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Much attention is given to the spending of the primary campaigns, how long they've been on TV, how much they're spending and so on.  When a group comes in and does nasty television ads attacking a candidate, that gets attention.  But independent expenditure campaigns on behalf of the primary candidates have gotten very little attention this campaign season.  Much of the spending early in the campaign was by the PAC's of three organizations—the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and EMILY's List.  A review of independent expenditures by these three groups shows that through the Wisconsin primary, they spent $4.4 million in direct voter contact on behalf of Hillary Clinton.  Their spending was concentrated in states where Clinton has performed well, including some of her biggest wins on Super Tuesday.  Their ability to deliver wins for Clinton appears to be fading, but early in the campaign, through an apparent focus on increasing turnout and performance among women voters, Hillary Clinton's candidacy may have been saved by AFSCME, the AFT and EMILY's List.

Before we go further, a quick explanation of independent expenditures (IE) will probably help.  Many people have heard of 527's, which run ads or do quasi-campaign activity.  527's operate under limitations, however, which prevent them from doing what is called "express advocacy," which is generally any message that advocates a vote for or against a candidate.  Independent expenditure campaigns can call on people to vote for or against.  The reason for the difference is the source of the money funding the activity.  527's can be funded by massive donations by individuals, or through corporate funds or labor union treasury monies from member dues.  These funds can not be used for express advocacy.  IE activity must use PAC money, which is money contributed to a political action committee voluntarily by individuals adhering to federal contribution regulations and limits.  The three organizations under discussion here all operate large PAC's, and all the money they are spending has been voluntarily contributed by individuals with the knowledge that it would be used for electioneering or contributions to candidates.

IE campaign do, however, have to remain independent of the candidate's campaign.  They can not coordinate activities with the candidate.  Communications between them are strictly forbidden, and entities like the Congressional campaign committees (i.e., the DCCC and the NRSC) even split their staffs before IE activities begin.  

There is nothing nefarious about the work on behalf of Hillary Clinton done by AFSCME, AFT or EMILY's List.  As I will show in a post later today, Obama has very recently become the beneficiary of similar activities by other organizations.  

As discussed yesterday, Hillary Clinton has generally performed close to what was expected by looking at an average of pre-election polls, while Barack Obama has performed on average 8 points better than he polled.  The places where Clinton has preformed best and the states that have given her the most important wins are those states where AFSCME, the AFT and EMILY's List were most active.  

Sorting through which expenditures were for IA and which for NH was impossible, as EMILY's list didn't differentiate the states where they were spending until January.  But the combined spending of the three organizations in IA and NH was just under $2.5 million.  $1.4 million was spent on electronic media (radio and television).  Another $80,000 went to web ads, and just under $100,000 was spent on various production costs, travel and polling.  

Where the three organizations have probably been most effective, though, is through targeted mail and phone calls.  Approximately 25-30 pieces of mail were sent to potential voters in IA and NH.  From the designations on some of the expenditures, and from knowing that mail is often used for more specific targeting than electronic media, it appears that much and maybe all of the mail and phone calls went to women voters.  The total spent was about $825,000, and it was complemented by another $55,000 in phone calls.  

On election day there were reports from NH that the Clinton campaign leadership believed they would lose.  Even they were surprised by their win which confounded pollsters and led to much speculation about what explained Clinton's 2 point victory.  57% of the Democratic primary voters in NH were women.  That was apparently higher than the pollsters expected, and could very well be explained by the concerted effort to persuade and mobilize women voters conducted by AFSCME, the AFT and EMILY's List.  

The model of some electronic media—mostly radio—and numerous mail pieces, usually six per state, followed up with phone calls has been used repeatedly by the three organizations.  This set of activities was used in Nevada, where AFSCME and the AFT spent approximately $450,000 in media, mail and phones.  

In the lead up to Super Tuesday, AFSCME and EMILY's List appear to have split responsibilities, with AFSCME working CA and EMILY's List handling CT and NJ.  As seen in the polling results, Clinton performed much better than she polled on the way to wins in CA and NJ, although Obama did narrowly prevail in CT.  The spending in the three states was just under $700,000.  In the states other than MA and AR where AFSCME and EMILY's List didn't work, Obama mostly won by huge margins.  

Since Super Tuesday, where spending wasn't as widely dispersed, the ability of AFSCME, the AFT and EMILY's List to win big margins of women voters for Clinton appears to have diminished.  For the Potomac primaries, AFT and AFSCME spent $600,000; about $380,000 in the media markets of MD, VA and the DC media market shared by the District and both states, and about $220,000 in mail and phones in MD.  Nevertheless, Obama posted big wins in both states, although his win was more modest in MD, where AFSCME dropped about six pieces of mail.  

For Wisconsin, the AFT spent $200,000 on radio, but none of the three organizations ran any mail or phones.  It is probably not a coincidence that WI was the first contest since Iowa where Obama won the majority of white voters, and split the women's vote 50-50.  

Before Obama generated momentum, AFSCME, the AFT and EMILY's List appear to have been able to provide significant support to Hillary Clinton.  They very well may have been the decisive factor in Clinton's surprising and campaign-saving win in New Hampshire.  They probably played an important part in her solid wins in NJ and CA, and may have kept CT close.  But as the campaign has progressed, the micro-targeting of women that these three groups appear to have done so effectively has not been enough to hold back the growing strength of Obama in all demographics.  

