Card Check: A Labor Day Topic

By August 31, 2008Labor Unions

From John Fund, Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary:

DENVER — Democrats narrowly avoided a major embarrassment before holding their abbreviated roll call of the states here on Wednesday night. reported that the Obama campaign was seriously considering letting delegates vote by secret ballot, the better to avoid intimidation and fear of reprisal from local party bosses. But the plan — which was pushed on the Obama camp by supporters of Hillary Clinton — was suddenly dropped when it was realized that a key plank of the Democratic Party platform backs a so-called “card check” provision being added to the nation’s labor laws. Card check would effectively strip workers of the protection of secret ballots in union elections. Business groups and former Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern oppose the measure on the grounds that it exposes workers to harassment and intimidation.

That was precisely the concern of Democratic delegates who wanted to cast a secret ballot vote on the convention floor. The Obama campaign thought seriously about accommodating them until it realized how such a naked contradiction to the party’s stance on union balloting might look to voters and the media.

Mark Mix, National Right to Work Committee, “Barred by a union card?

The 2008 elections may represent the high-water mark of Big Labor’s political ascendancy. Although union operatives have already announced $300 million in national campaign expenditures, union political spending could exceed $1 billion after factoring in PACs, 527s, and state and local outlays.

What does Big Labor want? A sympathetic president and a filibuster-proof Senate majority mean less federal oversight for corrupt unions and new government-granted special privileges for union bosses.

Danny Glover, actor, pro-democracy reformer, John Edwards supporter:

DANNY GLOVER: Well, I think that what Edwards represented to me and for so many others was that he positioned his candidacy on the issues, domestic issues, and on healthcare and poverty. As we noted in the—as all of us noted in the early campaign days with Senator Clinton and also Senator Obama, that the person who focused on those particular issues was Edwards, and that he brought those issues to our attention. He talked about them, and he based his candidacy on that. That’s the reason why. The fact that—the idea, as we talk about Employee Free Choice Act right now, that would have been a tenet of an Edwards campaign or an Edwards candidacy, as well, that we could use unions as the basis of establishing equity in this country, that we can talk about living wage, healthcare, pensions, etc., benefits. All those things, we can talk about that. So that was the basis of my support of John Edwards.

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