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Unions lining up with Barack

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by yesfan, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. yesfan

    yesfan Active Member

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    Change To Win Endorses Obama

    UPDATE, 10:30 Eastern Time, Feb. 21:

    Change To Win has officially decided to throw its endorsement behind Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), according to Anna Burger, the chair of the group.

    "Change to Win is excited to announce the endorsement of Barack Obama for President. We are the unions that organize and mobilize working people and believe that we can make a huge difference on the ground in the upcoming primaries. Change To Win is the new labor movement, the labor movement of the 21st century and we are excited about our ability to make a difference."

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    UPDATE, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time: An astute reader notes that the Farm Workers had previously endorsed Hillary Clinton in late January. That means that either the Change To Win endorsement of Barack Obama -- if it happens -- won't be unanimous or it will be a HUGE story that the Farm Workers changed candidate. The former scenario is far more likely.

    ORIGINAL POST

    Change To Win, the rump group of labor organizations that broke off from AFL-CIO in 2005, will hold a conference call tomorrow morning to consider an endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), according to sources familiar with the group's thinking.

    The leadership council of Change To Win, which includes the presidents of the seven member unions as well as chair Anna Burger and two other members, will convene tomorrow at 10 a.m. to consider a potential endorsement.

    Of the group's seven member unions, four have endorsed Obama: Service Employees International Union, UNITE Here, Teamsters and the United Food and Commercial Workers. For Change To Win to offer a formal endorsement, two-thirds of the member unions or unions representing two-thirds of the total membership must agree on a single candidate. There may well be a desire to offer a unanimous endorsement, however, which would mean the Laborers International Union, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and the United Farm Workers would have to jump on board with Obama.

    The support from Change To Win would be yet another piece in Obama's winning puzzle for the nomination. Labor had largely split in the early days of the race -- the AFL-CIO chose not to endorse and other major unions like SEIU were unable to come to a consensus pick. The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees was a rare exception -- weighing in on behalf of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.).

    But, after former senator John Edwards (N.C.), a labor darling, dropped out of the race and as Obama has accumulated 10 wins in the wake of the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday voting, labor has begun to jump off the fence. SEIU went for Obama late last week and the Boilermakers and Teamsters went with Obama today.

    Change To Win has a national membership of roughly six million people. The support from such a large conglomeration of unions would provide Obama with even more ground troops in advance of crucial primaries in Ohio and Texas on March 4 and Pennsylvania on April 22 and further add to the growing sense of momentum (and, dare we say it, inevitability) surrounding his candidacy.

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