More Presidential Candidates on Card Check

By March 7, 2007General

We’ve previously noted the effusive support that Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards have given H.R. 800, the brazenly yclept Employee Free Choice Act. In the interest of fairness, we thought we’d see what the other candidates have to say about the card-check legislation, which would undermine secret-ballot elections in the workplace.

The topic came up at American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ 2008 Democratic presidential candidates forum held Feb. 21st in Carson City, Nev. From the transcript (not available online):

  • Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, N-NY: “I’ve stood with you on card check, and in the Senate I’m sponsoring it, and I will vote for it. (Applause.)”
  • Governor Bill Richardson, D-NM: “In New Mexico, the prevailing wage is the union wage. And we also made card check the law. (Applause.)” And …”So my last point: The American union movement is important. I want all of those that are working families, working people, unions to know that I’ll be very proud to sign the Employee Free Choice Act. I will work for it, and I will make it happen. Thank you. (Cheers, applause.)”
  • More from Edwards of North Carolina: “And I have — I have a really simple view about this. We need to make it easier for workers to organize themselves into unions. If a Republican can join the Republican Party by signing their name to a card, any worker in America ought to be able to join a union by doing exactly the same thing. (Cheers, applause.) It’s nothing but democracy. It’s what we believe in.”
  • Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-CT, took part in the Nevada forum but did not address the card-check issue. In April 2002, he did, however, fiercely defend secret ballots, arguing, “the sanctity of a private ballot is so fundamental to our system of elections.” [We say: Applause, cheers.]
  • Dodd’s statement came in the Senate debate of the Help America Vote Act. [Page S2533] Surely his belief in the “sanctity of a private ballot” will transfer to the workplace, as well.

    UPDATE (3:10 p.m.): Sanctity notwithstanding, apparently the Senator’s belief did not transfer. Dodd was an original cosponsor in 2005 of S. 842, the deceptively-named Employee Free Choice Act, introduced by Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-MA.

    UPDATE (3:25 p.m.): Presidential aspirant Sen. Joe Biden, D-DE, was also a cosponsor in 2005, one of 44 total, all Democrats.[CORRECTION (11:12 p.m.): 43 Democrats, one Republican – Sen. Arlen Specter, R-PA.] For the complete list, please see the extended entry section of this post.


    Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Carper, Thomas R. [DE] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Byrd, Robert C. [WV] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Biden, Joseph R., Jr. [DE] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Bayh, Evan [IN] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Sarbanes, Paul S. [MD] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Salazar, Ken [CO] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Rockefeller, John D., IV [WV] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Reid, Harry [NV] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Reed, Jack [RI] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Obama, Barack [IL] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Murray, Patty [WA] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Levin, Carl [MI] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [HI] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Harkin, Tom [IA] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Dorgan, Byron L. [ND] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Dayton, Mark [MN] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Corzine, Jon S. [NJ] – 4/19/2005
    Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] – 5/17/2005
    Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] – 6/23/2005
    Sen Pryor, Mark L. [AR] – 9/8/2005
    Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] – 9/14/2005
    Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] – 10/5/2005
    Sen Kohl, Herb [WI] – 12/15/2005
    Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] – 3/28/2006
    Sen Baucus, Max [MT] – 6/13/2006
    Sen Conrad, Kent [ND] – 9/29/2006

    Join the discussion One Comment

    • Peter Szekely says:

      Your list of the 44 senators who co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act in 2005 is not made up of all Democrats, as you reported. It includes Arlen Specter, a Republican. In fact, of the bill’s 44 Senate co-sponsors in the last Congress, 43 were Democrats and one was Republican.