According to today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dick Gephardt's national campaign co-chair, Joyce Aboussie (a legendary bare-knuckles, below-the-belt, unscrupulous fighter in the St. Louis political scene), indicated in a meeting with Gerald McEntee and Andrew Stern, presidents of two of the largest AFL-CIO unions, that if the unions offered assistance to Howard Dean in Missouri, "she would take steps to get a key collective bargaining order for state workers rescinded."
According to the PD article, a the two union honchos have sent Gephardt a letter demanding Aboussie's firing:
According to the letter, Aboussie demanded that the unions:So there's "Mr. Union" Dick Gephardt for you.
Not send any of their Missouri union members to Iowa, a must-win state for Gephardt and a place where the two men are locked in a tight race for the lead.
Not make independent expenditures for Dean in Missouri.
Not communicate with their Missouri members about their support for Dean.
McEntee and Stern said Aboussie warned that if they didn't comply, she would send a letter signed by 22 Democratic state legislators calling for the repeal of Holden's executive order giving state employees collective bargaining rights, a longtime public service union goal.