After announcing back in March that it was halting all political contributions and endorsements until further notice in retaliation for passage of Tier 6, the state’s largest public employees union, CSEA, today released a limited number of legislative endorsements of candidates who “stand with working people.”

“Many lawmakers who have long enjoyed CSEA support will not have it this year because they abandoned the working people of this state,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “CSEA is holding lawmakers accountable for their actions. The CSEA endorsement has to be earned or else it has no meaning.”

“…CSEA members will aggressively campaign for our endorsed candidates,” Donohue said. “Just as important, beyond this election we will work to mobilize members to be even more involved in the legislative process – regularly communicating with elected officials and challenging them when they don’t do what’s right for working people.”

“Limited” translates into 49 Assembly candidates – a mix of incumbents and challengers that’s heavy on Democrats, but does include a few token Republicans (Mark Johns, Claudia Tenney) – and 16 Senate candidates, all of whom are Democrats.

Oddly, CSEA is backing just two of the four IDC members – Sen. Diane Savino and Jeff Klein, but not David Carlucci or Dave Valesky (who doesn’t have a challenger anyway). The IDC members were the only senators to vote “no” on Tier 6, while the Democrats all walked out of the chamber to avoid casting a vote one way or another.

Aside from backing zero Senate Republicans, CSEA has thrown its support to Democratic candidates in two races for open seats – Ricardo Montano, who is running against GOP Assemblyman Phil Boyle for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Owen Johnson; and Ted O’Brien, who’s facing off against Assemblyman Sean Hanna for retiring Sen. Jim Alesi’s seat.

The union issued no endorsement in the race for retiring Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer’s seat, where Democratic Assemblyman George Latimer is dueling Republican Bob Cohen. Latimer was one of eight Assembly members who were not present for the Tier 6 vote.

In the 15th Senatorial District, CSEA sided with Democratic Sen. Joe Addabbo, who is likely to face a tough challenge from New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich, assuming he defeats attorney Juan Reyes in the Sept. 13 GOP primary. In the 40th Senatorial District, the union is supporting Democratic newcomer Justin Wagner against GOP Sen. Greg Ball.

In the 60th Senatorial District, where GOP Sen. Mark Grisanti is fighting for his political life, CSEA went with Hamburg Democrat Michael Amodeo, who is facing off against former Erie County Legislator Chuck Swanick (who has the Conservative Party’s nod) in the September primary.

CSEA’s congressional endorsements are straight down the Democratic line. The union also is backing Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in her first question for a full six-year term.