October 9th, 2007
08:00 AM ET
13 years ago

National union will not endorse a Democratic candidate

The SEIU endorsement was considered especially important for former Sen. John Edwards’ campaign.

(CNN) – A highly sought-after national union endorsement will go unclaimed in the Democratic presidential race, as the Service Employees International Union decided Monday not to back any national candidate. Instead, the SEIU will allow local unions to make their own presidential endorsements.

The national union had delayed an endorsement last month, underscoring a split among members over the top candidates who had aggressively courted the union’s support. But after taking the extra time, SEIU President Andy Stern said in a statement “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.”

The endorsement had been considered especially important for former Sen. John Edwards’ campaign. Edwards had blasted leading rivals for taking lobbyist and corporate money, and, seeking the SEIU backing, was the first candidate to participate in the union’s walk in the shoes program.

The Edwards campaign denied the decision not to endorse was a blow to their effort.

“Despite aggressive efforts by the other campaigns to stop any endorsement by SEIU, we are very pleased by the fact that we will gain endorsement of SEIU locals from across America,” Edwards spokesman Eric Schultz said. “It is a victory for the campaign as we now can mobilize the support from SEIU members who enthusiastically support John Edwards’ bold plans for real change in America. Lacking any home-state advantage, Edwards earned majority support, and now hundreds of thousands of SEIU members supporting Edwards will have an effective outlet in the early states and through the nomination process.”

A senior aide to one of Edwards’ rivals sharply disagreed and suggested it will hurt the North Carolina Democrat’s chances of winning the nomination.

“His supporters worked hard to try and get it for him, but they were not able to get him over the top,” said the advisor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. rene

    Besides being disrespectful of this guy, she did vote for this Iran measure which does include the use of "military instruments" and I doubt that means trumpets and tubas and drums from the marching band. That is very dangerous language, and I like this man am concerned. The fact that she tried to slide of it by saying it doesn't mean that is very disturbing. Either she can't read or she is lying.

    October 8, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  2. D., South Bend, IN

    October 8, 2007

    Dear American Politicians

    Remember... It's the economy stupid?You do not deserve the American Vote! This is the 1st year in 30 that I will not vote and against the Democratic Party!!! I will also advise every one that I know & meet to do the same!!! Yes, this will favor the Republicans who are the flip side of the American Coin!!! Looks like Ralph Nader & Pat Buchannan in Florida or the Crooked Election Machines in Florida and Ohio all over again...

    The immigration problem is the dragon you ignore and other 2- side of the American coin that you all seem to be ignoring. Guess its true that the wealth of some families in America, China, India & Mexico have reached the level to buy a US Congressman, Senator or White House Lobbyist... How much does that cost these days?

    Where is the Mexican Government in their attempt to address the drugs, rape, murder, robbery coming over the Mexican Border to the tune of some 4,000 Mexicans a day? Where is the Mexican Government who is sending 1 Felony / Criminal in 12 crossing the Border every Month?

    Where is the Mexican Government in dumping their prison cells on the Mexican / American border every year? Didn’t Castro do this in the Cuban / Florida Prison Dump? Have we learned nothing?

    That's what I thought... No answer, huh? I can only hope America will wake up 1 day and change the Anchor Baby Rule with Los Angeles Executive Order 40 and not vote OUT the clowns who have been purchased by the wealthy families in Mexico, China, Saudi Arabia, India & The United States of America one day.

    ANE WHEN WE DO... Our voice will be heard louder than the Illegal Drug Crooks and their American Flunky Clowns who have sold America down the river for a devalued American Dollar...

    Don't be stupid... You have the change to take back the White House, House & Senate for the 1st time in years... You are on the wrong side of the issue... Perhaps you're about to be Karl Roved in 2008 if you don't wake up!!! Don't swuander this opportunity, please... America has suffered enough under these clowns....


