“Hillary Clinton agreed to help United Farm Workers in its conflict with Fresno-based Gerawan Farming, according to internal campaign emails exposed this week by WikiLeaks,” Andrea Castillo reports in the Bee.
“The Clinton campaign, however, is questioning the veracity of all the WikiLeaks emails, and held a conference call Friday to highlight potential Russian involvement in hacking the campaign’s emails,” according to Castillo.
“A Feb. 22 email explains the pledge that Clinton, now the Democratic presidential nominee, made as part of a deal for UFW’s political endorsement against then-party rival Bernie Sanders,” the Bee reports.
Fresno Bee credits Pick Justice
“The email exchange was first reported by the website PickJustice.com, which supports the right of farmworkers to choose whether they want union representation, and which has opposed UFW on the Gerawan issue,” Castillo writes in the Bee‘s “Political Notebook.”
UFW downplays the issue
“UFW spokesman Marc Grossman said Clinton was interviewed for an hour by about 100 farmworkers, some of whom may have worked for Gerawan,” one of the largest employers of farmworkers in Fresno County.
“She was asked and expressed her sympathy and support,” Grossman told the Bee. “They were farmworkers and Gerawan is a big issue,” Grossman said. Most of the questions concerned national immigration issues, Castillo says.
“Grossman said the private conversation between Rodriguez and Clinton was more like an exchange of a few words as she left. He said it isn’t shocking that Clinton would counsel caution,” according to Castillo.
Hypocrisy of UFW
The Bee noted the hypocrisy of the UFW, which suppresses farmworkers from voting to decertify the union, and then calls the workers’ petition an “unfair labor practice.”
Castillo quotes Gerawan Farming co-owner Dan Gerawan as saying, “When the UFW trades political endorsements for ‘help’ to suppress worker ballots, the UFW calls it First Amendment political speech. When Gerawan workers petition the ALRB (California Agriculture Labor Relations Board) for the right to vote, the UFW calls it an unfair labor practice.”