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Jim Costa

Labor ponders how hard to punish Democrats who back trade measures

Labor ponders how hard to punish Democrats who back trade measures

Organized labor suffered an embarrassing loss in California last month when a defiant Democrat it had targeted for years easily won a state Senate seat over a union-preferred candidate. So it reveled in Friday's victory over President Obama on a trade measure that inspired a battle for the votes of Democratic House members. The trade fight was an epic intraparty mudfest. Unions, the party's biggest source of pavement-pounders and money, barraged undecided House members with phone calls, ads and protests. Obama gathered local television newscasters to the White House to praise the members he hoped would side with him and traveled to Capitol Hill for some last-minute, and...

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