Federal Candidate Survey Mobilizes Millions

(Source: December 2010 NRTWC Newsletter)
The Committee's federal survey program ensured that politicians like the supposedly "independent" U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) were held accountable for their votes to expand Big Labor's forced-unionism privileges.

Program Maximizes Right to Work Gains in ‘Year of Opportunity’

Thanks to National Right to Work Committee members’ generous assistance, the Committee’s federal-candidate Survey 2010 checked a massive Big Labor electioneering blitz and sharply increased support in Congress for repeal of federally-imposed forced union dues.

To mobilize Right to Work supporters, the Committee distributed a record-smashing total of nearly 8.4 million federal candidate Survey “information packets” through the U.S. Postal Service this year. Above and beyond that, the 2010 program had a massive Internet component, including nearly half a million e-mails transmitted in October alone. All this plus radio, TV, and newspaper advertising.

The packets, e-mails and ads let pro-Right to Work citizens know where their candidates stood on compulsory unionism.

And most of the packets were mailed out during the during the last five weeks of the general election campaign to specifically targeted states and districts across the country.

In a year in which voters were already extremely concerned about Big Labor encroachment of employee freedom and destruction of private-sector jobs, the fall program maximized Right to Work gains in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

Pro-Right to Work Candidates Won in 76 of 106 Targeted Congressional Contests

Compared to the House that will permanently disband after a December “lame duck” session, the House that convenes in January will have 55 more members identified, based on their campaign pledges and voting records, as 100% Right to Work supporters.

In the Senate, where just 37 out of 100 seats were up for election this year, compared to 435 out of 435 House seats, Right to Work reaped a net gain of five seats.

Given the unpopularity of the agenda they helped President Obama ram through the 2009-2010 Congress, Big Labor strategists clearly expected to lose ground in the House and Senate this fall.

At the same time, union kingpins calculated that their forced dues-funded phone banks, get-out-the-vote drives, and propaganda mailings would help dozens of otherwise doomed Big Labor politicians secure reelection this year.

But throughout the final weeks of campaign 2010, the Committee’s federal candidate survey program ensured that politicians who had carried water for the union bosses time and again were held accountable.

Three-term South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, who loved to tout her “independence” on the campaign trail even after voting for Big Labor schemes like the so-called “card check” bill and the federalization of union monopoly bargaining over state and local public-safety officers, is a characteristic example.

Candidates Got to Choose: Repudiate Forced Unionism, or Face Potential Consequences

During the final weeks of the South Dakota campaign, the Committee put the spotlight on Ms. Herseth Sandlin’s pro-forced unionism stance by repeatedly contacting roughly 40,000 targeted households. In the end, more than 100,000 pieces of Right to Work surface mail alone were sent to South Dakota as part of the federal survey program.

After being mobilized by the Committee, thousands of South Dakotans asked the congresswoman to repudiate her support for forced unionism. She never complied.

Apparently, Ms. Herseth Sandlin believed she could pull through with Big Labor on her side. Union bigwigs poured roughly a million dollars in cash alone into her campaign, plus an unknown, but undoubtedly far larger, sum in hidden, “in-kind” support.

It wasn’t enough. In the end, GOP challenger Kristi Noem, the owner of a ranch in Hamlin County, S.D., and a 100% Right to Work supporter, defeated the union-label incumbent by roughly 7000 votes.

“The sole purpose of the survey program is to highlight candidates’ positions and voting records on Right to Work and to mobilize freedom-loving citizens to lobby the candidates,” observed Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee.

“Candidates who don’t like their constituents hearing about their votes for compulsory unionism can always renounce those votes, and pledge to support Right to Work in the future. In the instances when candidates actually do that, freedom-loving citizens are typically very forgiving.

“But candidates who thumb their noses at Right to Work supporters’ pleas must be prepared to accept the potential political consequences.”