Skip to comments.Harry Reid, Unions and Secret Ballots
Posted on 06/25/2007 12:47:50 PM PDT by jazusamo
Jun 25, 2007
One of the most sacred rights Americans enjoy and have enjoyed from the earliest days of our Republic is the secret ballot. With minor exceptions over the years, when one casts a vote privacy is assured. Many states have laws that prohibit politics 100 feet from the sidewalk to the voting booth.
Each law varies and people often try to take advantage of those laws, which is why most states permit poll-watchers, often hired by political parties. If a voter encounters someone breaking the law, the voter may approach a poll-watcher to alert the police. I mention this because Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-NV) is about to bring a so-called Card Check Bill to the Senate Floor. In short this bill would deprive workers of the right to a secret ballot when determining whether to have union representation at a persons work place.
Let me explain. Labor unions have been in a state of decline for decades. When I was a child, I remember my parents discussing the many labor-union strikes around the nation. The worst strike was that organized by the President of the United Mine Workers of America, John L. Lewis. At the time Americans were dependent on coal to heat their homes, often in harsh winters. Lewis all but ground the coal mines to a halt in the late 1940s.
The next prize is awarded to United Automobile Workers (UAW) President Walter P. Reuther. He would get automakers to capitulate to a highly favorable contract, then play the automobile manufacturers against one another. To this day, we are paying for contracts with outrageous benefits negotiated in the 1950s. The automobile industry is non-competitive with foreign companies, not because we cant build a decent automobile but because wages and benefits are so high that comparable cars are overpriced.
I digress. I mention this background because during the 1950s approximately one in three workers belonged to a union. Currently the figure is approximately one in twelve. First, firms without labor unions have been able to offer better packages than companies represented by unions. Second, some companies which had unions voted them out. Of course, the unions blame supposed intimidation by representatives of companies in the private sector for their plight.
Until recently workers have had secret ballots. No matter what a company does or say (which is strictly regulated by law) workers can vote unions up or down. The so-called Card Check Bill would require workers to fill out a card right in front of union organizers. Opponents of this anti-democratic measure, including the National Right-to-Work Committee, have sponsored television advertisements featuring mock student elections. The campaign managers for one candidate announce that there will no longer be secret ballots. Rather, students will complete cards and the managers, all wearing sunglasses and looking like a gang, will collect them. The final scene is one of the gang members standing by a young girl who obviously has checked her ballot for the other guy. The thug looks at the card and then the girl and says, Are you sure about that?
President George W. Bush is certain to veto this bill if it reaches his desk. So why is Reid scheduling a vote? As John Fund of the WALL STREET JOURNAL mentioned, this is organized labors number one priority. Apparently, unions have spent millions to ensure that Senator Reid is Majority Leader.
Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao has crusaded against this bill with great fervor. She fully understands that if workers lose their right to a secret ballot it may help the unions but American labor would be the poorer because of it.
The unions want this vote in order to justify spending millions to defeat, for example, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). He is one of the most principled conservatives in the Senate. Alabama is a right-to-work state. Ordinarily Sessions would have no problem winning a third term. But if $450 million is spent by the unions and other allies such as MoveOn.Org are spending $50 million, Sessions may not have a chance. This is why Reid will risk losing the Card Check vote. He thinks he will win by losing. He would rather have that target on Sessions back (and that of many, many others) than win that vote.
Sessions will negate the union cash with his leading the charge against amnesty for illegals. The people of Mississippi will re-elect him easily.
This is the way “liberals” operate -
can’t convince people to go the way you want them to?
Use force, threats, and thuggery.
Only if he moves to MS. :-)
Yep...Liberals and unions.
sorry, i meant alabama..........now the senator from MIss, Lott is what needs to be replaced with a real conservative. His performance of Fox yesterday was disgraceful/
I knew you meant AL. :-)
And you’re absolutely right about Lott.
Jeff Sessions is from Alabama......and it is not actually as easy as you think it is.
Alabama is the most unionized Southern state outside of West Virginia, and we are possibly the only state in the country where at one time organized labor worked hand in hand with the KKK. In 2002, Sessions was at risk, but for whatever reason, black leaders decided during the Democratic runoff to withdraw previous support they had given to socially conservative civil rights attorney Julian McPhillips, and to the NARAL, pro-choice, gay rights group backed Susan Parker, Parker won the runoff and made it to the election. Sessions beat her by 15 points. A race with McPhillips would have been tighter. This said, Parker was still able to do ok in white north Alabama counties that form the backbone of Democratic strategy in the state.
Sessions is not Shelby. Only blacks vote against Shelby. Sessions has alot of enemies from his days as a federal prosecutor (to be honest, I initially was anti-Sessions due to that, he won me over because of how he has performed in the Senate). Sessions also has a real weakness because he is the actual author of that bankruptcy bill. That bankruptcy bill is not a bill that the general public tends to like when they read it, and given that there are concerns about the economy, Sessions could be a real target. And, even though our popular conservative Democratic Ag/Industries Commissioner has decided not to run for Senate, leaving the only candidate a liberal black state senator from Sessions city, there is a chance that someone could, if properly induced, decide to seek the seat against Sessions.
It is a seat that a socially conservative Democrat could win, and Bud Cramer, more than anyone else, could pose a real threat to Sessions, though he shows no interest in the seat, he’s happy to be the big dog in Huntsville, but if Cramer did run, I’d honestly have to put my money on Cramer upsetting Sessions, because it would essentially be a battle of north vs. south, and the north has more people, plus, Cramer would clean up in Jefferson County, while Sessions about maxes out his vote totals in Mobile.
Also the fact that Sessions, like the rest of the Republican establishment, has never been for Roy Moore, and is actually known as being against him. Sessions faces his primary in 2008, when not as many local races will be on the ballot, meaning, rural voters who couldn’t vote for Roy because they had to vote for local officials, would vote in the Republican primary this time. There is also a wierd connection between the Roy Moore people, labor unions and trial lawyers, and Roy comes from the state’s most heavily unionized county.
Sessions is not invincible, and this is why he is going to seriously weigh this. Against Figures, yeah, he’s unbeatable, but something tells me, given Democratic successes in last years election, and the advantage they seem to have going into 2010 in regards to statewide races, they aren’t going to let her win that primary and make it an easy race for Sessions. Just thought I’d alert you of some of our on the ground political realities.