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Billionaire Donors Split With Obama on Law That May Hurt Hotels

Publication Date: 
May 07, 2009
John Lippert and Holly Rosenkrantz

Professor William B. Gould IV is quoted and alumna Penny Pritzker is mentioned in a article that discusses conflicting positions between President Obama and his election campaign fund raisers regarding legislation that would make it easier for unions to organize:

Penny Pritzker, Obama’s campaign finance chairwoman and a director of Global Hyatt Corp., has told the president she is opposed to the measure, known as card check, said a person familiar with the situation. Neil Bluhm, a partner in Walton Street Capital LLC, also opposes the bill, the person said. Lester Crown, chairman of Henry Crown & Co., criticized the proposal in an interview.

For the city’s business leaders who nurtured Obama’s White House bid, card check is a gut check on support for their hometown president. Labor, which spent $100 million on Democratic campaigns last year, made it a top priority to enact a bill giving workers bargaining rights based on signing cards instead of winning a secret-ballot election.

“Obama has very carefully straddled two positions,” said William B. Gould, a former National Labor Relations Board chairman under President Bill Clinton. “He has been supportive of the bill, but he has been very careful to not speak of any particular provision.”