SEIU president Stern to resign
by desmoinesdem, Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 10:37:46 AM EDT
Ben Smith broke the news yesterday at Politico: Andrew Stern is resigning as president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
The SEIU has emerged as a central political player and has grown rapidly under Stern's tenure, and some close to him had expected him to resign during the first term of the president he helped elect, and after the achievement he'd spent years focusing on, widening access to health care. But he's also waged a series of bitter battles inside the labor movement, one of the nastiest of which turned in SEIU's favor with a California court ruling last week. Stern also won a victory when Obama named his union's lawyer, Craig Becker, to the National Labor Relations board over Republican objections in a recess appointment last month.
Stern, even without the union presidency, would remain on, among other things, the board of President Obama's deficit commission, to which he was appointed in February.
Change to Win executive director Anna Burger is widely viewed as Stern's heir apparent, and has been groomed for the post, though other union officials, including international executive vice presidents Mary Kay Henry and Gerald Hudson, are also sometimes mentioned.
Sam Stein reported at the Huffington Post,
Since his ascension to his current position, Stern was able to expand his union into a 2.2 million-member force. In the process, he became a major player on the political scene and a close ally of the Obama White House.Your guess is as good as mine.
But those close to him say he wanted to tackle different, more personal activities at this stage in his career. The passage of health care reform presented a sound achievement from which to depart from his presidential post. And while he was currently in the process of launching a third-party initiative in North Carolina -- to challenge those House Democrats who voted against health care reform legislation -- he was also growing tired of the daily grind, a source close to Stern says. [...]
As is typical when powerful political figures abruptly leave their posts, Stern's departure has spurred speculation that he was compelled to leave by more than just a sense of proper timing. In an email statement sent to reporters on Monday evening, SEIU spokesperson Michelle Ringuette says, "Stern will address these rumors at the close of the SEIU Executive Committee meeting this week."