Union steps up for Halter | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 18, 2009

Union steps up for Halter

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM

A new post on Daily Kos says the Service Employees International Union is prepared to help Lt. Gov. Bill Halter pay off debt remaining (mostly personal debt) from his 2006 race for his current office. CORRECTION FROM EARLIER: His last quarterly report showed the 2006 campaign $139,340 in the hole for the primary, $64,953 for the runoff and $239,894 for the general election, for a total debt of more than $444,000. His 2010 campaign for re-election has about $179,000 on hand for the primary race for lt. gov. and $89,000 for the general election.

An SEIU spokesman pointed out the post to me, so I'm confident the expression of SEIU intentions is accurate. The amount it will contribute hasn't been revealed.

Halter is a politician with a bright future, the union believes. Does that mean the union wants Halter to challenge U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln? Some of its past activities -- including ads criticizing Republican senatorial candidate Gilbert Baker -- had been interpreted by many close to the race as intended to discourage Halter's entry in the Democratic primary.

Kos polling suggests Halter might have a better chance at holding the seat for Democrats than Lincoln and that she has been harmed by her opposition to a public option in health legislation.

What's it all mean? Who knows? Some strong liberal groups, including MoveOn.org, are now urging defeat of the health bill. Itcould be that those willing to help Lincoln previously, at least in return for a cloture vote, now think there's little left worth passing in the pending legislation. So who cares if she votes for cloture and then against the bill? Or for it either? Maybe it makes most sense to support those who are really with you. Lincoln has also been inconstant on card check.

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