One of the primary people fighting for the United Auto Workers to set up shop at Volkswagen Chattanooga reportedly had to settle a slander suit for his part in a nasty mudslinging campaign in Michigan.
This, according to this week’s Washington Free Beacon.
Joe DiSano, a Michigan political consultant, heads up the Center for VW Facts. DiSano reportedly accused VW of waging a “deceptive campaign to discourage employees” from becoming the first UAW plant in the right-to-work state.
“DiSano would know a thing or two about ‘deceptive’ campaigns. During a 2012 Democratic primary for a Michigan statehouse seat, he circulated a robocall accusing one of the candidates of ‘using the internet to lure young girls into nude modeling sessions at his home,’ where he took “dirty pictures in his basement,’” The Washington Free Beacon reported.
“The target of those robocalls lost the race and later filed a defamation suit seeking to clear his name. A judge dismissed DiSano’s First Amendment defense and the two parties settled. As part of the settlement agreement DiSano agreed to circulate a new robocall correcting the previous mudslinging and issue public apologies in two newspapers.”
Southern Momentum, a grassroots group of Volkswagen Chattanooga workers who oppose the UAW, released a statement on the matter.
“We have said all along that we don’t need outsiders from Michigan coming into Chattanooga and telling us what is best for our factory and our community,” said Carol Gruber, a team member at Volkswagen Chattanooga.
“It is not surprising that someone with this track record would be so closely aligned with the UAW – an organization with a long history of putting its own interests above the interests of workers. My livelihood and that of thousands of Chattanooga families are on the line. It’s time to reject the out-of-town special interests and send the UAW packing.”
Southern Momentum first formed ahead of the 2014 election at the Volkswagen Chattanooga facility, which the UAW lost by a vote of 712 to 626.
As The Tennessee Star reported, Southern Momentum has run radio and television ads opposing the UAW in the Chattanooga market featuring Volkswagen employees who don’t want the UAW in town.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Joe DiSano” by Joe DiSano. Background Photo “Volkswagen Chattanooga” by Volkswagen Chattanooga.