The San Francisco Labor Council made a pair of dual endorsements last night that reflect the wide ideological range of local unions -- stretching from the progressive SEIU Local 1021 that represents city workers to the more conservative members of the trade unions -- as well as the power of behind-the-scenes politicking.
For mayor, the council made a dual endorsement of Leland Yee -- who secured an early endorsement from the trade unions and has significant progressive support as well -- and Dennis Herrera, whose supporters deftly worked to secure the long-shot endorsement for his ascendant campaign.
Similarly, the council gave a dual endorsement in the sheriff race to Ross Mirkarimi, the progressive candidate who has a long list of labor union endorsements, and Chris Cunnie, whose base of support is the police unions and other more conservative groups and individuals. There was no endorsement in the DA’s race.
So how did Herrera and Cunnie manage to land such influential support despite having secured only a few endorsements from individual labor unions? Several of those in attendance wondered the same thing, but several sources say both dual endorsements were engineered by Labor Council President Mike Casey, who heads UNITE-HERE Local 2, whose hotel worker members have been locked in a bitter labor dispute with the big hotel corporations. Casey did not immediately return a call for comment, but I’ll update this post if and when I hear back.