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May 08, 2008


Any explanation for the "eliminating the secret ballot" charge? Does that relate to the idea that the Dems are PC wackadoos who want to tell Americans how they should feel, think, and love?

Ah, just saw the "PS." Anyway, maybe it's the PC thing.

I expect Ensign is talking about the Employee Free Choice Act, supported by both Obama and Clinton, that would eliminate the employer's right to demand a secret ballot vote on union certification.

Rob is right: the "Coalition for a Democratic Workplace" has started running an effectively misleading ad attacking the EFCA, even though it doesn't stand a chance of passing this year.


I would imagine we'll see similar attacks through the election in the fall, as this would be part of the Democratic agenda with a new President and a Senate which could stand a chance of overriding a filibuster.

Most telling is the fact that there are no pro-EFCA ads running at this time.

BG, I'm curious as to what part of the ad is misleading. Certainly it dramatizes the intimidation that a worker could experience in a card check situation, but do you doubt that intimidation and heavy peer pressure would often occur?

The ad accurately states what the law would do. Under existing law, employers have a right to demand a secret ballot election for union representation. The bill advanced by the unions and supported by Obama, Clinton and other Democrats would eliminate this right to a secret ballot election.

It's true that the bill stands little chance of enactment while George Bush is in the White House, but as you note that will change with a Democratic President. And of course Obama is not only a supporter of the bill but has announced his intention of signing the bill into law when he becomes President.

Everyone claims to want this election to be about issues. Why isn't this a perfectly legitimate issue to be put before voters?

Rob, the ad is misleading because under the status quo, before you get to the point where you have the "secret ballot" election in the first place, employees in the shop already have to sign cards expressing support for the union (otherwise, what criteria would there be for holding certification elections?). The problem with the current state of the law is that a large majority of employees could express their support for a union by this card-check method but rather than certifying the union, that only starts a long, byzantine process during which the intimidation is a lot more likely to come from the employer.

The ad is also misleading because it casts an actor from the Sopranos in the role of the scary union guy. Organized crime has been a problem in some unions, but a pretty distinct minority of them (and to the extent that organized crime has been a problem in unions, more often than not it's in the service of selling the shop members out to management with sweetheart deals).

C'mon, Brendan, how is that an "attack on dissent"? Democrats and Republicans disagree on what strengthens or weakens our national defense. That's a legitimate, and routine, subject of debate. By both sides.

He could be more explicit and say that they want to implement their priorities, which would weaken national defense, but it would take an awfully tendentious read for that meaning not to be quite clear already.

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