Card Check: The SEIU, Blagojevich and Priorities

By December 10, 2008Labor Unions

From The Washington Post, “Union Official Allegedly Liaison Between Governor, Obama Team“:

SEIU leaders, who were gathered yesterday at a Denver hotel to discuss the “card-check” legislation that would make it easier to form unions, declined to comment yesterday, saying through a spokeswoman, “We have no reason to believe that SEIU or any SEIU official was involved in any wrongdoing.”

You can regard that as a dodge, or maybe it’s laser-like focus: Make sure your expand your political clout by forcing unwilling employees into union membership through “card check.” Only THEN bother explaining the extended discussions between a top SEIU official and Illinois Gov. Blagojevich.

Blagojevich apparently thought — or fantasized — he could work with SEIU to exchange favors with the new Administration. To be clear: There’s no evidence anything went beyond the spouting off stage.

Funny, though, we never really thought of SEIU as a major pro-Obama union during the campaigns, so who’s to deal? Thus, the Post’s added context is useful:

[SEIU President Andy] Stern resisted attempts by some SEIU chapters to endorse Obama early in the primaries, because Stern also liked former North Carolina senator John Edwards and hoped to preserve the union’s resources for the general election. But Stern went along with a full endorsement in February, and the union invested heavily in the general election — though it probably played less of a role in key Rust Belt states than the AFL-CIO did. A former SEIU official, Patrick Gaspard, was named Obama’s political director.

More on Gaspard, the union guy in the White House to be.


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