Hilda Solis and Xavier Becerra were both picked for Barack Obama’s cabinet in positions that are intensely important to the labor movement, Secretary of Labor and US Trade Representative, respectively. Both also come from Los Angeles, the home of the largest and most systematic case of labor crime currently being investigated, that of Tyone Freeman, formerly the head of the LA chapter of SEIU. This has been well documented by the LA Times’ Paul Pringle.
So I asked myself, how close is Solis to SEIU? Turns out pretty close. In 2000, Solis beat 71 year old Democratic incumbent Matt Martinez in a contested primary. In 1999, Solis received two donations from the SEIU. That is, in a Democratic primary, against an incumbent Democrat, she got SEIU’s endorsement and money.
First, she received $5k, the maximum, from SEIU’s national PAC:
She also received $250 from SEIU’s Sacramento lobbyist:
One can only assume that she got logistical support on the ground too.
I would also note that TPM’s write up of “labor leaders hail Obama’s pick” quotes only one union leader, Andy Stern the head of SEIU, and even gives a picture of Stern, rather than Solis in the story.
Sounds like SEIU got their candidate. So how close is Solis to Stern and Freeman? Are these relationships going to come up in the confirmation hearings?