Card Check: Democracy is Bipartisan, Right?

By October 7, 2008General, Labor Unions

The Rocky Mountain News takes a look today at the increasing prominence the card-check legislation is playing in U.S. Senate campaign in Colorado between Republican Bob Schaffer and Democrat Mark Udall, a story entitled, “Pro-union act becomes issue in Senate race.” Given the public’s overwhelming support for retaining secret ballots in the workplace, backing the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act seems a sure loser for any candidate.Recent polling by McLaughlin & Associates shows that two-thirds of voters in Colorado (68%) oppose the EFCA. And, despite being described as a “pro-union act,” the vast majority of union households implicitly reject the central provision of card check, the destruction of secret-ballot elections. According to the poll, 90 percent of union households agree that “Secret and private ballot elections are the cornerstone of democracy and should be kept for union elections.”

The Rocky Mountain News casts the issue as a partisan one, and it’s true Rep. Udall voted for the bill in the U.S. House. Organized labor placed incredible political pressure on House Democrats, in particular, saying basically, “Vote for it or suffer ignominy.” (A union picket’s standard cry: “Ignominy!”) But to NAM members, other employers and most voters, too, it’s hard to figure out why the issue should be partisan. Secret ballots are supported by good Democrats like George McGovern, right?

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