Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The next Obama appointee?

One of nation's most politically powerful — and polarizing — union leaders is preparing to step down from his post.

Andy Stern, president of the 2.2-million member Service Employees International Union, plans to resign, a senior union official told employees in an e-mail on Monday.

The message from the official, Diane Sosne, was obtained by The Associated Press. She is a member of the union's board and president of an SEIU local based in Seattle.

SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette said only that Stern plans to address "speculation" that he would leave his post later this week, at the close of the union's executive committee meeting.

Stern, 59, is one of President Obama's closest political allies and a major force in Democratic politics. His union spent about $60 million to help Obama win the presidency and millions more on House and Senate races around the country.

News of his pending resignation surprised many SEIU officials reached late Monday, who had not yet officially been informed of the move. Stern's current term is scheduled to end in 2012.

Be surprised if Stern doesn't get a job in the Obama administration.

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