State Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 13th District, said Tuesday that he will keep the $10,000 that the Ironworkers Local 401 PAC gave him last year, despite federal racketeering charges against union leaders.
“Certainly we don't condone any of the alleged actions of a few individuals,” Boyle said in a statement. “But nor do we think it's fair to impugn the reputations of the thousands of Iron workers in this local, or the tens of thousands of hard working members of the building trades.”
Federal prosecutors charged 10 members of the union, including its leader Joseph Dougherty, with a pattern of using violence and the threat of violence to extort contractors and push out competition from non-union firms.
Boyle sought to claim the political high ground, saying that now was no time for organized labor’s friends to cut and run.
“Unions and the working and middle class families they represent are under the biggest assault from corporate special interests that this county has seen since the 1920s,” he said. “This alleged incident shouldn't be used as an excuse to attack the important work unions do to reduce the growing gap between the rich and everyone else."