In the last few weeks, AFSCME, the AFT and EMILY's List have spent heavily in Ohio.  However, they now have competition in the IE game.  Obama is now supported by the SEIU, and that may dramatically offset any advantage Clinton had been enjoying from the support of her three supporting organizations.  We will look at what's going on in OH and TX later Monday.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:06 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Thanks (26+ / 0-)

      I'm glad you've found them helpful.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:24:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  wow -- this is a fascinating set of statistics (0+ / 0-)

        A lot is going to be written of this campaign -- and how it speaks of the complexity of a maturing America, where the fruits of both the women's movement and the civil rights movement clashed with the overarching legacy of the American Dream.

        I think history will dissect the mistakes of blurring support for breaking all glass ceilings for women with endorsing one particular woman for whom entitlement seemed to be the defining statement of her campaign.

        Way more complex than that, but I find it somewhat sad that you have these bets that were made on Hillary Clinton that seem to be grounded more in terms of what she symbolizes than in what she actually brings to the American people at large.

      •  Very useful explanation of NH surprise (0+ / 0-)

        ...which by rights should have been no great surprise.  It is also a lesson to us that no amount of good press, momentum, debate performance or charisma is able to have the impact of a determined ground game.  I think we are going to see some interesting things tomorrow.  There is a different dynamic in the Democratic race since the NH primary.  Obama is better known than he was then, when I think it probably was easier to brand him as a one-hit-wonder.  I think his ground game in Ohio may be the equal of that in support of Hillary.  The net effect will be to get many, many more Democratic voters out to vote in the primary.  Those who vote in the primary, I suspect, are far more likely to vote in the general election.  If anyone has any statistics on that, it would be interesting to post a diary on the subject.  Given that the turnout for Democratic primaries vs Republican primaries so far is running 61% to 39%, that bodes well for November.

        •  I don't agree with that (0+ / 0-)

          Press, momentum, debate performance and charisma are what energize the ground game.

          Certainly, you have to have the organization to capitalize on that, but the best ground organizers in the world couldn't have lifted, say, Joe Biden, to victory.

    •  Yes, it's interesting. (0+ / 0-)

      But, I've been puzzling over the apparent anomaly that was small New Hampshire and I think what's making the difference isn't the amount of money spent on ads, but the attitude of the candidates.  

      Both have actually changed their approach.  Clinton perceived herself to have a long-standing relationship with New Hampshire and asked people to do for her what they'd done for Bill.  In other words, she thought the voters were important and they responded accordingly.  And ever since, she's let the people in other states know that they don't count for much, especially if they don't vote for her.  But, even in an intimate setting in Hampton it didn't come naturally to Clinton to ask for votes.  At the end of her remarks she noted that "Billie (Shaheen) will be really angry with me, if I don't ask.  So, please vote for me."

      Obama's moved in the other direction.  He makes it clear that the election is about "We the people."  Although in the beginning there was a lot of "I" as well.

      Elections are about the voters.  That candidates move nations is a myth.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 02:42:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama is outspending, and outdrawing, by 2-to-1 (11+ / 0-) Texas and Ohio.  Surrogates (hopefully) can only carry her so far.  Money, momentum, and enthusiasm are on Obama's side.

    AND (fingers crossed), the very fact that she keeps adding newer pieces to her "kitchen sink" in the last few days, implies that her polling internals are BAD.  Obama sounds calm, cool, and confident.

    Also, since Richardson and Durbin made their comments today about wrapping this thing up on Wednesday morning, well, let's just say GOTV like NEVER BEFORE, and drink kool-aid flavored champagne late Tuesday night.


    •  Does HRC have 41,000 out-of-state volunteers? (0+ / 0-)

      That's the implication from this article in the (normally reliable) German news magazine Der Spiegel. (Sorry, but I didn't see a translation of the article on the English side of their page). In describing the HRC's campaign efforts in Texas, the journalist writes (my translation):

      Daughter Chelsea sent emails to attract volunteers to Texas. "We need as many people as possible." More than 41,000 came.

      [Tochter Chelsea verschickte E-Mails, um Freiwillige nach Texas zu locken: "Wir brauchen so viele Leute wie möglich." Mehr als 41.000 sind gekommen.]

      Is this true? If so, is there any corresponding number from the Obama campaign? (The Spiegel article only cites volunteers numbering "in the thousands").

      "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

      by machopicasso on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:06:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes - thanks God for Emily's List (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eloise, Comte de Saint Germain

    it has been a godsend to women thoughout America trying to get elected

    •  I agree, but not on their side for this election. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, makanda
    •  EMILY's Mailers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomS from AL

      were dishonest and misleading about Obama's position on choice.
      I got three mailers from them about Clinton and Obama within four days, and almost ripped them up. Instead I saved them in case I have the impulse to contribute again (we gave from the beginning).
      EMILY's is not what they claim to be.
      They and AFSCME should think long and hard about what they do in primaries.

      •  I truly believe (0+ / 0-)

        that until and unless we have more women in politics that American society will suffer.

        and our daughters will not have the opportunities otherwise possible in business.

        I have the long view on women in politics - and I hope that we will be able to have parity

        without Emily's list a lot of women would not have had the finances to get elected -- women helping women is a wonderful thing, because it means we take the responsibility to get women elected.

        •  A lot of women did and do need (0+ / 0-)

          early money to get started, no question.
          But Hillary Clinton is not one of them.
          And using choice as a political weapon against another Democrat who is pro choice - and lying about his position - is incredibly reckless given what's at stake with the Supreme Court.

          I don't need EMILY's to make decisions for me.

          I can contribute directly on my own. Thank God for the netroots.
          EMILY's used their credibility and political capital dishonestly.
          We don't need insiders to broker elections. Not in my name.
          Whatever happens this November, a lot of 'progressives' have hitched their star not to influencing the policies that affect our lives, but protecting their own influence and their own insider access to power.
          They tarnished themselves. The insiders power game played out this year at our expense.
          Away with all that.

  •  I know of one female candidate that Emily's List (16+ / 0-)

    has refused to support. And as a woman, I think it's a shame to see them ignore other women candidates to put so many of their eggs into Hillary Clinton's basket.

    Regardless of whether we support Hillary in the primary or the general election, it's a fact that the Clintons are not the Democratic Party. And ignoring the larger needs of Democrats and the 50 State Strategy in order to pull out all of the stops for Hillary isn't the way to get more and better Democrats elected.

  •  What has SEIU spent and done? (0+ / 0-)

    Do you have any similar figures and tactics for them yet?  

    NetrootNews coming soon!

    by ksh01 on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:23:54 PM PST

  •  Isn't it a bit alarming... (8+ / 0-)

    ...that she probably had the worst month in the history of the world and here she is, one state away from extending this crazy thing another 7 weeks.

    That's 7 weeks of concentrated repub. attack ads that we can barely counter...7 weeks for McCain to raise money, hold town meetings, and put all the charms on the Indies that may lead him to victory.  

    Will the Democrats, once more, again, allow defeat to be snatched from the jaws of victory...stay tuned...wouldn't this be a good time for super delegates to end this...but then again as Will Rogers said..."I am not a member of any organized party....I am a Democrat."

    What the hell's going on out here--Vince Lombardi -6.75/-5.85

    by Patrick B on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:25:43 PM PST

    •  From what Richardson said (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ksh01, MadEye, Ckntfld, Cyber Kat, banjolele, Renie

      If she does not have blow out wins (> 15 points) in both Texas and Ohio, superdelegates like him are going to move into the Obama column. He could pretty much erase her superdelegate lead.

      •  Cowards (0+ / 0-)

        What are they waiting for, by the time their SD votes are cast it will be a convention by acclamation

        "Someday a real rain will come and wash all the scum away."

        by Travis Bickle on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:35:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not being cowardly, it's having integrity (7+ / 0-)

          Those who are looking to make a name for themselves or who are genuinely enthusiastic about a candidate have already announced their endorsement.

          But I think the many of the big name superdelegates who are holding out are doing it out of respect for the voters who haven't had a chance to make their voices heard.

          And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

          •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ksh01, MadEye, Cyber Kat, blueintheface

            But, OTOH, I think the prospect of an even more protracted contest may prompt some to either publicly or behind the scenes weigh in on it.

            Not a Cent to those who won't fight torture.

            by not a cent on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:43:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're right. (9+ / 0-)

              I think there are two kinds of "waiting to weigh in" superdelegates. You look at someone like John Lewis or Russ Feingold, and you see Democrats who aren't throwing their weight around. And I'd have to say that John Edwards and Bill Richardson's approach to an endorsement can fall into the same category.

              I've said before that even though I'm an Obama supporter, I hope John Edwards stays neutral. I think there's a big role for people like him, Bill Richardson, Jim Clyburn, Al Gore and Jimmy Carter to play in this election- and that is of party statesman.

              We need trust-worthy party officials to be able to step in and mediate potential disputes. And that is where the behind-the-scenes Democratic leaders come in.

              •  "There's a big role to play in this election"... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cyber Kat, blueintheface

                What a great post. I agree fully.

                I think there's a big role for people like him, Bill Richardson, Jim Clyburn, Al Gore and Jimmy Carter to play in this election- and that is of party statesman.

                Speaking of Al Gore, I remember what he said maybe a year ago about his endorsing anyone in this race... I wonder if he still stands by these 2 very specific criteria he laid out:

                (1) He said he would not and could not endorse anyone who voted for the authorization to use military force in Iraq in October 2002.

                (2) He said he would not endorse anyone who did not come out and state publicly that he/she would make climate change their number one priority as President of the United States.

                I would like to believe that Al will stand by those principles and not soften now due to any kind of pressure place upon him to help use his enormous influence. I don't like the over-influence endorsements play in our democracy. I know it is never this simple, and that our system doesn't work this way, but I wish endorsements were used only out of an integrity-based show of support for someone who will lead our nation in the best possible way, and not as a tradable commodity or as quid pro quo.

              •  Is Edwards a superdelegate? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I haven't seen that specified anywhere. My understanding is that former heads of congressional committees are automatically superdelegates, as are former governors and presidents and VPs. But he was never elected to anything but the Senate, and not sure he headed a committee there, or that he holds a NC party office that would qualify him.

                Anybody know?

            •  Was it Nelson Rockefeller that (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ckntfld, blueintheface, not a cent

              went to Nixon and said it's time (that may be an urban political myth)?

              Maybe the new Nelson will be Al and John.

              NetrootNews coming soon!

              by ksh01 on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 11:21:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  You can't be serious... (0+ / 0-)

            They are whores who have no balls and want to wait to the last minute so as not to be on the outs with either candidate.  They will wait for the stake in Hillary's heart.  then they will mightily declare!

            "Someday a real rain will come and wash all the scum away."

            by Travis Bickle on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:45:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I also think there's some extra respect (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            for the Clintons in the mix.  And as long as they can make some stretch of plausible argument for staying in, I think people don't want to cross them.  

            I don't think they are evil incarnate, but I've read here and there that they are not greatly loved within the party structure. Respected and honored for service, but not loved.

            NetrootNews coming soon!

            by ksh01 on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 11:14:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think the possibility of a new FL primary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        changes that dynamic. Could be wrong, but it gives HRC the justification to stay in the race. Chalk one up for the GOP.

        Not a Cent to those who won't fight torture.

        by not a cent on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:42:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Still don't get it... (0+ / 0-)

      Hillary Clinton does not care what damage she does to the party, Obama, the american people or democratic chances in November.  She only cares about Hillary Clinton.  She will fight to the last legal seconds until the bunker caves in around her.

      "Someday a real rain will come and wash all the scum away."

      by Travis Bickle on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:31:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The "testing Obama" or "helping McCain" (0+ / 0-)

      argument is interesting.  I don't know which is right.  I mean, there's an argument that the stuff she's throwing at him now (he's doing a great job of batting back) will make him immune to similar GOP attacks in the future.  There's also an argument that the stuff she's throwing at him now is simply arming the McCain machine in the general.

      I'm a little torn by it.  If he wins the nomination, I'm hoping he gets a little immunity from Clinton's attacks.  Like a booster shot.  I guess we'll know when McCain concentrates on his first full on Obama attack.

      I also have sympathy for the "Clinton is helping McCain with her attacks" and I worry about it.  But I guess Clinton is entitled to fight hard. Even if it means going negative.

      It's too bad for her that she has little cache from the voters.  Her complaints are mostly about her and not based in the outrage of the voters or at their problems.  Hard to get a lot of sympathy when your complaints have such a narcissistic base.

      A really interesting aspect of all the Clinton attacks is the out-of-sync nature of them....I think she does land a few punches, but the effect seems fleeting and impermanent.  

      I'd love to be a fly on the wall in Clinton strategy sessions, just for the kick of being inside their collective heads for a moment.  Of course, I'd buzz right over to the Obama campaign and spill the beans immediately.  But it'd be interesting to know what went on.  

      If Clinton fails, there will be a book by a disaffected senior staff member.  Just wait.

      NetrootNews coming soon!

      by ksh01 on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 11:08:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My girlfriend is an AFT member (7+ / 0-)

    and she has bitterly excoriated the leadership for its support of Hillieberman, including calling out the BTU president personally at a recent forum.

    These unions have no credibility whatsoever if they are supporting a candidate who hired a professional union-buster to run her campaign.  It's a sad commentary on how clueless and far removed most of today's union leadership is from the rank and file.

    "This is a very difficult vote... but I cast it with conviction." --Hillieberman, 10/10/2002, voting AYE for the Bush-McCain-Lieberman-Exxon war.

    by simca on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:27:18 PM PST

    •  Did your friend get any type of an answer? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ksh01, MadEye, wader
    •  'Hillieberman-Exxon'? (0+ / 0-)

      Here's a clue for free: the union candidate was Edwards. Neither Obama nor Hillary have the bonafides when it comes to the right to organize and the union endorsements behind them are an attempt to throw in with one or the other in the hopes that labor will find some seat at the table.

      Edwards supporters like me are choosing our candidate on a wing and a prayer when it comes to turning around the Democrats on their most important constituency.

      "Are we still, and if so on what grounds, Galilean and Cartesian?" Alain Badiou, Manifesto for Philosophy

      by Niky Ring on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:14:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I also liked Edwards (0+ / 0-)

        I'm in the Obama camp by default -- my position is that we don't need the Democrats nominating a Republican, so  job #1 is defeating Hillieberman.

        "This is a very difficult vote... but I cast it with conviction." --Hillieberman, 10/10/2002, voting AYE for the Bush-McCain-Lieberman-Exxon war.

        by simca on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:45:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  FWIW (0+ / 0-)

      I watched AFT make the Hillary endorsement last fall (full disclosure: I work for AFT), and while it wasn't the endorsement I would've made, I think it's unfair to characterize the union's leadership as "far removed" from the rank-and-file.  

      The union's endorsement was made after a fairly long process of candidate interviews (all candidates were invited to participate, but only the Ds showed up, shocking as that may be).  The AFT also solicited feedback from members and engaged in extensive polling about the members thoughts on the candidates.  The debate around the endorsement was spirited, and there was division amongst the decision makers as to whether to make an early endorsement and to whom that endorsement should go.

      Here's what I saw as the determinants of the decision:

      1. The polling data at the time the endorsement was made (in October) indicated that Senator Clinton was the overwhelming choice of those who were polled.  Undoubtedly, those opinions would have changed in the intervening months, but at the time, that's what it was.
      1. A very large part of AFT's membership comes from New York, so there was an element of the "favorite daughter" argument dashed in there.
      1. Senator Obama's squishiness on charter schools and vouchers raised some eyebrows, as you would expect at a teacher's union.
      1. AFT leaders have worked with Senator Clinton for close to 25 years, and that sort of personal knowledge does, for better or for worse, make a difference.

      It should also be noted that the AFT doesn't require their state or local affiliates to march lockstep in their endorsement.  The Illinois Federation of Teachers (another fairly significant chunk of AFT's membership), for example, endorsed Obama, and the AFT didn't work on behalf of Clinton in that state's primary.

      As I mentioned up top, if it had been up to me, I wouldn't have made that particular endorsement, and I think in retrospect it'll be seen as something of a blunder.  That said, I don't think it's fair to characterize the endorsement as being unresponsive to or detached from the organization's membership.

  •  Teachers Union? (0+ / 0-)

    Has Hillary made a commitment to obliterate No All Children Left Behind?

    Be careful what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

    by JML9999 on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:28:44 PM PST

    •  To answer that question (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, JML9999, banjolele, Miz V

      first see whether McGraw-Hill and other big textbook publishers have been backing her campaign.  Ifthey are, you can pretty much bank on the answer being "no."

      "This is a very difficult vote... but I cast it with conviction." --Hillieberman, 10/10/2002, voting AYE for the Bush-McCain-Lieberman-Exxon war.

      by simca on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:32:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok then why are the Teachers backing her nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miz V

        Be careful what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

        by JML9999 on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:37:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The unions are not the teachers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JML9999, banjolele

          they are very top down organizations.  Very few members have a say in who they endorse.

          •  it would be great to learn more about the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            mechanics of the teachers union.... or for that matter all unions when it comes to the endorsement process.

            •  The AFT has the reputation of being (0+ / 0-)

              too political for its own good. They also have the reputation of spending money like drunken sailors, which is why many New Jersey schools have dumped them in favor of the NEA. While I don't think the NEA is much less political, they seem to have a better rein on political spending. I'm going to have to look into this now; I'll do some research at work and check it out since all I'm operating on is what I was hearing about 8-9 years ago; a lot might have changed since then.

              But don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. (1776)

              by banjolele on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:50:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  This slander is disgusting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Seems like there's one thing that will make a union into one of those sleazy, crooked, undemocratic Republican fantasies as far as this site is concerned: endorsing Hillary Clinton.

            Funny how we're not hearing those banal smears used against the Teamsters here, as that's the norm.

            But go ahead, attack the teachers' unions, and with them the only way for teachers to fight for wage increases and against teaching to the test. It's about your candidate, after all, isn't it?

            "Are we still, and if so on what grounds, Galilean and Cartesian?" Alain Badiou, Manifesto for Philosophy

            by Niky Ring on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:18:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Teachers' Unions aren't being slandered (0+ / 0-)

              A teachers' union, as with all unions, should be spending their money wisely. There is little substantive difference between Hillary and Obama regarding education, so why is the AFT spending money in the primary? That money would be far better spent in the GE.

              You'd think teachers would be smart enough not to put all their eggs in one basket.

              (I am a member of the NEA. I would be annoyed with the NEA if they were flushing money down the toilet in the primary, too.)

              But don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. (1776)

              by banjolele on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:54:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Relax your underwear. (0+ / 0-)

              Annie just went back to teaching in January, after doing environmental work for a number of years, and her comment on returning home after her first day back was "the fucking union still blows."  Look all over Baltimore City and see if you can find five teachers who are satisfied with the union's performance.  Based on what I've heard, I sure wouldn't be.

              "This is a very difficult vote... but I cast it with conviction." --Hillieberman, 10/10/2002, voting AYE for the Bush-McCain-Lieberman-Exxon war.

              by simca on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:42:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Why would you... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        do this when you can just look in her education plan?

        "End the unfunded mandate known as No Child Left Behind."

        She says it in speeches all the time.


    •  Has Ted Kennedy? George Miller? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, JML9999

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:32:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I will not be voting for George Miller this fall (0+ / 0-)

        -the reason being NCLB.  I teach in his district and am seeing first hand the devastation it is having on our schools.  If no Green or independent is running against him I will write someone in or not vote at all.  I hold him personally responsible to the monstrous harm that is being done to children of color in the low income areas he represents.

        As for Hillary, I would revoke my union membership if CTA had endorsed her.  She started out in Arkansas by going after the teacher's union AND voted for NCLB.  I am glad that I am not an AFT member.

    •  She's said over and over... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dcg2, JML9999

      that she will eliminate NCLB.  Her Education Plan specifically says:

      "End the unfunded mandate known as No Child Left Behind."



  •  I know politics and power makes for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    very strange bedfellows but unions supporting Hillary with Mark "union-buster" Penn playing such a huge role in her campaign has left me somewhat puzzled.

    I love these types of posts. Looking forward to the next one.

  •  caught this on cnn tonight, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, kilgore2345

    Join Hillary in Texas & Ohio for the "Speeches from the Big Chair Tour"

    by soros on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:29:35 PM PST

  •  As a guy who was hawking beer... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ClaudeB, peraspera, simca

    was yelling at a recent baseball game: "Ice Cold Brew, you know what to do!" Sayonara, Emily's List.

    "Someday a real rain will come and wash all the scum away."

    by Travis Bickle on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:29:35 PM PST

  •  ♫ ...Look for the Union Label... ♫ (8+ / 0-)


    McCain: He's Constipated and Ready to GO

    by Al Rodgers on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:33:45 PM PST

  •  Money well spent (10+ / 0-)

    I am sad to say that I was equally excited about both candidates, but I believe Barack Obama has done a far better job of taking the high ground in this campaign and raising the level of behavior and discussion to an unparalleled level in public discourse.  The policy statements are very close, but the willingness of a candidate to remain consistently poised and statespersonlike in his responses has been a refreshing change.

