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When Oregon unions flex, candidates win races

The Oregonian, June 1, 2008 - by Harry Esteve

Labor muscle scored a total victory May 20, when all of its endorsements won. Organized labor -- public employee unions in particular -- spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and uncounted volunteer hours on Oregon's May 20 primary elections. It all paid off. Most candidates with union backing won. Candidates in union doghouses lost.

The net result was a monster victory for labor groups that helped solidify their role as one of the state's top power brokers.

Unions played key roles in statewide victories for secretary of state candidate Kate Brown, attorney general candidate John Kroger and U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Merkley. But they also got involved locally, helping Sam Adams win the Portland mayoral contest, Democrat Michael Dembrow win the House District 45 primary in Northeast Portland, and Dennis Doyle oust Beaverton Mayor Rob Drake.

The outcome left Republicans grumbling about the increasing influence of unions in state government. And it left little doubt that labor's agenda will get red-carpet treatment when the 2009 Legislature meets in January. Continued here.

Also, talk radio host, Todd Feinburg refers to this article in an interesting blog titled How much has America changed?.

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