UNITE Here Divides Itself From The Clintons In Nevada

This is a translation of the harshest ad of the cycle on the Democratic side. It's on Spanish-language radio in Nevada, being run by Unite-Here, the parent union of the Culinary Workers' Local 266. Both parent and child have endorsed Sen. Barack Obama:

"Hillary Clinton does not respect our people. Hillary Clinton supporters went to court to prevent working people to vote this Saturday – that is an embarrassment. Hillary Clinton supporters want to prevent people from voting in their workplace on Saturday. This is unforgivable! Hillary Clinton is shameless. Hillary Clinton should not allow her friends to attack our people’s right to vote this Saturday. This is unforgivable, there is no respect. Senator Obama is defending our right to vote. Senator Obama wants our votes. He respects our votes, our community, and our people. Senator Obama’s campaign slogan is “Sí Se Puede, Sí se puede.” (“Yes We Can”). Vote for a president that respects us, and that respects our right to vote. Obama for president, “Si Se Puede” (“Yes We Can”)."



Here's what's striking. Unite-Here is a powerful national labor union. Hillary Clinton has as good a chance as Barack Obama at being the next Democratic nominee, and then, if the nominee, a good shot at being the next president. And while it would behoove anyone to frown on UNITE Here if they decided to run an ad touting Obama or even an advertisement disputing Hillary Clinton's position on a policy, the union has decided to directly attack Clinton's character.

It's a sign that while the Democratic Party is more united than ever, the union movement is riven by discord, and many of its major reform efforts have failed. There have been many more inter-and-intra union spats this cycle. My guess is that arguments about immigration, trade, ethics and the economy are being fought by proxy, with Obama, Clinton and Edwards standing in for archetypes of where the union movement ought to go.

Note that the plaintiffs who challenged the caucus's at large precincts were members of the state education association, an affiliate of the National Education Association. Another teachers' union, the American Federation of Teachers, did not intervene in the dispute and has run only positive ads on Clinton's behalf. In New Hampshire, an affiliate of AFSCME, the public employees' union which has endorsed Hillary Clinton, ran radio ads criticizing Barack Obama's health care plan, ads the Obama campaign finds misleading. And several Service Employees state affiliates and the Carpenters' union funded a pro-John Edwards campaign in Iowa.