Photo courtesy of AFL-CIO web site

An increasingly firm Howard Dean told CNN again Thursday that he needs superdelegates to say who they’re for – and “I need them to say who they’re for starting now.”

John Olsen, one of Connecticut’s 12 superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention in August, said Friday in a phone interview that he’s working on getting Mr. Dean an answer.

Mr. Olsen, who is also president of the AFL-CIO, has not yet committed to vote for either Sen. Hillary Clinton or Sen. Barack Obama. In order to help him make a decision, Mr. Olsen is conducting a secret ballot of the AFL-CIO’s executive board members this week.

As a superdelegate Mr. Olsen said he’s received a lot of comments from a lot of different people and wanted to offer his executive board members a chance to weigh in on the discussion.

He said he wanted to get a sense of what his board was feeling and wanted to offer them a “no pressure” way of soliciting their input.

A ballot box was placed at AFL-CIO headquarters in Rocky Hill for board members to anonymously cast their vote. Mr. Olsen said he’s unable to release the results of the poll to anyone, including those who participated.

Then why would I bother to vote, AFSCME Council Executive Director Sal Luciano wondered earlier this week.

On the other hand, Mr. Luciano said Wednesday that he understands “John is under a lot of pressure to make a decision.” He said he doesn’t envy Mr. Olsen’s position.

Mr. Luciano wouldn’t reveal who he may vote for if he votes in Mr. Olsen’s secret ballot saying only that both Clinton and Obama are great candidates.

“We want to focus on November,” he said. “We’re holding onto our resources for that fight.”