Erin Bilbray’s Culinary Problem

We know career political operative Erin Bilbray has problems raising money and keeping staff, but she may have an even bigger problem with a key Democrat support base: the Culinary union.

To date, the national Culinary union PAC has given to Nevada Congressional Democrats Dina Titus and Steven Horsford. Not to Erin Bilbray.

But Erin Bilbray’s face-palm over fundraising may turn into sheer panic if the local Culinary union and allies don’t play her ground game. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently headlined, “Nevada unions could split with Democrats over Obamacare”:

·         The Culinary Workers’ Union, which represents about 55,000 workers in Nevada’s casinos, hospitality and tourism sectors, said no formal decision has been made to sit out the elections in protest, but union leaders and members are frustrated. […]

·         Midterm elections are usually low-turnout affairs, so a lack of Democratic enthusiasm in 2014 could hurt the party’s candidates up and down the ballot and allow the GOP to win more state offices and close congressional contests and possibly take control of the state Senate. […]

·         U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., who represents the 3rd Congressional District in Southern Nevada, has the most competitive race. His Democratic opponent, Erin Bilbray, would have a harder time if unions don’t boost her campaign.

One would expect a career Democrat operative like Erin Bilbray to at least play her cards right with an essential Democrat constituency like the Culinary union. Then again, Erin Bilbray’s talent for being on the wrong side of Nevadans on issues like Obamacare might lead to her campaign’s next unforced error:  no support from the Culinary union. Not only is she at odds with them over Obamacare, but she’s aligned herself with the Culinary union’s public enemy, Station Casinos/UFC.

The Bottom Line:
After months of ironic amateur-hour campaign mistakes, professional political trainer Erin Bilbray can’t afford to run without the strong support of a key local Democrat base, the Culinary union. When Obamacare is so disastrous that unions may protest Democrats, it’s time for Obamacare champion Erin Bilbray to consult her training manual on how to win friends and influence Democrats.