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- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
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- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Powerful Service Employees International Union
Unions are gearing up to spend more than $400 million to help re-elect President Obama and lift Democrats this election year in a fight for labor's survival.
From Ohio to Wisconsin to California, state budget battles over extravagant union privileges grabbed headlines and flooded airwaves throughout 2011. This year, however, the fight to restrain public-sector union bosses has shifted to a new venue. Tuesday, the Supreme Court weighs arguments about the limits of union officials' power to spend compulsory union dues on politics.
Cash-strapped cities and local governments across the country, having privatized services such as trash collection and prison operations in efforts to make up budget shortfalls, are increasingly eyeing another service as a prime candidate for outsourcing: the neighborhood library.
In the 2008 elections, labor unions supported Democratic candidates in a big way - to the tune of $400 million, in fact. And few benefited more from union largesse than Barack Obama - the powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU) alone contributed millions to Team Hope and gave of sweat and time as well. On Oct. 27, 2008, the SEIU bragged publicly:
The meanest words you can throw at two-term New York Rep. Michael Arcuri are that he has gone Washington.
A potentially divisive challenge to incumbent North Carolina Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell from the left fizzled out late last week when challenger Wendell Fant said he would not launch an independent bid for the seat.