The Note

Meanwhile the UAW's Region 4, which includes all-important Iowa, as well as Illinois, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana voted to endorse Congressman Gephardt. The New York Post 's Orin quotes Gephardt staffers claiming "Dean called every member of the Iowa United Auto Workers (UAW) board to try to talk them out of going for Gephardt — and the local UAW rebuffed him." LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's ed board (long a fan of organized labor, we are sure you shall agree!) reports on the "McEntee Primary" and finds "public-sector unions have clearly consigned private-sector industrial unions to second-rate political status."

Watch for what happens today when all of the AFL-CIO's political directors gather over there on 16th Street for this morning's regularly scheduled check-in session. Yup, that means both sides will be in the room talking turkey one day after each side won a big boost. My, oh, my what we wouldn't give to be a fly (with a union bug) rooming on that wall.

One labor organizer scheduled to attend the meeting tells ABC News' Gayle Tzemach he sees trouble ahead for AFL chieftain John Sweeney given this cycle's Union vs. Union Civil War.

"It is bad for Sweeney," says the labor source, because "it sets the stage for a very divisive battle for the next AFL-CIO convention in 2005" to see who takes control of the labor organization. "It is all about what the priorities of the labor movement are going to be from here on out." As for the current Dean vs. Gephardt Divisions, this union source says, "It is not going to be that easy to bring people back together. If Gephardt wins, are AFSCME and SEIU going to rally around the flag and support him? Will the Gephardt folks support someone they see as a Northeastern liberal?"

Stay tuned, folks.

And one other Note for your Thursday ayem: The New York Post reports SEIU local 1199 is coughing up $262,000 in fines to the Federal Election Commission for what the union describes as "clerical" errors. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: The Invisible Primary:

The Wall Street Journal 's Jake Schlesinger and Jeanne Cummings turn in an absolute must-read on the Democrats' five-point battle plan for 2004, a list of objectives that seems terribly sensical if the party manages to stick to it. Taking into account campaign finance laws, the overwhelming Bush money juggernaut and the nomination process, Dems are looking to strike while the iron is hot — and the president's poll numbers are a tad shaky (according to a new Wall Street Journal /NBC survey), Schlesinger and Cummings write.

The plan:

--Focus on insecurity over how things are going in Iraq.

--Talk about the economy in a way that resonates with voters despite signs of economic recovery.

--Hit President Bush's personal reputation and likeability.

--Focus on the 17 states where Bush claimed a narrow victory — or a narrow loss — in 2000, and gin up the base.

--Channel the soft money that used to go toward "party building" into the 527 groups mobilizing against President Bush.

And speaking of that plan …

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