A real ‘bully pulpit’
The Service Employee International Union (SEIU) was among the biggest donors to President Obama’s campaign, contributing $33 million. The union is also consistently among the biggest donors to Democrats in Sacramento and aggressively fought wage cuts during state budget negotiations.
The SEIU, by the way, not only spent 33 million dollars to help propel Obama to the presidency but has also liberally supported Democratic candidates across the nation. But its reach goes beyond this spending. It can supply the free labor that is priceless during a campaign for door to door solicitations, phone banks, and pamphleteering.
The SEIU is one of the most politically astute unions. Its leadership is deeply involved as the key decision-makers – as well as funders – of a powerful-and furtive group of billionaires who call themselves the Democracy Alliance (I have written about them many times) The group includes people such as George Soros and SEIU’s own Anna Burger, who serves as the vice-chairperson of the Democracy Alliance.
Now the SEIU is throwing its weight around in California, getting the Obama Administration to threaten withholding of federal stimulus money unless wage cuts for home health care workers is rescinded.
Evan Halper of the Los Angeles Times has the story:
Officials in the governor’s office say a politically powerful union may have had inappropriate influence over the Obama administration’s decision to withhold billions of dollars in federal stimulus money from California if the state does not reverse a scheduled wage cut for the labor group’s workers.The officials say they are particularly troubled that the Service Employees International Union, which lobbied the federal government to step in, was included in a conference call in which state and federal officials reviewed the wage cut and the terms of the stimulus package.California Secretary of Health and Human Services Kim Belshe said she could not recall another instance in which the federal government invited a significant stakeholder group into such government-to-government negotiations.“The involvement of a stakeholder in this kind of state-federal deliberative process is unusual at best,” she said. “This was really atypical and outside any norm I am familiar with.”In addition to several state and federal officials, participants in the April 15 conference call included an SEIU associate general counsel in Washington, a lobbyist for SEIU in California and a representative from SEIU’s policy staff in California, according to a list provided by the Schwarzenegger administration
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/05/a_real_bully_pulpit.html at May 11, 2009 – 07:51:53 PM EDT