skateboards

Aaron Breetwor on skateboards for transportation and designing streets for safer skateboarding.

February 29, 2024

Agencies Need to Use Federal Funding to Buy Land for Transit Oriented Development

Transit agencies do not prioritize transit-adjacent housing development often because they lack funding to acquire land.

February 29, 2024
See all posts