Las Vegas Sun

September 2, 2014

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Following up the Paris Las Vegas incident

Given the heated debate in the comments section, we think it's important to highlight the key portion of the original posting about this incident:

"After the Sun worked the story for two hours, this much is clear: What exactly happened this afternoon at Paris Las Vegas depends on whom you talk to. To hear Clinton’s campaign and her supporters tell it, the union intimidated a member into caucusing for Obama, demanding that she sign a pledge card or face exile from the caucus.

"To hear the alleged victim tell it, it was much more of a misunderstanding."

After speaking with several Culinary members -- at the suggestion of the Clinton campaign -- the Sun cannot substantiate widespread voter intimidation on the part union organizers. What is clear, however, is that Culinary organizers are pushing Obama hard in the run-up to Saturday's Caucus.

It's also clear that some members in some cases have felt intimidated by the pushy approach of some organizers. According to labor experts, a vigorous back-and-forth is the norm in these types of situations -- and the tactics don't cross the legal line unless workers are overtly threatened.

None of the Culinary members interviewed by the Sun claim to have been threatened.

Worst case scenario: Organizers are telling members they must caucus for Obama -- or they can't caucus. While experts say that's unethical, it also is an outlier in the cases examined by the Sun.

Most of the members interviewed by the Sun say they are Clinton supporters who have taken issue with either the Culinary's endorsement of Obama or the endorsement in general.

The situation is not as black and white as liberal blogger Taylor Marsh says it is. Marsh did not respond to an e-mail seeking an interview. Here are some questions the Sun sought to ask her.

1) Marsh did not identify the eyewitness to the Paris incident as a Clinton supporter. Why not?

2) Marsh did not include any interview with the actual alleged victim, Sylvia Antuna. Why not? In an interview with the Sun, Antuna said the incident may have been more misunderstanding than intimidation.

3) Did Marsh attempt to reach the Culinary Union to get its response to the allegation? If not, why not?

4) Last year, Marsh accepted money from the Association of Federal, State, City and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), to blog at a Democratic event. AFSCME has endorsed Clinton and is a longtime ally of the Clinton family. Has Marsh taken payment from AFSCME recently? If so, how much?

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