AFSCME leader: “That is bullshit!”

AFSCME president Gerald McEntee spoke this morning to the Iowa Democrats gathered at the DNC in Denver.  He used the occasion to mock Governor Chet Culver and to address bigotry (read more and listen to his speech here).

Iowa political types know long-time AFSCME organizer Marcia Nichols.  So does McEntee.  With Culver & his wife, Mari, sitting not 15 feet away at a table near the front of the crowded room, McEntee let loose: "Chet Culver: good governor, good record — but he’s even going to make it better, right? We hope. We’ve had some discussions with the governor," Entee said, then pointedly joked at Culver’s expense. "(AFSCME’s) Marcia Nichols isn’t here, right? Marcia Nichols is the acting governor of Iowa right now, just so everybody knows it, and she just signed the ‘Fair Share’…We now have that governor."

Culver and his wife were not amused.  Toward the end of his 18 minute speech, McEntee sort of addressed the elephant in the room, saying there were some union members who won’t vote for Barack Obama because he’s black: "I say to all those people out there in our own union and every other union in the United States: ‘If that’s the reason you can’t vote for Barack Obama, that is bullshit and you have to change your mind,’" McEntee said, to a standing ovation from Iowa Democrats. "…That is total bullshit and it should not stand today in America."

As some Iowans may recall, Senator Tom Harkin used the word "bullshit" in speeches during his run for the White House back in 1992.  Harkin shook McEntee’s hand after this morning’s speech, lauded him for saying what he said, but Harkin added that he "took some heat" back in ’92 for using that barnyard epithet.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Three cheers for McEntee!