The irony was not lost. On the 25th anniversary of Idaho's Right to Work law, in front of a concrete plant gone silent, Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick picked up a key labor endorsement Wednesday.
"He understands that collaboration rather than confrontation is often the most effective way to accomplish good things for Idaho and the country," said Burke Hansen, president of Idaho Associated General Contractors. The Gem State's chapter of the AGC has supported Republican candidates in the last two congressional elections, including Minnick's 2008 competitor Bill Sali.
"We appreciate that Congressman Minnick focuses on issues rather than politics," said Hansen, representing more than 800 Idaho member companies.
Keeping with the labor tone, Minnick waxed poetic about his days in the wood products industry as "the best 21 years of my life."
Standing in front of the Idaho Concrete facility on State Street in Boise, Minnick said, "It's the largest ready-mix supplier in the state, but this plant isn't running right now. The recession has hit Idaho's construction industry hard. However, I've never met a more resilient, determined group of businessmen and women."