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Specter delivers death blow to labor union bill
The Hill ^ | 03/24/09 | Kevin Bogardus

Posted on 03/24/2009 4:13:09 PM PDT by radar101

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) announced Tuesday he will oppose card check, giving an apparent death blow to the most important congressional issue to organized labor.

Specter made the dramatic announcement in a floor speech. His opposition means Democrats can count on a maximum of 59 votes to move the bill forward, one short of the 60 required to clear Senate rules.

Winning 59 votes would require Democrat Al Franken to beat Republican Norm Coleman in the still-contested Minnesota Senate race. Democrats also would have to count on holding the rest of their votes, and several centrists have raised doubts about the bill.

In his floor speech, Specter noted that Franken’s likely win could give him the 60th vote required to make the bill law.

“If so, the decisive vote would be mine,” said Specter, who told The Hill last week in an interview that his would be the decisive vote.

“It is an anguishing position but we play the cards we're dealt,” Specter said Tuesday on the floor.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Specter’s opposition does not mean the end of card-check in this Congress. He also said he thinks other Republicans in the Senate might vote for the bill.

But no other Republican senators have signaled their support for the bill, and business has engaged in a fierce lobbying and public relations attack to prevent anyone from crossing the aisle to support it.

After his speech, praise immediately began to pour in for Specter from a number of business trade associations who have lobbied heavily against the bill.

“I am very pleased that Sen. Arlen Specter has decided to vote against cloture on the EFCA,” said former Michigan Gov. John Engler (R), president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. “Manufacturers stand behind Sen. Specter’s decision to vote against EFCA and appreciate his decision to put working men and women, the economy and the nation first.”

“Protecting our fragile economy from further damage should be the top priority of every elected official, and Sen. Specter deserves praise and respect for doing as much,” said Katie Packer, executive director for the Workforce Fairness Institute.

Union officials noted the importance of Specter's decision. In a briefing to reporters earlier this month, AFL-CIO Director of Government Relations Bill Samuel said Specter’s and Franken’s votes were needed to get to 60.

Specter, who is expected to face a tough primary challenge and a general-election battle in 2010, was the only Republican to vote in favor of a cloture vote to proceed to debate on card-check in the last Congress.

The senator said the decision to vote for cloture on the bill last time was not because he approved of the bill itself.

“I did not support the bill on its merits but rather to take up the issue of labor law reform in general,” Specter said.

The Pennsylvania Republican said he found significant problems with two provisions in the bill. One, the card-check provision, would prevent employers from demanding a secret-ballot election to form a union if a majority of workers sign authorization cards stating their intention to organize. The other would have the government appoint an arbitrator to negotiate stalled contract negotiations between unions and management.

Calling the secret ballot “the cornerstone of our democracy,” Specter said that provision was too damaging to the process of forming a union.

Specter also said he attached possible amendments to the National Labor Relations Act to his floor statements for other senators to consider in order to improve labor law.

Unions campaigned for the legislation during the last election and supported candidates who backed the bill. Labor leaders see the bill as vital to unions since it would help reverse the decline in their membership if passed.

J.T. Rushing contributed to this article.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: 111th; arlenspecter; bhounions; cardcheck; cloture; congress; democrats; efca; pennsylvania; rino; secretballot; specter; stoppedclock; unions
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1 posted on 03/24/2009 4:13:09 PM PDT by radar101
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To: radar101

even the Spectre is against it??

it must be a super duper bad idea for him to even consider it... or maybe he is just worried about the primaries


2 posted on 03/24/2009 4:14:54 PM PDT by GeronL (....and I won't let it happen again!)
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To: radar101
Queue the blind squirrels and broken clocks!
3 posted on 03/24/2009 4:15:25 PM PDT by DAC21
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To: GeronL

he may be a RINO but he’s our RINO hehe


4 posted on 03/24/2009 4:15:56 PM PDT by ari-freedom ( Hail to the Dork!)
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To: radar101

Specter knows this vote could be the difference between his re-election bid next year.


5 posted on 03/24/2009 4:16:25 PM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Too many conservatives urge retreat when the war of politics doesn't go their way.)
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To: GeronL
"... or maybe he is just worried about the primaries

Definitely the latter and not the former.

6 posted on 03/24/2009 4:16:39 PM PDT by Big_Monkey
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To: radar101

Arlen, I hope the PA electorate thanks you by allowing you plenty of time with your family.


7 posted on 03/24/2009 4:18:11 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: GeronL

“or maybe he is just worried about the primaries”

Probably. He is trying to look “conservative” and will likely continue to do so, up until the primary, in order to win re-election, and then, once he does, go back to his traitorous RINO ways.

We know who he truly is! To the Republicans in Pennsylvania: DO NOT LET HIM WIN THE PRIMARY!!!!!!!! VOTE FOR PAT TOOMEY!!!!!!!!


8 posted on 03/24/2009 4:18:13 PM PDT by wk4bush2004 (SARAH PALIN, 2012!!!!!!!)
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To: radar101; GeronL; DAC21

Nothing new here, first thing I ever read about him was his usual ritual of pretending to be a conservative whenever re-election rolled around.