    A Pissed Off American

    October 8, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  3. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VAj

    Unions were once necessary to abolish inhuman abuses of workers, but now they're an anachronism which has resulted in relatively unskilled workers getting wage and benefits which are grossly out of proportion to the value their labor adds to products and services, thus rendering their employers uncompetitive in a global economy. Even self-proclaimed modern unions like SEIU are guilty of the same practices, which would be called extortion without the National Labor Relations Act. Unions are therefore politically as well as economically irrelevant.

    October 8, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  4. Daniel, NY

    This is terrible news for Edwards, and speaks of the decline of his likelihood to win the nomination.

    October 8, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  5. Lioness, Washington DC

    Daniel, I agree.

    This is devastating, but his campaign and he have been a huge disppointment.

    October 9, 2007 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  6. Axel, RKDA, California

    As a former member of this union I can tell you from experience that the SEIU is nothing but a bunch of thieves. They force people to join that stupid union in order to get a job at certain places. Then when an employee needs them to back them up over some labor dispute, they are nowhere to be found. But those union dues sure come out of their paychecks every week. Instead of going for their endorsements, politicians should be shutting them down permanently for ripping off workers.

    October 9, 2007 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  7. Anonymous

    This is a victory for Obama. It takes all the wind out of Hillary's and Edward's sails. Obama has made the race to close to call for an endorsement. If you want real evidence of how close this race is, look at this article.

    October 9, 2007 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  8. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.


    Whatever "military instruments" are referred to in (the non-binding, Sense of the Senate resolution) Kyl-Lieberman, they could only be used in IRAQ. We are ALREADY using military instruments there.

    October 9, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  9. John Chicago

    Hillarious,,,Take that Democrats, you take these people for granted every year. Now if only the Black Vote would wake up and realize the Democratic Party is doing absolutely nothing for them...But I dont see that happening.

    October 9, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. Joseph R

    CLINTON FOR PRESIDDENT! SEIU shoudl support a dem especially Hillary Clinton!

    October 9, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. jim, buda, tx

    Ha, a dem losing out on votes, I think unions have outlived their usefulness. I do believe that the unions and certain people are selling out our great country, and they all should be shot.

    October 9, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Excellent Jeff – you are 100% on....I candidly spoke with a Democrat state rep here in CT that wholly agrees....unions had a time and place – in a global economy – that time is NOT now.

    October 9, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Frank Chicago, Ill

    Good for SEIU – a respectable decision was made. Sorry John – another reason you will not be the nominee.

    Don't worry – Elizabeth will soon be making headlines bashing unions.

    October 9, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Adrienne, Hometown, PA.

    Edwards didn't get the endorsement of the SEIU. He did however, receive and accept, the endorsement of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. But only after proclaiming himself to be the "womens candidate".

    Less than one percent of union carpenters are women. Having endured blatant discriminitaion and mesogeny as a menber of that one percent for over 20 years, I am not at all surprised that the Carpenters Union chose to support the the white male candidate who is running a distant third in national polls, as opposed to supporting the woman or African-American candidates who are ranked first and second in the polls.

    I challenge all the candidates to look closely for diversity in the memberships of not just the Carpenters Union, but of all the building trade unions BEFORE they accept an endorsement. They should look into both union and non-union contractor associations as well. They should not be fooled by ploys that give the "illusion of inclusion" like powerless womens commitees and conferences that are unreachable by the women who need them the most. If a candidate truly believes that equal opportunity is the law of the land they should not be accepting endorsments from those who have so profoundly violated that law.

    October 9, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. laurinda,ny

    Unions are good. The workers are not unskilled. Some wimps couln't earn a real day's pay doing a real man's work. They just sit behind a computer all day bothering people who can't stand them. The benefits are good and so is the pay. Plus, they are REAL men!!!

    October 9, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Travis K

    SEIU is the biggest joke in America. Minnesota and America would be better off if all the members shot each other. They rape America for all they can.What a bunch of lazy worthless people.

    January 1, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |