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Culinary Union Intimidating Members to Vote for Obama

Reported from Las Vegas, Nevada

There’s nothing dainty about Las Vegas but things are getting rough.

Intimidation. Pledges demanded. People to vote for Obama or stay away from the caucus.

Call this union vs. the casino workers.

I just did an interview with a Culinary union member who was intimidated while eating lunch in the cafeteria at work. She didn’t want to give her name, but she wanted to tell her story. The connection is rough, but her story tells the tale. It’s below in a podcast:

Culinary Union pressures members to vote for Obama.

over at Democratic Daily
posted on a tip she received about the intimidation.

Jon Ralston talked about it this morning on MSNBC.

I just got off the phone with a unimpeachable source that there has been more
than one confrontation between union reps and members.

This is not an indictment against unions, especially considering I joined my
first union when I was in my teens, totaling four eventually. Unions are the
backbone of the middle class. But in every good group there lies opportunistic
cretins. Obama’s supporters are obviously applying Chicago style politics in
Sin City and they’ve got three days to get the job done.

Meanwhile, you’ve got big shots like John Kerry talking about “let the
people vote” doing so within a stacked system titled towards the Culinary
union, with many of their members who’d much rather vote for someone other than
Obama being intimidated and forced to sign pledge cards. Some will fight back,
but most will not. From what I’m hearing, this is getting ugly. It’s the opposite side, with the story actually being “make the people vote for me.”

UPDATE III: The comment below gives a much better perspective of what went down and what I was told than what the Las Vegas Sun article portrays:

My name is Matt DeFalco. I was there when this all went down. Your all right. It is disgusting. I believe that the union representatives approached sylvia specifically because she appeared to be vulnerable because of her admittingly low level of knowledge on the way the caucus will work. She was sitting with us. Once I realized what was going on, I looked over at the women who represtented the union and said, Are You Out Of Your Mind??? My mother and I couldn’t believe it! The union rep had told her that she had to sign a pledge card today that said she would vote for Obama or she couldnt caucus on Saturday. Sylvia said she didnt know if she was going to vote for Obama and the union rep said “Then you can’t attend the caucus”. And Sylvia believed her! She wasnt going to vote anymore. There is no doubt in my mind after witnessing this and being involved in it that this is not the only incident. Afterwards the union representative showed no remorse for it and never backed down from it until she was told we were going to report her. They have been in and out of the employee cafeteria harrassing people who are on their lunch breaks since the endorsement was announced. Its happening all over the city, no doubts about it. And Something definately ought to be done! My mother and I are are willing to share our story with media outlets if anyone can get us in touch with them…

UPDATE II: After you listen to the tape, think about this. How do the union members get out for the caucus? It’s during working hours so they have to get permission to be let out of their shift. So they have to sign cards, as the woman on the tape said. But according to her, if you don’t sign the pledge card specifically for Obama you can’t go to the caucus. That’s because the company won’t have a record of your intention to caucus. It’s the very definition of coercion.

UPDATE: Las Vegas Sun has a piece up on it. They have added an update that is hilarious. Seriously, what business is it of union reps to “pitch Obama?” Besides, if union reps were pitching Obama, nothing was “drummed up.” Here it is:

Weiss said she suspects the whole incident was drummed up by the enthusiastic Clinton supporters, who got heated when the union reps started pitching Obama.

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