Last November, Democrat Bill Ritter was elected governor in politically conservative Colorado because he embraced a centrist agenda and vowed to bridge an ugly partisan divide in order to move Colorado ahead.
But then, only days after Ritter's inauguration, the wheels began to come off of his centrist bipartisan agenda as the Democrat majority in the Colorado Legislature rushed through HB07-1072, a union-backed measure designed to expedite transfer of workers’ dues dollars from their paychecks directly into union treasuries.
If Ritter means to keep his promise and set an example for Democrats nationally, he will veto this blatant special-interest bill.
HB07-1072 repeals a Colorado law that says, once a company's workers approve a union, there must be a second vote on whether union dues can be automatically assessed, with a 75 percent supermajority required for approval. Colorado has enjoyed substantial labor peace for decades in great part because of this provision.
The AFL-CIO's No. 1 priority is ending the secret ballot on representation elections nationwide. That's the purpose of the Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 introduced recently by Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, with 230 co-sponsors. Miller’s bill replaces secret ballots with "check cards" allegedly signed by employees supporting unionization.
Employees who decline to sign check cards become easy targets. Secret ballots protect employees against intimidation.
By vetoing HB07-10872 in Colorado, Ritter can strike a blow for genuine workplace democracy and against labor intimidation that will be heard nationwide.