Clinton meets union leaders

Jackson, AFL-CIO prexy Sweeney in attendance

HOLLYWOOD — Hollywood retains a powerful pull on former President Bill Clinton, who met with 80 key showbiz union leaders during his recent swing through Southern California in a high-powered get-together sponsored by SAG, AFTRA and the AFL-CIO.

The unpublicized Thursday night event was held at the Beverly Hills home of Ron Burkle, the supermarket honcho who was one of Clinton’s top campaign contributors. Clinton gave a brief speech touting the importance of unions in the current political climate.

Jesse Jackson and AFL-CIO prexy John Sweeney were in attendance along with SAG president Melissa Gilbert, former SAG prexy Ed Asner, Ed Begley Jr., James Cromwell, Tim Matheson and Martin Sheen. Union executive toppers included SAG CEO Bob Pisano, IATSE president Thomas Short, AFTRA chief Greg Hessinger and Writers Guild of America West chief executive John McLean.

Clinton also appeared in Santa Barbara on Saturday at a fund-raiser for Democratic Congresswoman Lois Capps.

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