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Sweet: SEIU to endorse Obama on Friday. NYT reports John Lewis flips to Obama.

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WASHINGTON--UPDATE at 9:24 p.m. Chicago time.
The New York Times reports that civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) who endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton will, as a superdelegate cast his vote for Barack Obama. The Obama campaign was sending this story around. LINK

The Service Employees International Union, one of the most politically engaged labor organizations, on Friday is expected to announce its support for Barack Obama. Obama's Big Mo continues.

The SEIU announded late Thursday--after reports surfaced about the Obama endorsement--that its leaders will "Make (a) Major Political Announcement Tomorrow." Last fall, the SEIU said it was staying out the primary.

"This Friday, February 15, SEIU President Andy Stern and Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger will discuss a major political announcement with reporters via teleconference," the union said.

From an October post...

Sweet blog special: SEIU takes a walk. Won't make an endorsement pick.
CHICAGO--The Service Employees International Union, one of the most politically engaged labor organizations, announced Monday there will be no Democratic primary presidential endorsement. Staying out of the primary is a victory of sorts for Barack Obama who faced an uphill battle to clinch the SEIU backing; a roadbump for Hillary Clinton and a more significant set-back for John Edwards because he has been working the SEIU stronger than his rivals.

The SEIU went to neutral because there was not enough difference between the pro-union candidates. Each state will be encouraged to make an endorsement. That means it is just a matter of time before the Illinois SEIU announces for Obama and the New York SEIU goes for Clinton. Edwards, I have been told, has an edge in California.

for SEIU release, click below...

Citing Strength of Presidential Field, SEIU Locals to Decide on Endorsement of Presidential Candidates by State

Members and Leaders in Each State Will Decide Whether/Whom to Endorse

CHICAGO – Citing the strength of the presidential field on the key issues for working families, and the importance of the 2008 election on the future of America, SEIU local unions will decide on presidential primary endorsements on a state-by-state basis.

“The outcome of this election will decide whether we finally achieve comprehensive, affordable healthcare for everyone, whether we bring economic security and fairness to working people, whether we bring our sons and daughters home from a civil war in Iraq, and whether working people in America finally have the freedom to form unions without intimidation,” said SEIU President Andy Stern. “Given the importance of this election, we are encouraging members and leaders to act on their passion for the candidates and get involved on a statewide basis.”

SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger said: “Any one of these candidates would help create a new American dream for workers and their families. Once we have a nominee, SEIU members and leaders will launch the largest and most comprehensive campaign in our history to help elect a president who truly cares about working families.”

Local unions in each state will decide in a democratic process whether and/or whom to endorse. Endorsement decisions will not be announced before October 15. States that endorse will engage in positive campaign activities on behalf of their endorsed candidate in their state.

SEIU members will continue their commitment to changing America by working together on key issues, such as overriding President Bush’s veto of children’s healthcare, and mobilizing for SEIU’s largest grassroots effort in history to elect a pro-worker president.

Already the top presidential candidates have been more involved with SEIU members than ever before, including being interviewed by members and walking a day in a member’s shoes at work and home.

# # #

With 1.9 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America. Focused on uniting workers in three sectors to improve their lives and the services they provide, SEIU is the largest health care union, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care; the largest property services union, including building cleaning and security; and the second largest public employee union

Posted by Lynn Sweet on October 8, 2007 04:00 PM | Permalink

1 Comment

ALL the endorsements should come to a dead halt until political activity is protected by the presidential candidates with day jobs.
That's Senators Clinton and Obama.
Why they don't do a filibuster on myriad issues amazes:
1. The Tcom immunity rider on the FISA bill--it doesn't belong there. George Bush is threatening to 'let something happen' to this country unless he can trample and abuse the rights of those of us not wealthy enough to have scrambling devices on our communication technology. SEIU employees probably don't have that technology, right? So why endorse ANYONE until your right to free association has been protected by your elected officials?
2. End the war. Bring the kids home. Heal the wounded.
Rep. Phil Hare and others are doing their jobs.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution says Lewis' office is denying that he has left Hilary's camp for Barack's. That is wise. Nobody should endorse ANYBODY until the prez candidates are told unequivably--WORK THE DAY JOB!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 14, 2008 7:45 PM.

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