    I am sorry to say that though I would vote for a woman candidate, I would prefer to vote for one who is not embroiled in the kind of tactics I have witnessed throughout Senator Clinton's campaign.  Her behaviors  toward voters, toward other candidates, and the constant reformulating of persona, whining about the media, and threats to meddle in state processes simply look childish and manipulative.  These are not good reccommendations for a candidate of any gender.

    These organizations would have done well to look carefully at the organization surrounding the candidate.  Senator Clinton's choice of Burston-Marsteller's Mark Penn, whose firm is also advising the McCain campaign was a curious option for her and has not served her well, as of this evening, seventy-two hours before the Texas vote.

    There is certainly the appearance of Senator Clinton's and her husbands having a tin ear for racial concerns and exploiting bigotry, even if this is done on her behalf by others in her campaign.

    I have seen none of this in Senator Obama's campaign.  None whatsoever.  And it would be roundly discouraged by all members of the campaign, because that's a core value.

    Hillary seems to have lost core values by too long a period in politics as usual.  Her vote in Iraq is pretty clear evidence that her moral compass has lost its settings.

    Vote for Barack Obama; he's for real.

    •  Just as Obama's campaign... (0+ / 0-)

      has a tin ear for women's outrage over sexist suggestions that Hillary's work as First Lady (all those "tea parties") isn't real experience.

      Obama: "Hillary's experience is "presumed through osmosis, as a consequence of having been first lady." "Sen. Clinton keeps touting her experience, but has no management experience that I can see in her resume. It's presumed through osmosis, as a consequence of having been first lady." (San Francisco Chronicle ed board, 1/18/08)

      Or this:

      "I understand that Senator Clinton, periodically when she's feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal." - Barack Obama

      Hard to miss that message.


      •  I totally missed it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cyber Kat

        Can you explain? What tea parties are you talking about? What's wrong with the word periodically?

        What did you do with that molehill?

      •  What did she do as First Lady? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cyber Kat, Septima

        Pull Bill's fat out of the fire?
        Deep six universal health care?

        As best I can tell, she spent eight years doing stuff, none of which had any meaningful impact. Doing stuff does not count as experience in a political campaign. If it did, people such as Laura Bush and Monica Lewinsky have experience, too.

        But don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. (1776)

        by banjolele on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:46:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see counting her years as First Lady (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        makanda, Septima

        as viable experience and it has nothing to do with tea parties.  

        I'm a woman in Hillary's demographic who is supporting Barack Obama, and quite frankly, her listing her 8 years as first lady is one of the reasons.

        My husband is a computer technician.  I've spent many years watching him fix computers.  I've assisted him on occasion and I even installed a network card in a computer, once.  However, it has never occurred to me to list computer repair on my resume.

        And I don't think the discounting of First Lady experience is at all sexist.  My husband doesn't list my skills on his resume either.

        (Old White Woman 4 Obama)
        OWW40's Unite!

        by Cyber Kat on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 04:06:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good detail... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, wader, Septima

    and thanks for the links.

  •  Thanks for this.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, MadEye, not a cent

    This is one of the more important back-stories of this primary campaign. Maybe the most important.

    I wish some of the money used during this part of the election cycle was still sitting somewhere waiting to be spent. Such a shame.

    "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

    by Big Nit Attack on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:37:48 PM PST

  •  The reason these unions have been so helpful... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Newsie8200, MadEye, Elise, DemocraticLuntz that they have a long institutional relationship with the Clintons (particularly AFSCME and Gerald McEntee). I'm not sure if Obama can harvest the same amount of effectiveness from the unions supporting him (UNITE-HERE, SEIU, the Teamsters, etc.) in such a short period of time.

    If this race does come down to Pennsylvania, though, it will be a battle royale of the unions. It'll certainly be interesting to see which side is more effective.

    The main puzzling point about unions supporting Hillary is that they do so despite the fact that Mark Penn is a unionbuster.

    •  Definitely can (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MadEye, Elise, Cyber Kat, Septima

      I've been very impressed with SEIU over the last several years. I honestly think that they have the best grassroots organization of any union today. I've been fairly unimpressed with some of the other major unions, and I've worked directly with/for some of them, but SEIU really has it together.

    •  The unions don't trust either of them, really (0+ / 0-)

      And rightfully so, considering their mutually spotty records on labor issues. 'Standing up' to organized labor has been a winning strategy for up-and-coming Democrats for quite a while now, remember.

      But when you have that much clout and that many feet to put on the street, it makes sense to endorse even when you don't trust the candidate if you think it will get workers a voice. Remember that many of these unions endorsed Hillary before we even officially knew who was running for President.

      "Are we still, and if so on what grounds, Galilean and Cartesian?" Alain Badiou, Manifesto for Philosophy

      by Niky Ring on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:26:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh That's BS (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adam B, MadEye

        First of all, what's your basis for saying "the unions don't trust either of them?"  

        And they DON'T have spotty records on labor.  Both of them have exemplary records on labor issues.  

        And finally, the union endorsements mostly came in the Fall, LONG after the field was set.  

