Monday, September 7, 2009

Obama and Coercive Unionism

Another thought for Labor Day: In an excellent posting at National Review Online, Mark Mix of the National Right to Work Committee reminds us of the alliance between organized labor bosses and the Obama administration, especially as it relates to union strong-arming and card check legislation:
Repeatedly pledging to Big Labor that he will sign a bill that eliminates the secret ballot in union elections, President Obama is the top cheerleader for a policy that would effectively destroy the ability of workers to make real choices in the workplace. Obama would allow outside union organizers to bypass the secret ballot and instead collect workers’ signed “authorization cards” to determine unionization. It doesn’t take much imagination to grasp the potential for abuse inherent in any “card check” drive, since workers would be subjected to immense face-to-face pressure from intimidating union organizers....
Why is Obama so comfortable with this coercive approach to workplace organizing? Perhaps because his political career was launched under similar circumstances. Few remember it now, but Obama’s electoral debut came in 1996, when he won a seat in the Illinois state legislature. “Won” is a bit of a misnomer, however, as candidate Obama ruthlessly eliminated his opponents by disqualifying signatures collected for ballot eligibility. As former National Review political reporter David Freddoso detailed in his 2008 book on Obama, voters’ signatures were thrown out for a variety of spurious reasons, including one woman’s failure to list her married name instead of her maiden name. Other voters were struck from the lists for printing instead of signing their names on the eligibility petitions. Obama not only had his main opponent disqualified, he also succeeded in forcing a protest candidate off the ballot. Obama has personally admitted he felt “uncomfortable” with this hardball political tactic, but success has evidently allayed any guilt. After his opponents were disqualified, Obama won a seat in the state legislature by default.
Just as candidate Obama was willing to go to great lengths to eliminate political opponents to gain a state senate seat, President Obama appears eager to eliminate any semblance of protection for workers in order to curry favor with union bosses. In 2008, Big Labor gave more than $1 billion in campaign contributions to candidates such as Obama who pledged their loyalty to forced unionism.

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