On 9/26, 2000 the Chicago Sun-Times ran this letter by the local president of the AFL-CIO, who pointed out that Cheney was "AWOL" at voting booth. Given how bad his voting record was in Congress, it's too bad he wasn't more AWOL while he was there:
I can't help but comment on the irony recently. Illinois Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood rightfully acknowledged and commemorated the 80th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment allowing women the right to vote. She highlighted the struggles, perils and devotion to democracy that brave women such as Elizabeth Cady, Susan B. Anthony and Ida B. Wells displayed, all the while fighting for the right to vote.
Unfortunately, Wood's party's choice for vice president is Dick Cheney. It seems that in the last 16 state and local elections, Cheney voted only twice. He missed voting in his state and local elections 14 times! In fact, he did not even vote in the last primary in Texas, thereby not even voting for George W. Bush.
Cheney stated that "those elections only cover local issues like school boards." Apparently, Cheney does not know that his running mate is pushing for more "local control" of school boards. Doesn't he know that there are two procedures in Texas, known as "absentee" and "early voting," to assist out-of-town voters?
As a former secretary of defense, Cheney knows full well that American soldiers defend our country and democracy abroad. They put their lives on the line almost every day to protect our sacred right to vote. Cheney must not think voting is very sacred. When it comes to voting, Cheney is, so to speak, AWOL.
As the Democratic Party and the working families of the AFL-CIO gear up for voter registration, education on the issues and finally getting out the vote, it seems the Republican Party's first priority should be to get their own candidates to the polls.
Don Turner, president,
Chicago Federation of Labor AFL-CIO