Katie Gage

For months, small businesses and their allies in Washington, D.C. and across the country have been warning anyone who would listen that the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA) was a job-killer both for workers and politicians who endorsed the legislation.

And for months, the political establishment has listened, but failed to heed the clarion call coming from the grassroots. Arkansas is not the first instance where a politician failed to stand up to Big Labor, or state a clear position on EFCA, and felt the pain at the ballot box.

Rush Limbaugh

Last year, in Virginia, Bob McDonnell aggressively campaigned against forced unionization, while Creigh Deeds accepted Big Labor’s contributions and failed to take a convincing stand against the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act. The result? McDonnell crushed Deeds and enjoyed significant support from the business community in his campaign, which played a noteworthy role in his ability to compete successfully in northern Virginia, as well as in the Richmond and Hampton Roads areas.

This year, in Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter made one of the most disingenuous conversions on an issue in recent memory when he stated his support for EFCA after having opposed it based on the fact it would hurt Pennsylvania small businesses and result in lost jobs. While both Specter and Joe Sestak supported the job-killing legislation in the Democratic primary, and each had support from labor unions, the damage done to Specter’s image when he shifted positions on the issue in conjunction with his party change played a determinative role in sealing his fate with the electorate.

And those developments led us to The Natural State. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) boss Richard Trumka, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) boss Mary Kay Henry and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) boss Gerald McEntee decided to make an example of incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln for opposing both the job-killing Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act and labor radical Craig Becker’s nomination to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

And don’t take the business community’s word for it, just ask, former President Bill Clinton who said precisely that while campaigning for Lincoln in the state.

Katie Gage

Katie Gage is the executive director of the Workforce Fairness institute.