Scott Bensing

Who are you voting for this fall? The answer to that question is none of my business. In fact, it is a fundamental American right to have your vote be as private as you wish. Unfortunately, Democrats and their financiers, Big Labor, want to abolish a worker’s fundamental, American right to a secret ballot.

Why are they doing this? Maybe because Democrats have openly admitted they owe their 2006 electoral success to Big Labor and have promised the elimination of the secret ballot as a return on investment. That is why during this Congressional session every Democrat in the House and Senate voted to abolish the secret ballot. Thankfully, Republicans in the Senate were able to stop this disastrous bill.

This is a moment when hyperbole is unnecessary. This unprecedented power grab by Big Labor and the willingness of Democrats to ignore such a fundamental American right threatens the very nature of our system of government.

Unions already spend hundreds of millions of dollars to influence elections. Imagine what they could do when entire industries are unwillingly coerced into joining a union and forced to pay dues – dues earmarked for the next election cycle.

In fact, alleged coercion for political gain is already occurring. Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation asked the Department of Justice to investigate the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The basis for the request centers on this fact:

“The union adopted a new amendment to its constitution at last month's SEIU convention, requiring that every local contribute an amount equal to $6 per member per year to the union's national political action committee. This is in addition to regular union dues. Unions that fail to meet the requirement must contribute an amount in ‘local union funds’ equal to the ‘deficiency’ plus a 50% penalty.” (The Wall Street Journal, 7/28/08)

Can you name any other company or organization that could compel its membership to fund political organizations that rank and file membership may or may not agree with? As I said earlier, hyperbole is not needed on this issue. With November approaching, a potential Barack Obama administration promising to “play some offense for organized labor” and Democrats’ determination to eliminate the secret ballot, the need for a robust Republican presence in the Senate has never been greater.

So important is eliminating the secret ballot to Big Labor that a few weeks ago Democrat Senate candidates, Reps. Tom Allen (ME), Tom Udall (NM), and Mark Udall (CO), along with Kay Hagan (NC), Bruce Lunsford (KY), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Jeff Merkley (OR) all scurried to Chicago for a meeting when Union bosses beckoned. The three current Congressmen already voted to eliminate the secret ballot and likely, along with the other Democrat candidates in Chicago, pledged to eliminate secret ballot elections in the future as well.

Are such promises to Big Labor leaders representative of the will of the people? Absolutely not! Amazingly, Democrats don’t seem to care that their agenda flies in the face of public opinion. More than 85% of Americans oppose eliminating the secret ballot and even the media, across all political spectrums, has editorialized against such legislation.

 “Abuses of workers’ true wishes not only are potential, they are guaranteed. There is no ‘free choice’ in this travesty, clearly a payoff to union leaders who contributed so handsomely to the Democrats’ November election victory.” (The San Francisco Examiner, 02/16/07)

 “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to hold a vote this Wednesday on perhaps the most unpopular element of the Democratic agenda… Under the so-called card-check bill, a company would no longer have the right to demand a secret-ballot election to certify a union, thus stripping 140 million American workers of the right to decide in private whether to organize.” (The Wall Street Journal, 6/18/07)

Democrats continue to oppose the will of the people, instead working to reward Big Labor. In fact, this issue is so far out of the mainstream that even ultra-liberal former Democrat Senator and Vice Presidential candidate George McGovern has publicly opposed this legislation.

Additionally, elimination of the secret ballot will be the second payback for Big Labor, since Democrats already cut funding to the federal agency tasked with investigating union corruption. Without Republicans in the Senate to stop them, what fundamental right will Democrats eliminate next at the behest of their financial supporters?

This fall when you go to the polls, the choice is clear (and private); the choice is Republican.


Scott Bensing

Scott Bensing is the Executive Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
 
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