As we noted earlier, Sen. Arlen Specter met with senior SEIU officials this afternoon, just one day after his most likely competitor for the Democratic Senate nomination in Pennsylvania--Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA)--met with the group's president Andy Stern.
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One of those officials was Eileen Connelly, Executive Director of SEIU's Pennsylvania State Council, who, reached by phone, said the meeting "was all about EFCA". "We didn't really talk about health care," she said.
Specter's support for both issues, but particularly the Employee Free Choice Act, has been flagging. Before he became a Democrat, he disavowed his prior support for EFCA, and then reiterated that position after switching parties last week.
"I think that part of our concern is--the Employee Free Choice Act is a critical issue for us," Connelly said. "It's why we've been talking to Specter, whether he's a Republican or a Democrat."
I asked her whether the Pennsylvania SEIU would consider getting involved in a Democratic primary if one of the candidates took stronger position on that issue. She said it was a bit too early to make big calls like that but that "there's nothing automatic for anybody."
"I don't want to say that it's all or nothing," Connelly added, "but it's very critical."