The 330,000-member Fraternal Order of Police, the largest U.S. police union, will back no candidate for president this year, the first time the group passed on an endorsement in its 98-year history, the Wall Street Journal reports. The union backed Republican nominees in 2000, 2004, and 2008, and President Bill Clinton in 1996. Union leaders reportedly were disturbed by Republican candidate Mitt Romney's strong support for antiunion initiatives, particularly Ohio’s move to curb collective-bargaining rights of public-union employees.
The rebuff came less than three months after Romney met with the order's top brass in June seeking the group's endorsement. “We had a lengthy and comprehensive meeting with Mr. Romney,” said executive director Jim Pasco . President Chuck Canterbury said, “The important challenges faced by our rank-and-file officers, the real issues in public safety, and the problems that our criminal justice system is facing are not the focus of either campaign. It would be irresponsible for us to support either candidate.”