Good news: ‘Card check’ now illegal in four states 

Though largely ignored by the national election coverage, last week’s there were four state ballot measures relating to ‘card check’ — a method of organizing a union that does away with the secret ballot in union elections and instead forces people to publicly sign a card saying they support unionization. Obviously, unions like this because it allows them to publicly identify which workers are opposed to the unionizing, and unions have a long and illustrious history of intimating or even physically threatening in order to get them to vote for unionization.

Well, today the Wall Street Journal notes that voters made ‘card check’ illegal in all four states where the issue was on the ballot. Not only that, voters opposed it by overwhelming margins. Capitol Hill Democrats have long threatened to make card check legal, and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, has threatened to bring up card check legislation in the lame duck. Last Tuesday’s overwhelming opposition to card check in the states ought to give lame duck Democrats pause about trying to ram it through:

As the lame duck session of the Pelosi Congress nears, one fear is that Democrats will try to force through some last-minute liberal legislation, in particular “card check” to kill the secret ballot in union elections. Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin has promised to seek such a vote, so in the interests of self-preservation the 23 Democrats up for re-election in 2012 might want to look at what happened to the proposal last Tuesday.

Four states—Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah—voted on “save our secret ballot” measures that would require secret elections and effectively outlaw card check as a means to certify a union. In Arizona and Utah the measures passed with 60% of the vote. In South Dakota the margin of victory was 79% and in South Carolina it was 86%.

If Democrats don’t give unions card check and, thanks to new accounting standards, they’re forced to report their actual pension liabilities — unions might be in a world of hurt very soon.

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Mark Hemingway

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