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Obama Captures Important AFL-CIO Endorsement, Campaign Workers & Donations

The AFL-CIO officially endorsed Senator Barack of Illinois for president after representatives of the 56 member unions representing 10.5 million members voted on the General Board. During the primary process, these 56 member unions were split among support for Obama, Clinton or Edwards, so no candidate was able to muster the required 2/3 support required for an official endorsement by the AFL-CIO.

Like the Democratic Party primary and caucus voters, unions members had their favorite candidates, with no one single candidate the clear favorite, although Obama managed to capture some important endorsements from Plumbers and Fitters, Boilermakers, International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the American Federation of Government Employees unions during the primary season.

With the very weak record of John McCain on issues dealing with working people and just a 16%(COPE) voting record, Obama was an easy choice for the AFL-CIO to back. Obama's strong support on issues such as health care reforms as well as fair trade, certainly made the choice to endorse Obama an easy call for the AFL-CIO.

Obama will pick up important cash donations and election worker support from this new AFL-CIO endorsement. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) which represents 1.4 million members, intends to mobilize as many as 40,000 workers for the Obama campaign and spend as much as $50 million dollars in efforts to boost the senator. John McCain will be hard pressed to match strong efforts such as this mobilizing of thousands of campaign workers or raising so much money so easily.

The McCain campaign continues to lag along with internal campaign organizational problems, slow donations, and a general feeling of voter apathy towards the candidate. By contrast, the Obama campaign is buoyed by more excitement about the candidate. Much of McCain's support only comes from lukewarm sources such as voters not really happy about Obama for various reasons. According to a new Rasmussen Poll, 27% of voters are very favorable to Obama, compared to just 17% for McCain. And Obama has a larger base of favorable support than McCain as well, although the public certainly holds respectful views of both candidates and they both remain popular with many voters so far.

The AFL-CIO is also launching a new website to introduce it's membership into reasons why Obama should be elected president located at www.MeetObama08.com to help to answer any questions from primary voters from Clinton or Edwards who still have lagging questions about the young senator from Illinois.

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Comments (7)


Interesting to note that while union management goes for democrats, MOST UNION MEMBERS I know are predominately republican. And when I was in a union, I was never asked my opinion as to who the union should endorse.


i always hated when i paid union dues that they would endorse people who i didn't like without even consulting the members. and then give them my money.

besides, was there ever any doubt that the unions would endorse obama? after all he is in favor of the travisty that is non-secret ballot elections for unions.

as far as i am concerned, most unions need to be shut down under the RICO act or as monopolies of labor. mind you, there are some unions, such as the miners, that still do good work. but most of them are shite.

Lee Ward:

"MOST UNION MEMBERS I know are predominately republican."

That isn't surprising, you're a Republican. Most of the union members I know are Democrats.

"i always hated when i paid union dues that they would endorse people who i didn't like without even consulting the members. and then give them my money."

Once your money goes to the union, it's the union's money, not yours.

Not everybody agrees with their union, but the union is operating in your best interests by supporting Democrats, who traditionally are the strongest supporters of working-class Americans.


i disagree, lee. the union is NOT operating in my best interests by supporting Democrats who want to increase the power of the state to regulate everything.

a union should not be able to FORCE me to give them MY money that I earned in order to keep my job.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

That's a typical Republican response. You get the benefits of union membership but you don't want to pay your share...


lee, you're wrong on this issue. i've seen the bad things that they can do. i've personally lost or had to leave jobs because of unions.

and it's not "my share". it's like a protection racket. pay the dues, or you don't have a job.

and if you want to call that a typical republican response, that's fine. it just means that it is one more issue they are right on

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

For every "bad news" union story there are lots more "good news" -- situations where unions saved jobs that would have been otherwise lost.

Perhaps there was some other reason that you were pushed out... hmmm.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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