Labor and Card Check Losers in Tuesday’s Election

By November 4, 2009General, Labor Unions

The next governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, often criticized the undemocratic Employee Free Choice Act during his campaign against Creigh Deeds, who tried to avoid the issue. (See also Amanda Carpenter, Washington Times, “EFCA’s role in McDonnell’s win.”

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s core support came from organized labor, pushing his candidacy at the same time they made the Employee Free Choice Act their rallying cry. See The Star-Ledger story, “Unions organize to help an ally: Jon Corzine.” Former federal prosecutor Chris Christie defeated Corzine on Tuesday, 49-45 percent.

In Pennsylvania, organized labor’s candidate for the state Supreme Court, Jack Panella, lost to Joan Orie Melvin. Judging by Panella’s website, he was counting on the unions to bring home the vote. Nope.

True, labor’s favored candidate won in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, but Bill Owens was the AFL-CIO’s second choice after Dede Scozzafava dropped out.

Labor’s failures weaken its political power in Congress, if only at the margins, making it even more difficult to pass the Employee Free Choice Act this year. The unions will therefore continue their power plays in other venues, such as the National Mediation Board and the National Labor Relations Board. Expect the SEIU’s Andy Stern to make even more visits to the White House to coordinate strategy.

UPDATE (9:45 a.m.): Mickey Kaus, from his “Election 2009: Some Winners, Losers,”:

Losers: Dems who were planning to argue that a Corzine victory, when contrasted with Deeds’ loss, shows the need to stick with “core Democratic values” (i.e. unions) …

Loser: Card check. Virginia Republican McDonnell didn’t fudge on labor’s “card check” bill. He bashed it. He won. Virginia is hardly a union state, but neither are the states with Senators who are swing votes on “card check”. …

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