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:25:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

      That makes no sense.  They were effective because of the appeals they made to voters were effective, not because Gerry McEtee has been long-time chums with Bill.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 05:22:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Love this series (0+ / 0-)

    I was wondering what kind of presence do the Teamsters have in Ohio?  

  •  Just dropped by to see how things.... (0+ / 0-)

    ......are here.

    No change. Can see that CheetoLand is firmly in the hands of the Oborg.

    You 'folks' do know that nobody loves a Hatah do you not?

    'I'm writing as Nestor since scoop in it's awesome wisdom won't let me use my real screen name: A.Citizen'

    by Nestor Makhnow on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:52:21 PM PST

  •  Not sure I totally understand the implications (0+ / 0-)

    Are you saying that the Clinton campaign depended too much on the unions/Emily's List GOTV direct mail, took it for granted, overestimated its effectiveness, or what?

    Is that why they had no plan for after Super Tuesday?  Did the unions blow all their funds pre-Super Tuesday?  How could they not plan for afterwards given that Obama won IA and SC?  Was that a Clinton tactical mistake, a tactical mistake on Emily's List, the unions, or what?

    I read your previous post (excellent, by the way), but I'm still not sure exactly what you're saying here.

    "That's what killed Dennis Day-- contempt for the audience." -- Phil Hartman as Frank Sinatra

    by Pangloss on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 10:52:31 PM PST

    •  Bottom line (0+ / 0-)

      Another day, another vacuous Clinton attack from DHinMI. Nothing too complicated really.

    •  YES. Again, Clinton ran is running a top/down (0+ / 0-)

      campaign.  Meaning?  She never intended and did not open any offices in many of these states early on, especially the 2/5 states.  She garnered and twisted endorsements early on, to make sure these people will GOTV/GOTVC for her.  Unions were the last caveat, and they were effective in New Hampshire and the targeted states, but as Clinton, they are not a bank.  Post 2/5, they too had to look at their money and what states they would focus, etc.  Clinton, if she competed, could have won at least 1/2 of the states post 2/5, the issue is that she did not even TRY.  Clinton expected this to be OVER 2/5, thus giving her campaign 5M should have done this, but it did not.

      Which is why she is where she is at right now.

  •  Tuesday night couldn't come any sooner! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cyber Kat

    I pray that it'll be over by then.  The stress of it all is really getting to me.

    Feingold is my hero.

    by Marc in CA on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 11:27:09 PM PST

  •  Looking forward (0+ / 0-)

    There is nothing nefarious about the work on behalf of Hillary Clinton done by AFSCME, AFT or EMILY's List.  As I will show in a post later today, Obama has very recently become the beneficiary of similar activities by other organizations.

    Looking forward to reading that very soon, as appropriate balance for this well-reasoned piece about Hillary.

    If anyone is still looking for balance, that is.

    I have no snarky e-signature!

    by bakerkm45 on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 11:51:50 PM PST

  •  Thank you for this informative story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadEye, vickie feminist

    I've made a hobby out of tracking where the union money is going in this campaign, and I'm rather surprised there hasn't been more attention to Hillary as the default labor candidate after Edwards' withdrawal, challenged successfully by Obama who netted both the SEIU and the Teamsters' national endorsements - two practically opposite ends of American labor politics who have put their weight behind a relative unknown in their circles.

    "Are we still, and if so on what grounds, Galilean and Cartesian?" Alain Badiou, Manifesto for Philosophy

    by Niky Ring on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:22:07 AM PST

  •  there's nothing illegal, immoral, or unethical (0+ / 0-)

    about the decision of Emily's List, AFSCME, and the AFT to support HRC at the primary level, even at the expense of progressive candidates.

    Nor is there anything illegal, immoral, or unethical about the decision of any donor to Emily's list or to union PACs to withhold donations and to give to individual progressive candidates instead.

    Or to question the need for political organizations whose purpose is to bundle member contributions to politicians.

    When these organizations were created, for a person to find out about a deserving candidate in her own back yard was difficult and to find out about one across the country was effectively impossible unless one happened to know personally a candidate or supporter.

    Now, all one has to do is hang out here and keep one's eyes open for things other than Presidential candidate diaries.

    IMO, pick your own candidates and make your own decisions.

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 12:48:13 AM PST

  •  Emily will be sorry! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rccats3, Septima

    She backed the wrong candidate!

    Obama for hope!

    And change!


  •  Something else has kept the campaign alive (0+ / 0-)

    Westerville, OH, March 2, 2008:

    It's peeeeople!

  •  Unlike Hillarys Walmart Who Demonized All Unions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    makanda, Septima

    When she was a member of their board I recognize the hard work they do to make this country better and I praise them for the time they take to support their candidate of choice.

    Now with all that said you have to wonder why they would support Hillary, specially knowing that Hillarys NAFTA was all about  SHIPPING JOBS TO CHINA.

    I'm not sure the average OHIO WORKER wants to be reminded that his GOOD PAYING MANUFACTURING JOB WITH BENEFITS was LOST due to a BAD TRADE DEAL.

    Hillary Clinton = NAFTA

    Who Benefited From NAFTA:

    Hillarys Walmart (Biggest Retailer In America & Possibly The World)

    CHINA - Worst Human Rights / Environmental Laws Violator In The World

    Remember that.