However, this may be a case of too little too late. I’m guessing it’s camel’s back time for him. That is, if he has anything remotely resembling a serious primary challenge.


9 posted on 03/24/2009 4:18:48 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: radar101

He’s still a *7%$#!!


10 posted on 03/24/2009 4:19:58 PM PDT by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: radar101
The whole article is tainted...and poisoned IMO...with the mention of Franken.

Period.

11 posted on 03/24/2009 4:20:32 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators. -Will Rogers)
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To: radar101

““If so, the decisive vote would be mine,”

Shouldn’t even be a matter for any discussion and wouldn’t be if this jerk had a brain.


12 posted on 03/24/2009 4:20:39 PM PDT by TCats
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To: radar101

Whatever Specter’s motivation, I thank him for taking the right position, and point out that even the worst Rino can be brought around when you hold his feet to the fire.


13 posted on 03/24/2009 4:21:11 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla ("men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." -- Edmund Burke)
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To: radar101

He’s trying to regain lost election ground from Porkulus-that’s all this is....


14 posted on 03/24/2009 4:23:18 PM PDT by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Whatever Specter’s motivation, I thank him for taking the right position, and point out that even the worst Rino can be brought around when you hold his feet to the fire.

Trivial issue now that Spector has already voted to bring economic and political slavery to the US. He is a despicable and selfish human being.

15 posted on 03/24/2009 4:24:21 PM PDT by Earthdweller (Socialism makes you feel better about oppressing people.....)
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To: radar101

I’ll believe it when I see it!


16 posted on 03/24/2009 4:26:45 PM PDT by penelopesire ("The only CHANGE you will get with the Democrats is the CHANGE left in your pocket")
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To: radar101
“It is an anguishing position but we play the cards we're dealt,” Specter said Tuesday on the floor.

How can supporting the secret ballot be "an anguishing position"? Watching Arlene bob and weave before falling in with the dems is "anguishing."

BTW, why hasn't Minn. determined the outcome of the Coleman-Franken race? Maybe because the Democrat Party is getting more and more toxic by the minute?

17 posted on 03/24/2009 4:27:09 PM PDT by hsalaw
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To: radar101
Just when you think your out, they draw you back in.

ps. We still ain't votin' for you AS

18 posted on 03/24/2009 4:27:11 PM PDT by BallyBill (Serial Hit-N-Run poster)
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To: radar101
buffy spinning stake Pictures, Images and Photos

It ain't been staked yet...

19 posted on 03/24/2009 4:27:34 PM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: radar101

For ONCE, may GOD BLESS OUR Senator Sphincter! Sphincter must have decided he is in DEEP TROUBLE with Us PA Republicans to do something that makes sense like this decision of his;-)


20 posted on 03/24/2009 4:27:42 PM PDT by True Republican Patriot (GOD BLESS AMERICA and Our Great President George W. Bush)
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To: GeronL

SPECTRE is for it. James Bond convinced him otherwise.


21 posted on 03/24/2009 4:28:15 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: radar101
Obama already used up all his capitol. This would be a major defeat for him. If Spec is against it, you know there are a few dems we can pick off that are more to the center.
22 posted on 03/24/2009 4:28:59 PM PDT by cdnerds (Now part of the conservative underground,)
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To: radar101

A RINO comes in handy occasionally.


23 posted on 03/24/2009 4:29:34 PM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma (When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule the people mourn. Proverbs 29;2)
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla

Better a RINO, than a Democrat. We need them in our coalition to move legislation forward or stop it as in this case.

I myself would like to see him replaced by Toomey, though.


24 posted on 03/24/2009 4:29:54 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: radar101

This is how the RINOs get re-elected. History is on his side.


25 posted on 03/24/2009 4:32:43 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If Liberals would pay their taxes, there would be no deficit..)
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To: radar101

Stopped clock?


26 posted on 03/24/2009 4:35:31 PM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Be prepared for tough times. FReepmail me to learn about our survival thread!)
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To: radar101
2010 can't come soon enough. There has to be some way to eat into the congressional majorities in both houses. We are in peril and the worst part is, the almost worthless Republican party is our only realistic, near-term hope.

We are in serious peril

27 posted on 03/24/2009 4:35:44 PM PDT by muir_redwoods ( O.B.A.M.A. = One Big Asinine Mistake, America)
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To: 1010RD
Better a RINO, than a Democrat.

There are places that cannot possibly elect a true conservative Republican, therefore, a RINO is preferred over a DemonCrat.

Pennsylvania should not be one of them.

28 posted on 03/24/2009 4:36:07 PM PDT by hunter112 (SHRUG - Stop Hussein's Radical Utopian Gameplan!)
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To: True Republican Patriot

I agree. Voters held his feet to the fire, and he’s waking up.


29 posted on 03/24/2009 4:36:22 PM PDT by livius
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To: muir_redwoods

What is going on in MInnesota? Is Franken ahead or something? I haven’t read anything about it lately.


30 posted on 03/24/2009 4:37:48 PM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: hunter112
Pennsylvania should not be one of them.

As long as Philadelphia exists, this is about as good as it's going to get.

