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The Culinary and The Caucus

The Culinary and The Caucus

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Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008 | 2 a.m.

Several hundred filed into the Paris Hotel and Casino’s ballroom Saturday morning. Unlike the tourists who venture to this Las Vegas resort, these people were not here for fun or gambling. Nope, these were workers, Nevada’s most prized Culinary Union workers, ready to raise their voices or at least candidate — to the top.

But that’s where things get tricky. Less than two weeks ago the Culinary gave its powerful endorsement to Barack Obama. But not everyone in the union backed that decision as many favored Hillary Clinton, who had built great support in the Silver State.

Fast forward to last week: A teacher’s union lawsuit threatened to stop Strip casino caucuses; accusations of intimidation by the Culinary Union; and plenty of verbal barbs let loose by both candidates. It sure seemed like Paris was the perfect place for a political time bomb.

While no fists flew during the caucus, there was plenty of cheering and jeering on both sides. Add in just a little Vegas flesh and the political process in Paris was anything but normal.

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