WASHINGTON—Two business association presidents slammed organized labor for its attempts to influence the recent election, while simultaneously claiming victory for their own lobbying efforts. ``Labor tried to buy Congressional seats, and failed,'' said Jerry Jasinowski, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, at a Nov. 7 press conference.
``The unions tried to buy the House, but the House wasn't for sale,'' added Jack Faris, president of the National Federation of Independent Business five days later.
Messrs. Jasinowski and Faris referred to the estimated $35 million the AFL-CIO spent in an effort to regain the House of Representatives for the Democrats, targeting vulnerable Republican freshmen elected in 1994.
While the Democrats picked up 10 seats in the House last Nov. 5, the Republicans still have a 225-208 majority there. The GOP actually gained two seats in the Senate, for a 55-45 majority there.
``There has been a battle in
Congress be-tween labor and business over issues and control of the House,'' Mr. Jasinowski said. ``(Labor) took very serious national issues, tried to bind them to their platform, and did a lot of harm in the process. They made Americans unduly fearful about the future of Social Security and Medicare.''
``Dues-paying members of the AFL-CIO ought to impeach (union President) John Sweeney for misuse of their funds,'' Mr. Faris said. ``He spent $5 million for every race they won. He would have been better off distributing that money back to the members.''
Mr. Jasinowski interpreted the re-election of a Democratic president and Republican Congress as ``a call by the American people for smaller, more pragmatic government... in the hope that both sides will be forced to work together toward practical, common-sense policies that help the average American and give taxpayers a bigger bang for their buck.''
Mr. Faris said the NFIB had involvement in 113 Congressional races, with its candidate winning in 58. The AFL-CIO, he said, targeted 73 races, but won only 19.