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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Democratic Party

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September 4, 2012 at 6:46 AM

Some unions vexed by Democratic Party’s choices for party in Charlotte

Unions are generally strong supporters of the Democratic Party. But not all unions or their members are on the same page with the party over its choice to hold its nominating convention in Charlotte, or how the party is going about it.

CHARLOTTE — Unions and Democrats go together like bread and butter, right?  The Democratic Party and unions have had a reciprocal relationship for years: Unions provide the party with both financial and political support, while the party supports them in national legislation.

Chris Cecil from Teamsters Local 391 in Greensboro on Labor Day, 2012 (Photo by Amber Cortes/UW Election Eye)

But the choice of holding the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina — a right-to-work state that does not allow employees to collectively bargain — has ruffled some feathers among unions in North Carolina and around the country. Unions like the AFL-CIO have curtailed their involvement this year, and the United Mine Workers, a strong supporter of Barack Obama in 2008, are still deciding whether to officially endorse him this time around.

Chris Cecil, a shop steward with Teamsters Local 391 in Greensboro, NC, is dissatisfied with the convention location and Obama in general.

“Just look at where he’s giving his acceptance speech,” he said  as he hands out leaflets to passersby: “Bank of America Stadium.”


Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Charlotte, Democratic Party

April 26, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Buffalo rancher banks on President’s likeness for humor and profit

A Coos Bay, Oregon buffalo rancher and buddy are traveling throughout the West selling an unusual campaign trinket:  a coin bank in the shape of President Barack Obama’s head.

President Obama coin banks (Photo by Dan Thornton / UW Election Eye)

SEATTLE — Mike McGinnis and Jack Baggley made it just in time. The last Democratic voters at the April 15th Precinct Caucus at the Beacon Hill International School were just getting ready to put the chairs up on the tables when McGinnis and Baggley stormed into the room in a flurry of “how ya’ doins” and “hey theres.” The bemused Democrats remaining were each handed an object wrapped in plastic that looked suspiciously like it contained a head. When they unwrapped the unsolicited gift, that is exactly what they found. McGinnis and Baggley were giving away rubber coin banks in the shape of President Obama’s head. For free. As they handed each person a coin bank, they shook their hands or slapped them on the back with a hearty smile and the occasional “here ya’ go, Bank on Obama” or “glad we caught you all.” In all they probably handed out about a dozen of the coin banks to the generally amused and slightly befuddled recipients.


Comments | More in Local, National | Topics: campaign merchandise, Democratic Party, President Obama

April 16, 2012 at 7:49 AM

Light turnout at Seattle-area Democratic caucuses may signal apathy, overconfidence, or a sunny day

With reporting by Alicia Halberg and Stephanie Kim

Democrats held their legislative caucuses on Sunday to help decide the party’s platform and select the presidential nominee. With Obama guaranteed the nomination, many simply didn’t see any point in attending.

Caucus sign fail at Beacon Hill International School (Photo by Dan Thornton/UW Election Eye)

Caucus sign fail at Beacon Hill International School (Photo by Dan Thornton/UW Election Eye)


Only 24 people showed up for the meeting of Washington’s 36th legislative district caucuses at Whittier Elementary in Ballard, where 15 precincts met to caucus.

Alice Woldt, former chairwoman of the King County Democratic Party and former chair of the 36th district Democrats, convened the caucuses at Whittier. She said the district had tried to reach out to potential caucus-goers using local media, calling those who came out in 2008, robocalls in the area, and having caucus officers talk to their neighbors.

“With all of the media attention on the other party, we need to build up energy and enthusiasm, otherwise people won’t think that we’ve got anything going on,” Woldt said.


Comments | More in Local | Topics: Ballard, Barack Obama, Beacon Hill