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SEIU’s leanings were made clear during a late August Washington meeting, where SEIU rank-and-file members voted for Dean in a beauty-contest ballot. Stern, though, put off an endorsement, in part, out deference to his AFL-CIO brethren, who also put off a vote.
The SEIU’s endorsement gives Dean the potential linchpin he needs to lock in the inside track to the Democratic nomination. That’s not because the SEIU is the AFL-CIO’s largest member. (Remember, Dick Gephardt still has the best shot at the overall AFL-CIO nomination because of the large number of AFL-CIO affiliates that have already endorsed him.) No, the SEIU is critical because it puts Andy Stern in the Dean campaign’s hip pocket.
Over the past 18 months, Stern has helped finance the startup of three critical 527 soft money political action groups (these are sanctioned by the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act). The Partnership for America’s Families, America Coming Together, and America Votes all bear heavy financing by the “union label” and by next summer these groups may have more than $100 million to spend in support of Democratic causes, the biggest of which is the party’s presidential candidate.
While that money can’t be spent directly on Dean for President. It can be spent on general issues campaigns and get out the vote programs.
In some ways, the SEIU’s endorsement might actually help Gephardt get the full AFL-CIO nomination. That’s because AFSCME president Gerald McEntee (he’s the man who “discovered” Bill Clinton in 1991), was also sniffing around Dean after his other “hot” candidates, Sen. John Kerry and Gen. Wesley Clark, flamed out. But McEntee and Stern despise each other, to the point where McEntee pulled AFSCME money from some of labor’s 527 programs because Stern was given a larger leadership role than he was.p>McEntee now may turn to Gephardt, or to another candidate, simply to spite Stern. That split in the AFL-CIO’s largest unions might be enough to ensure that the union backing Gephardt has already received is enough to win him the AFL-CIO’s endorsement. br> /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online