Edwards Calls Janitors' Wage Push Part Of Civil Rights Fight

Sunday, March 4th 2007, 7:38 pm
By: News On 6

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) _ Democratic presidential contender John Edwards on Sunday called a janitors' campaign for better wages at the University of California, Berkeley, a continuation of the civil rights struggle that began in the 1960s.

Edwards sounded the civil rights theme to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the ``Bloody Sunday'' clash between black voting rights marchers and police in Selma, Ala.

``This march for economic and social justice for the men and women who work at this university is a part of a bigger march in America for fairness and equality,'' Edwards said during a stop on his current tour of college campuses.

Edwards spoke to a packed ballroom just across the street from UC Berkeley, in keeping with a long-standing boycott of the Berkeley campus by prominent Democrats as a show of solidarity with the janitors' union.

Earlier Sunday, Edwards rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke from church pulpits three blocks apart in Selma.

Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, used a campaign stop at Vanderbilt University last month to back a wage increase for campus workers at the Nashville, Tenn., school.


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Sen. Joe Biden told South Carolina audiences on Sunday he expects to spend a lot of time campaigning in the state because the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination essentially will be determined by the first Southern primary.

``I think it's going to be over after South Carolina,'' Biden said. ``I'm going to be spending a lot of time here.''

That includes spending time courting independents in a state where voters don't register by party. ``If the Democratic nominee cannot attract independents, Democrats cannot win,'' said Biden.

Stumping in the state's rural heartland, the senator from Delaware said Iraq remains the key issue.

``Iraq is sort of that boulder in the road that you have to move before you can get to the rest of the issues,'' Biden told a group at Coker College in Hartsville.

Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has advocated a plan to split Iraq into three regions controlled by Shia, Sunni and Kurdish interests.

Biden said he has more depth on foreign policy issues than other candidates, but that he would not put down any candidate in his own party.


SEASIDE, Ore. (AP) _ Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign may be picking up steam in Oregon.

Giuliani, who leads in a number of recent national polls, easily won a straw poll Sunday among delegates to the Dorchester Convention, an annual gathering of influential Oregon Republicans. He picked up 60 votes from attendees, nearly twice that of his closest competitor, former Georgia Rep. Newt Gingrich, who finished with 35 votes.

Among the other marquee candidates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has received endorsements from Oregon GOP party chair Vance Day and former gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix, pulled 23 votes. Arizona Sen. John McCain brought up the rear with 19 votes, though he has won the endorsement of Oregon's most prominent Republican, U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith.

The Dorchester straw poll, while a small sampling, can be telling. In 2006, Portland lawyer Ron Saxton won the gubernatorial straw poll in a field of three candidates and went on to win the party's nomination.

Other candidates to place in the poll included former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, with eight votes and Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, with 10 votes.