Zadroga: Where’s the IAFF?

Missing in Action?

A reader posted a comment purportedly from the “The New York City Firefighter Brotherhood Foundation” (NYCFFBF) evaluating the IAFF’s performance on lobbying for the reauthorization of Zadroga coverage.

The bill, among other things, “extends the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program Fund indefinitely.”

The NYCFFBF says:

“We can’t honestly say where they (IAFF) have been anywhere on this issue.”

“We are however saying that we have been to Washington, D.C. For each and every step of this process since 2008 and everybody knows who we are as well as who the Fealgood foundation is. But we don’t know anybody from the IAFF.”

“We have a very close relationship with many members of congress. At no single time were the words “IAFF” ever mentioned by any one person in any of the hundreds of meetings we have taken in on this subject.”

A Classic Error

NYCFFBF makes the elementary error of disparaging an issue partner in the middle of a fight giving opponents the opportunity to divide and conquer.

While it’s clear that the NYCFFBF and the Fealgood Foundation, led by John Feal, have been important players in the fight to both pass and preserve Zardoga legislation, going negative on the IAFF is “bush league” politics.

And, suggesting that the IAFF is effectively unknown on Capitol Hill is laugh-out-loud funny.

I’m sure that Senators Schumer and Gillibrand know who Steve Cassidy and Jake Lemonda are and who they represent.

John Feal is in the news again today, threatening, “I don’t plan on a sit-in. I plan on getting arrested” and “If I have to handcuff myself to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell’s ankle I will,” according to the Daily News.

Beware of advocates employing the pronoun “I”, they are often spinning out-of-control.

Where’s the Beef?

It’s true that IAFF-HQ was unable to provide instances of their work on the Zadroga bill when contacted but that may be because they are not implementing or supporting grassroots lobbying on the Hill.

In fact, where grass, lobbying and the IAFF are concerned it’s much more likely to be grass-fed beef served at the Prime Rib.

There may be a role for high-dollar intimate feasting but NYCFFBF and IAFF local members prove that “boots on the ground” action is very effective, too.

They just need to realize they are not the only ones in the fight and that there are many ways to help achieve the end result.






  • tom fay says:

    I’ll be in DC Thursday as a first RESPONDER Fire fighter
    (Volunteer) fro n NJ who knows Johnny Feal.
    Fraud. Period. There 17 days after buildings fell.
    For 1 hour….1 hr and he was in an area he was told
    Not to go near….that’s why he got injuried…

    Tom Fay

  • Jeff Winters says:

    I was contacted by an IAFF Political Department employee to please contact South Dakota’s two US Senator’s and our lone Representative about supporting the Zadroga legislation. I did as they requested. I am happy to report that Senator Mike Rounds, and Representative Kristi Noem both have signed on as cosponsors following my contact with them as president of the PFFSD. Senator Thune wasn’t as responsive. However, he may support the legislation after some compromises are made in a companion bill.

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