Democrats Court Unions For Their Money, Endorsements

Washington (AP) -- Democratic presidential hopefuls have been making a big push to pick up the support of the labor unions.

Several candidates appeared Tuesday at a candidates’ forum for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union.

New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton appealed to the members by saying they took politics "seriously" and understood the need to organize in order to change the country's direction.

And New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson promised he would nominate a union person to be Secretary of Labor.

While union membership has dropped, the Center for Responsive Politics says organized labor gave more than $53 million dollars to Democrats in the 2004 elections. Union officials expect that number to be higher in 2008.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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