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Special Report

Catering to Democrats Will Be Challenging This Summer

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Bad Bet?

The political action committee for the nation's largest government workers union has had to take out a $1 million loan to replenish its coffers following the expenditure of more than $2 million in support of Hillary Clinton.

The Washington Times reports the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees national executive board has angered some state affiliates which have thrown their support behind Barack Obama.

The executive director of one Oregon branch says national President Gerald McEntee ignored his requests not to campaign for Clinton ahead of Tuesday's primary.

Ken Allen says, "McEntee's actions are disrespectful to our Oregon leaders, members and a waste of money. Given the status of the race at this time his efforts are probably meaningless."

But McEntee is standing by his decision, citing the national board's 23-to-10 vote to endorse Senator Clinton.

Tough to Swallow

Democrats running this summer's national convention in Denver have told caterers who want to work the host committee's official events to have eco-friendly proposals ready.

The Denver Post reports fried foods will be forbidden, along with liquid served in individual plastic containers. Plates must be reusable, recyclable or compostable. And, the food must be local, organic or both.

That last one has caterers a bit concerned about practicality and cost, since the growing season is short and the Denver area is often arid. Organizers say caterers will need to be creative, but should still be able to make a profit.

Blame Game

While anti-Semitism flourishes in the Middle East and Europe, and racial genocide is underway in Africa, the United Nations has decided it needs to investigate racism in America.

The U.N. special rapporteur on racism, xenophobia and intolerance is in the U.S. for a three week tour that will take him to several cities. The New York Sun reports a statement from the U.N. said the investigator will look into whether racism plays a role in the presidential campaign and other unidentified issues.

The U.S. is officially welcoming the visit, but U.N. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told The Washington Post, "I think it's important for the [U.N.] Human Rights Council to spend its time on real problems and the problems of violations of human rights of countries that are notorious violators."

Money for Nothing?

Some late-night budget maneuvering in Maine's Democratic-run state legislature has preserved the $71,000 a year job of nuclear safety inspector. But, the state's only nuclear power plant was shut down in 1997, and the inspector position was eliminated by the state legislature three years ago.

The Waldo County Citizen newspaper reports Republicans say one Democratic lawmaker was actually trying to save the job of a longtime political ally who was nuclear safety adviser.

Instead, the inspector's job was saved, even though it does not officially exist. However, the man who has held that job for 30 years does not meet the original educational requirements for the position, so a new law must be written to allow him to stay on.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.