Card Check RIP?

| Fri Jul. 17, 2009 8:19 AM PDT

The New York Times reports that Democrats seem to be giving up on card check, the part of the Employee Free Choice Act that would allow unions to be certified if a majority of workers sign a card attesting to their desire to join. The Times explains "moderate" Democrats'  opposition to the provision:

Several moderate Democrats, including Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, have voiced opposition to card check, convinced that elections were a fairer way for workers to unionize. They were swayed partly by business’s vigorous campaign, arguing that card check would remove confidentiality from unionization drives and enable union organizers to bully workers into signing union cards.

The Times could have better informed its readers by exploring how much money "moderate" Democrats like Blanche Lincoln received from anti-union forces, and how much money pro-card check Democrats received from unions. For example, Sen. Tom Harkin, who introduced EFCA in the Senate, has received $1.7 million from the labor sector—more than any other senator—since 1989. Sen. Lincoln, for her part, has received $5.5 million from business PACs over the course of her career. If the Times didn't want to get into the purchase prices of individual senators, something like this paragraph, via OpenSecrets, would have done just fine:

Members of Congress who voted in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act in 2007, when the bill wasn't passed, had collected 10 times more on average from union PACs during their careers ($862,065) than those who didn't ($86,538), and those who opposed the bill had collected more on average from business PACs ($2.5 million), than those who supported the legislation ($1.7 million).

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