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Rep. Boyle Responds To Questions About Campaign Donations Received From Embattled Ironworkers Union

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(A Philadelphia police car blocks the driveway of Ironworkers Local 401 headquarters on the day 11 members were indicted.  Credit: CBS-3)

(A Philadelphia police car blocks the driveway of Ironworkers Local 401 headquarters on the day 11 members were indicted. Credit: CBS-3)

Dom Giordano Dom Giordano
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thursday morning on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Dom Giordano questioned Pennsylvania State Representative Brendan Boyle about campaign donations he’s received from Ironworkers Local 401.

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On Wednesday, three members of the union were charged with sabotaging a non-union worksite by cutting steel beams, lighting a crane on fire and causing $500,000 to the construction of a Quaker meeting house in Chestnut Hill.

The Ironworkers Local 401 previously donated $10,000 to Boyle’s campaign. Meanwhile, Boyle is attempting to make a run for the congressional seat currently held by Allyson Schwartz.

“There’s no question – politically, I did the riskier thing,” Boyle said of his decision not to return the money. “I just refuse. This money actually doesn’t come from the union leadership; it comes from the paychecks of members, many of whom are not only friends and constituents of mine, but actually neighbors…For me to know turn my back on them, I just don’t think would be right.”

Giordano told Boyle that the alleged behavior of the union in this case is indicative of union behavior throughout the city of Philadelphia and said it needs to be curtailed.

“I think that’s just where we have a fundamental disagreement,” Boyle responded, touting the benefits that unions have gained for workers for generations.

“My dad is a janitor for SEPTA. I thank God he was the member of a union. He would not have had the wages and benefits to be able to raise my brother and me without the union benefits that he had, as well as my mom, who was a city crossing guard,” Boyle said.

Boyle also rejected the idea that unions routinely act in the destructive manner described in the indictment against the ironworkers union.

“Overall, they’ve been much more a force for good than for evil in society, and I don’t think that what we saw in that indictment, which was heinous, [is] at all representative of what unions do.”

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