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Thursday, January 09, 2003


Dean will be awarded the AFL-CIO's First Annual Paul Wellstone Award

posted by B at Thursday, January 09, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
On Friday, Dean will be awarded the AFL-CIO's First Annual Paul Wellstone Award, for his support of nurses on strike in VT. Here are some excerpts from the AP filing:

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Presidential hopeful Gov. Howard Dean will be honored Friday by the national AFL-CIO with an award bound to boost his image among labor as competition for the labor vote among Democratic contenders intensifies.

Dean will receive the inaugural AFL-CIO Senator Paul Wellstone Award for his support of a successful effort by nurses to unionize Vermont's largest hospital.

Stewart Acuff, the union's organizing director, said the award did not signal labor's endorsement of Dean.

``There is no message connected with the presidential campaign,'' he said. ``The labor movement appreciates greatly political leaders who go out of their way to help workers.''

But political ramifications remain.

``The symbolic nature of this is very important,'' said Roy Vestrich, president of the state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, which includes Vermont's nurses and health professionals. ``There is not an endorsement here, but there is a signal here for those running for president that labor and labor issues are important.''

Nurses at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington voted in October to unionize. A month earlier, Dean, a physician who practiced at the hospital before becoming governor, strongly endorsed the union effort.

Rep. Dick Gephardt filed papers Monday to create an exploratory campaign for the White House. Labor strongly backed Gephardt when he ran for president in 1988, but it is not yet clear which candidate labor will back in the crowded 2004 race.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.