    Obama '08 YES WE CAN
    "The government should be afraid of its people, not the people afraid of its government"

    by DFutureIsNow on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 04:31:59 AM PST

  •  In CT and OH ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I very much agree that these pro-Clinton activities can be very effective and are one reason why Clinton will probably win OH and still has a shot at TX.  Everyone sees the rallies on the TV and thinks the momentum is all with Obama, but the Clinton campaign works very well at a different level: mailings and robo-calls.

    Here in CT, my wife is on Emily's List's mailing list and we were swamped with Clinton mail.  Got very little mail from Obama, although volunteers stopped   by the door twice.  Also got tons of Clinton robo-calls.

    In OH, my mother has received mailing after mailing from Clinton.  She sees lots of Obama commmecials, but has received little direct contact from the Obama campaign (aside from me!)

    •  Um, Clinton Lost CT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      These kinds of activities can make a difference in a close race.  But it's not clear that they can offset 2-1 spending like Obama now has in Ohio, especially now that SEIU has weighed in huge on Obama's behalf.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:37:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a AFCME memeber, Hillary was not my choice (0+ / 0-)

    And getting out of the political contribution is even harder, they make it extremely hard and you can only get out once a year and complicated is not even close to what it takes.

    I will be opting out, I not happy with who they spent my money on, Hillary’s divisive and corrosive and a hater.  I don’t want a hater in the White House.

    AFCME will eventually support the right candidate, but too make my point, I’ am making a point, by withdrawing MY political contribution completely.

  •  What this choice of candidate suggests (0+ / 0-)

    The endorsement of this candidate by these groups shows poor judgement and undermines the credibiity and critical thinking skills of these organizations.

    It is surprising that these organizations can so blithely overlook the vote for war.

    It says something about the zeitgeist around electing a female at all costs, versus someone who has a clear track record of standing up when the moment comes.

    Sadly this choice undermines these organizations.

    Yes, Hillary uses lots of education and women's issues to stump on.

    She also voted for using cluster bombs and accepts campaign contributions from a company called Textron.  Cluster bombs are responsible for unusually cruel and sadistic injuries to innocent civilians- women and children.

    She has also dined out on our military for photo ops but has done a poor job of advocating for them prior to sending them on endless rotations, with poor equipment, and inadequate policy.  She has played it safe in order to get elected . . . not to lead.

    Given the hefty resume she is touting, blurring boundaries with roles that are not actually appropriately called "experience" I wonder why she didn't use this "experience" to be more of a voice when our country most needed her.

    Also- no transparency.  The good folks in Ohio are being duped by a candidate who has accumulated personal wealth due to the Nafta legislation that her husband's administration brought to big business like a submissive puppy . . .

    Sorry to see such fine, respected organizations being so foolish and not adequately researching their candidates voting record or demanding transparency as a condition of support.  You have not done a good job of vetting your candidate for your support.

    •  Slow down (0+ / 0-)

      It says something about the zeitgeist around electing a female at all costs

      You seem to be saying that AFSCME and AFT only support Hillary because she's a woman.  I think that's a completely inappropriate comment, basically sexist and not supported by the facts.

      •  Zeitgeist (0+ / 0-)

        I think that's a completely inappropriate comment, basically sexist and not supported by the facts.

        When the candidate herself comes out and talks about sea change in her being the first female POTUS, how should that be characterized?  We get it; I should support the candidate with whom I have genitalia in common rather than melanine.  In either case, it's not appropriate and would be correctly lambasted if Obama was all, "first black President!"

  •  I certainly hope these groups (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    will work just as hard (if not harder) to support the Dem nominee, regardless of who it is.

    McCain: "I think that clearly my fortunes have a lot to do with what's happening in Iraq" ... Buh-bye!

    by RevJoe on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 06:08:57 AM PST

    •  I'm sure they will (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      At least for AFSCME and AFT, they have a track record of strongly supporting the Democratic nominee. AFSCME in particular is one of the biggest funders/organizers on the Democratic side of the aisle.

      Emily's List, as I understand it, is specifically about electing pro-choice women so I'm sure they'll turn their attention to Congressional and other races.

  •  Re (0+ / 0-)

    There is nothing nefarious about the work on behalf of Hillary Clinton done by AFSCME, AFT or EMILY's List.

    Other than, you know, the fact that it was work done on behalf of Hillary Clinton.


  •  Compared to overall spending #s? (0+ / 0-)

    Aren't these #s an order of magnitude smaller?  How much are the campaigns themselves spending in these states?  I was under the impression it was several million.

    It's hard to have a sense of how much influence these groups are having just by knowing they spent a few hundred grand here and there.  

  •  AFT involvement in Wisconsin (0+ / 0-)

    Just wanted to note that AFT in Wisconsin DID send mailings and make phone calls. I received 8 pieces of AFT-sponsored Hillary mailings and numerous calls from my union on Hillary's behalf, including at least two polling calls. By contrast, I received 1 piece of mail from Obama's campaign  and only 1 GOTV phone call late on the day of the primary. So, whatever happened in Wisconsin that changed the gender dynamic of how voters voted, lack of AFT involvement would not seem to contribute to an explanation.

    •  That's Different (0+ / 0-)

      Internal communications to union members aren't independent expenditures.  That's something the union can do internally.  However, they can't use dues money to communicate with non-members and do express advocacy.  To do that, they have to spend PAC money.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 03:36:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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