AFL-CIO Wants your vote (ie, money and mind)

>NYT:   February 16, 2000
>          THE UNIONS
>          A.F.L.-C.I.O. Vows to Spend More Than
>          Ever Before on Candidates 
>               NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 15 -- The A.F.L.-C.I.O. said today that it
>               would spend more money than ever before to help elect
>          worker-friendly candidates to the White House and Congress and would
>          devote more resources than in past elections to mobilizing volunteers. 
>          In a news conference at the labor federation's winter meeting, John J.
>          Sweeney, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s president, said trade unions would focus
>          on races in 71 swing Congressional districts and on electing Vice
>          President Al Gore. 
>          Mr. Sweeney said the labor movement had enlisted 1,600 union officials
>          and members to coordinate labor's political activities in 35 different
>          states. That is four times the number of coordinators in 1998, when
>          unions played a big role in helping the Democrats gain House seats. 
>          Labor leaders said the A.F.L.-C.I.O. planned to spend $40 million on
>          political campaigns this year and last, up from $35 million in the 1996
>          campaign cycle. Mr. Sweeney emphasized that labor's spending would
>          be far less than corporate America's, contending that unions could largely
>          offset the disadvantage by persuading tens of thousands of union
>          members to become volunteer workers in political campaigns. 
>          "This year we are conducting the broadest and most intensive program
>          we have ever conducted," Mr. Sweeney said. 
>          To demonstrate labor's clout, Steven Rosenthal, the A.F.L.-C.I.O's
>          political director, said 33 percent of the people who attended Iowa's
>          Democratic caucuses last month were from union households. He also
>          said 24 percent of people who voted in New Hampshire's Democratic
>          primary came from union households. 
>          Mr. Rosenthal contended that without union members, Mr. Gore would
>          have lost New Hampshire to former Senator Bill Bradley, his rival for the
>          Democratic presidential nomination. Mr. Rosenthal pointed to polls of
>          voters to show that members of nonunion households voted 50 percent
>          for Mr. Bradley and 49 percent for Mr. Gore, while 62 percent from
>          union households backed Mr. Gore and 37 percent backed Mr. Bradley.
>          Mr. Rosenthal said labor unions had endorsed the Democratic candidate
>          in all but one of the 71 Congressional districts where labor planned to
>          make a major push. In that district, it has endorsed Bob Ney, an Ohio
>          Republican. He said he expected labor to endorse other Republicans,
>          noting that in 1998 unions endorsed 26 Republican House candidates
>          whom unions considered friendly. 
>          Having endorsed Mr. Gore at the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s convention last
>          October, union leaders are directing considerable fire at the two major
>          Republican presidential candidates. 
>          Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County
>          and Municipal Employees, denounced Gov. George W. Bush of Texas
>          for calling union leaders "bosses" and for attacking Senator John McCain
>          of Arizona for not being tough enough toward unions. 
>          Mr. Sweeney urged union members not to back the senator because of
>          what he called Mr. McCain's anti-labor positions. 
>          Mr. Sweeney maintained that the senator sometimes opposed raising the
>          minimum wage and backed laws that allow workers in unionized
>          workplaces not to pay union dues. 
>          At a meeting of the Teamsters Eastern Regional Council in Atlantic City
>          today, a majority of Teamsters, many from New Jersey, voted to urge
>          the union's national board to back Mr. Bradley, their former senator. 
>          But Teamster leaders, who have not endorsed a candidate, said they had
>          not decided whom to support. 

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