31 posted on 03/24/2009 4:37:58 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (Bob Taft has soiled the family name for the next century.)
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To: radar101

Jim Cramer got off the reservation for a while too and now he’s got his mind right. I’m sure the Senator will soon be waking up with a horse head in his bed to get him back in line.


32 posted on 03/24/2009 4:38:50 PM PDT by Boanarges
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To: radar101

If he responds the same way to amnesty I will forgiv ehim. don’t worry, I don’t live in PA.


33 posted on 03/24/2009 4:39:53 PM PDT by bilhosty (Welcome to Eat the Press)
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To: radar101

If he responds the same way to amnesty I will forgiv ehim. don’t worry, I don’t live in PA.


34 posted on 03/24/2009 4:39:55 PM PDT by bilhosty (Welcome to Eat the Press)
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To: radar101
Specter....!!?!?!

What did HE do....squish a spider!!??

Death blow....my ass.

Specter ought to be run out of PA...on a rail and tarred and feathered.

35 posted on 03/24/2009 4:41:55 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators. -Will Rogers)
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To: radar101

He is worried. He is just trying to save his sorry butt.


36 posted on 03/24/2009 4:42:51 PM PDT by thile44 (Simplicity is too complex.)
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To: Erik Latranyi

Unions aren’t gonna like this.

I’m pretty sure unions are big in PA.


37 posted on 03/24/2009 4:43:10 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: livius

If Steele had any smarts he would now spend bucks and start a TV campaing to fight this bill. It would be worth the millions spent if the TV segments made no bones about the fascist elements in the bill supported by Democrats. On second thought, I don’t know why I am suggesting this. The Republican Party is useless. Perhaps the Chamber of Commerce could be used.


38 posted on 03/24/2009 4:43:19 PM PDT by Melchior
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To: bilhosty

I Live in Pa and Toomey has my vote.....


39 posted on 03/24/2009 4:44:33 PM PDT by philly-d-kidder (The First Day of Spring had snow flurries... Damned global Warming!!)
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To: Melchior

I agree, Steele could help. But neither he nor the GOP will do so.


40 posted on 03/24/2009 4:46:51 PM PDT by livius
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To: radar101
If big business lobbyists can't pick off a few Democrat Senators on this issue, they deserve to lose the vote. There are vulnerable Democrat senators and the brain dead GOP needs to come back to life and go on the offensive by positioning GOP candidates in those races early (like now).

Paging Dr. Frankenstein, Paging Dr. Frankenstein...

41 posted on 03/24/2009 4:51:46 PM PDT by April Lexington (Study the constitution so you know what they are taking away!)
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To: radar101; Tribune7; TAdams8591; WhyisaTexasgirlinPA; wireman; Mr. Binnacle; brityank; JrsyJack; ...
For some reason I don't believe him.

**** Philly Metro/Delaware Valley Ping ****


42 posted on 03/24/2009 4:53:18 PM PDT by Kid Shelleen (Barack the Messiah: Never in the field of US politics have so many waited so long for so little.)
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To: radar101

The word in PA is that the Unions and Dems wouldn’t kill him if he voted for the stimulus, which helps Unions, and then ran for cover on card check. This was in the bag months ago and now Arlen is trying to be a Republican. No chance for this PA Committeeman, he is Toast.


43 posted on 03/24/2009 4:53:21 PM PDT by mortal19440
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To: radar101
“It is an anguishing position but we play the cards we're dealt,” Specter said Tuesday on the floor.

Anguishing my Scots Jewish arse....hell I'd relish it.

I'd vote neekid.

44 posted on 03/24/2009 4:54:16 PM PDT by wardaddy (America, Ship of Fools)
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To: radar101

Having this jerk for against makes me think about being for it...he’s a flake and needs to go down.


45 posted on 03/24/2009 5:01:38 PM PDT by BlackjackPershing ("An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." Winston Churchill)
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To: radar101

Good news!


46 posted on 03/24/2009 5:07:26 PM PDT by 1035rep ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.")
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To: wardaddy

You and me both - I’d be dancing on the tables voting against card check! The fact that Spewtum even had to consider whether or not to vote against that piece of crap bill says everything about him.


47 posted on 03/24/2009 5:14:29 PM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (Serkit 3/19/09 "Slow Joe needs to stay out of the deep end of the Think Tank")
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To: Melchior
If Steele had any smarts he would now spend bucks and start a TV campaing to fight this bill.

I agree. But the dim bulbs at the RNC still think pandering to Dem constituents, rather than principled stands on the issues, is the way to "earn" votes.

48 posted on 03/24/2009 5:16:16 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s........you weren't really there)
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To: radar101

Even in these times getting rid of the secret ballot is a hard sell. I bet many Democrats are glad they are just a name on a failed bill that most people will forget.


49 posted on 03/24/2009 5:18:21 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: buccaneer81

Yes, we have all those dead voters, don’t you know....it’s sad really, and frustrating. But we are having 2 tea parties here, maybe we can “hope” for some “change”.


50 posted on 03/24/2009 5:19:03 PM PDT by PhillyMom (We will take from you for the common good - Marx/Clinton/Obama)
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