Unions battle over Nev. caucus locations
Jan 13,2008 00:00
LAS VEGAS - Nevada unions backing Hillary Clinton are crying foul because some of the state's Democratic caucuses will be held in casinos, where her support is tepid.
"The deck is stacked in Vegas. The fix is in," said Rick Sloan, communications director for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which has endorsed the New York senator.
Last week, the state's most powerful union, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, endorsed Clinton's chief rival, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
By holding caucuses in nine Las Vegas casinos, "they specially invite all the casino workers to participate. They didn't mention the workers at McCarren," Las Vegas' airport where the machinists union dominates. "They didn't mention the post office. Or the workers at other sites" where unions have backed Clinton.
"I have never seen a situation so tilted, so one-sided," said Sloan, who has worked in presidential campaigns since 1972.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has endorsed Clinton, is leading the charge for her in Nevada, which holds its caucuses Jan. 19.
If Obama becomes the Democratic nominee, "it could dampen enthusiasm" among Clinton's union backers because of gnawing public disagreements, said Lawrence Scanlon Jr., political director of AFSCME.
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