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

Transit Union Apologizes to Senate After Campaign-Finance Flap

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

Delivery Worker Minimum Wage Shows Promise … For Some, Data Shows

New data from New York City's Department of Consumer and Worker Protection shows minimum wage is bringing order to a previously wild industry.

July 15, 2024

Monday’s Headlines Go Through Basic Training

An NYU study looks into why the U.S. is lagging behind on high-speed rail, and one transportation expert ponders the impact on growth.

July 15, 2024

Sustainable Transportation Advocates Need to Talk About Sustainable Urban Design

A new book hopes to act as a "magic decoder ring" to our built environment — and a powerful tool to understand how sustainable transportation networks can fit within them.

July 15, 2024

Long Beach Leads in Traffic Circles

Traffic circles aren't quite ubiquitous in Long Beach, but they're around. Riding and walking through the city one encounters circles in neighborhoods rich and poor, new and old.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Take Me to the River

Politico reports that the Biden administration is investing $2.5 billion in updating aging Mississippi River locks and dams like this one in Iowa. Transporting freight by barge produces less emissions than trucks or even rail.

July 12, 2024
See all posts