Pro-Forced Dues Candidates Exposed

Committee President Mark Mix: The Survey 2018 program repeatedly gave anti-Right to Work candidates like Sens. Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp opportunities to back away from their support for forced unionism. They didn’t take them.

Public Alerted About Pro-Forced Dues Candidates

Survey Program Featured Mailings, Emails and Advertising

Thanks to National Right to Work Committee members’ generous assistance, the Committee’s Survey 2018 program helped bring about a significant increase in U.S. Senate support for federal forced-dues repeal legislation in November.

From the beginning of the 2018 election cycle, it was clear that a number of union-boss puppet senators representing states where the Right to Work principle is overwhelmingly popular could have difficulty defending their records, even with their political party having the wind at its back nationally.

At the same time, union kingpins in Washington, D.C., calculated that their forced dues-funded phone banks, get-out-the-vote drives and propaganda mailings would help otherwise doomed Big Labor Senate politicians win close races.

But throughout the final weeks of campaign 2018, the Committee’s federal survey program ensured that Senate incumbents and challengers who had sought to conceal their pro-forced unionism agenda were held accountable.

Cases in point include now-ousted incumbent Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), along with former governor and 2018 Senate challenger Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.).

To mobilize Right to Work supporters, the Committee distributed last year a total of roughly 6.5 million federal Survey 2018 “information packets” through the U.S. Postal Service.

Above and beyond that, Survey 2018 had a massive Internet component, including approximately 2.5 million emails transmitted in early November. All this plus targeted multi-media advertising.

Candidates Got to Choose:  Repudiate Forced Unionism or Face Political Consequences

The packets, emails and ads let grass-roots Right to Work supporters know where their candidates stood on compulsory unionism.

And most of the packets were mailed out during the fall election campaign season to specifically targeted states and districts across the country.

In Right to Work Indiana, North Dakota and Florida, specifically, Committee mailings reminded freedom-loving citizens about how their senators had regularly sided with union bosses who want the federal government to make it even easier to corral employees into unions.

Committee communications  simul- taneously let concerned Hoosiers, North Dakotans and Floridians know, respectively, that Senate challengers Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) had pledged to support Right to Work 100% in Congress’ upper chamber if given the opportunity.

In North Dakota, where a total of nearly 80,000 Right to Work federal information packets were sent over the course of the 2018 general election campaign, Ms. Heitkamp was ultimately defeated by roughly 35,000 votes.

Meanwhile, nearly 737,000 Right to Work information packets were sent to Indiana, highlighting the respective stands of Sen. Donnelly and Mr. Braun during the fall campaign. Mr. Donnelly went on to lose by fewer than 134,000 votes.

And in Florida, where interested citizens had received more than 1.3 million information packets stating where their Senate candidates stood on Right to Work, Mr. Nelson lost by a scant 10,000- vote margin.

One key open seat Senate race pitted staunchly pro-Right to Work U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn against Mr. Bredesen, who was backed by the Tennessee AFL-CIO hierarchy and other union bosses.

After roughly 558,000 Right to Work information packets were sent to Tennessee, Ms. Blackburn won by 243,000 votes.

Committee President Mark Mix emphasized that Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Bill Nelson, and Phil Bredesen were repeatedly given opportunities to back away from their support for forced unionism. But all refused to heed their pro-Right to Work constituents.

Survey 2018 Helped Hold the Line For Right to Work in House of Representatives

While pro-Right to Work House candidates as a group did not fare as well in 2018 as did pro-Right to Work Senate candidates, Survey 2018 clearly helped contain the damage as Big Labor-backed House Democrat candidates enjoyed a banner election cycle, with their party gaining 40 seats and taking over the chamber.

Among the 103 House Republicans who were sponsors of national Right to Work legislation in the last Congress and were on the ballot last fall, 87% were victorious on November 6.

Meanwhile, a smaller share of the 97 House Republicans who were not Right to Work sponsors and ran to keep their seats succeeded in doing so.

“It is because pro-Right to Work Republicans did better electorally than their party’s fence sitters that total Right to Work House sponsorship could potentially reach an all-time high in the new Congress, even with Nancy Pelosi as speaker,” commented Mr. Mix.

(source: January 2019 National Right to Work Newsletter)