Daily News-Record Urges “No on Card-Check”

Harrisonburg, Virginia’s Daily News-Record has it right on the “woefully misnamed Employee Free Choice Act.”

. . . Called the “card check bill,” it would effectively deprive workers of the right to decide whether or not they want a union by secret ballot. Instead, such a measure would allow laborers at a workplace to organize if a majority check a box on a card for that purpose. . . .

Mr. Obama has affirmed he would make such a bill “the law of the land when I’m president.” Presumptive Republican candidate John McCain staunchly opposes the legislation, correctly noting that it would sunder workers’ preciously held right to make such a decision democratically via private ballot — without labor organizers peering over their shoulders and knowing how they vote. . . .

In an August 18, editorial, “No on Card-Check,” the Daily News-Record went on to urge Virginia’s two senatorial candidates to speak out now on how they stand on the “card check” legislation:

. . . Of foremost concern is how Virginia’s two senatorial candidates — former governors Mark Warner, a Democrat, and Jim Gilmore, a Republican — view this legislation. Virginia has long been a right-to-work state, and proudly defends this beneficent tradition as one of the foundation stones of its prosperity. That said, we can scarcely fathom a statewide candidate endorsing any measure antithetical to this tradition — without losing favor among Virginia voters.

Of Mr. Gilmore, on this score, we have no qualms. Facing an uphill battle toward election as it is, the GOP candidate would commit political suicide by abandoning right-to-work and the secret ballot. His conservative political philosophy mitigates against such a move anyway.

Mr. Warner is, or could be, another story. He may feel compelled to follow the lead of Mr. Obama, whose campaign considers Virginia, which has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1968, definitely up for grabs this November. What’s more, roundly favored to win the seat held since 1979 by retiring Republican John Warner, he may believe he can do so and still avoid political fallout.

But endorsing “card-check” would be a grave disservice to a people and a state that has profited mightily from its right-to-work status. In addition, backing this legislation would, we feel, cut across Mr. Warner’s grain as an entrepreneur. And a highly successful one, at that.

Thus, we ask Mr. Warner — and, for the record, Mr. Gilmore as well — how say you on this bill, the erroneously (and grossly so) named Employee Free Choice Act?