Tweedle Dee Lincoln and Tweedle Dum Halter

(Source: June 2010 NRTWC Newsletter)

Both Candidates in Arkansas Democrat Run-Off Back Forced Unionism

Shortly after this month’s National Right to Work Newsletter goes to press, incumbent U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln will face a run-off contest against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter as she seeks her Democratic Party’s nomination for a third term.

Ms. Lincoln and Mr. Halter ran neck-and-neck in Arkansas’s May 18 primary, and neither received a majority of the votes. (That is why the June 8 run-off is required under Arkansas law.) Most election observers expect the run-off will also be close.

But one thing is already clear in advance of the Lincoln-Halter showdown: The victor will have a track record of supporting forced-unionism power grabs and giving the back of the hand to the overwhelming majority of Arkansas citizens who support their Right to Work law and oppose tampering with it.

The only substantial difference between Ms. Lincoln and Mr. Halter on the forced-unionism issue is that the senator has very recently, with an eye toward the general election this fall, tried to obscure her long history of pro-forced unionism votes.

Ms. Lincoln is now suggesting to freedom-loving Arkansas employees and employers that she is an “independent” voice on labor-policy issues.

Far from it. As recently as 2007, Ms. Lincoln voted to quash a Right to Work filibuster and help Big Labor ram through its notorious “Card-Check” Forced-Unionism Bill. Fortunately, 48 other senators heeded pro-Right to Work Americans and opposed this scheme, so Ms. Lincoln and her cohorts did not prevail.

Lincoln-Backed Bill Paves Way For Dragging All State, Local Employees Into Unions

And even in the current Congress the newly “independent” Ms. Lincoln is continuing to support major forced-unionism power grabs whenever she thinks she can get away with it.

One major example is Ms. Lincoln’s move just before the Senate’s Christmas recess last year to sign on as a cosponsor of the so-called “Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act” (S.1611, reintroduced this year as S.3194).

This cynically mislabeled bill would institute a federal mandate foisting union “exclusive representation” (monopoly bargaining) on state and local police, firefighters, and other public-safety employees nationwide.

It would also constitute a major step towards Big Labor’s decades-old goal of enacting a federal law that imposes union monopoly bargaining on front-line state and local employees of all types across America.

For his part, Lt. Gov. Halter secured the primary support of many top Big Labor bosses in Washington, D.C., and their lieutenants in Arkansas by vowing to be an even more predictable defender of forced union dues and union monopoly bargaining than Ms. Lincoln.

Publicly, Mr. Halter admits he intends to help union strategists ram through some version of the “card-check” bill that would make it even easier for Big Labor to grab monopoly-bargaining privileges over private-sector workers.

Privately, Mr. Halter is likely committing himself to support for an array of other special privileges for Big Labor.

Candidate Survey Is ‘One of the Committee’s Most Effective Tools’

But whoever prevails in this month’s Democratic run-off will face increasing pressure this summer and fall to repudiate forced unionism, thanks to the National Right to Work Committee’s federal candidate Survey 2010.

As longtime Committee members know, the federal candidate survey asks U.S. congressional candidates to commit themselves to oppose forced unionism consistently and support national Right to Work legislation if elected.

The survey is “one of the Committee’s most effective tools,” observed Committee Vice President Matthew Leen.

“In Arkansas, Senate candidates in both major parties already got a chance during the primaries to return their surveys and answer 100% in favor of Right to Work.

“But Right to Work supporters will again be mobilized this fall to lobby candidates to respond to their Right to Work surveys. The Democratic standard bearer, Ms. Lincoln or Mr. Halter, will be asked to join GOP Senate nominee John Boozman in pledging 100% support for Right to Work.

“The success of the survey program is key for the Committee’s future ability to defeat Big Labor power grabs in Congress and, ultimately, pass a national Right to Work law.

“For that reason, the Survey 2010 is targeting not just the Arkansas Senate race, but critical Senate and House campaigns across the country.”