Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Complaint returned 'incomplete' 

Michael has posted a copy of the administrative law judge's dismissal of the complaint about our ads regarding Al Franken and card-check legislation. That doesn't necessarily end the story of the complaint; the judge found that Melendez and the DFL had failed to provide any documentation of their claims that the ads violate section 211B.06 of the election laws. So they could file again. It's like getting your paper back from the professor who says "I failed this because you didn't follow directions. You can send it back in for a grade if you will finish your work."

It's weird to see my own name in a complaint like this, but we feel the ad is on relatively solid ground. The principle of free speech allows us latitude to interpret EFCA in its practical intent. We do not need to be literalists, to use David Brauer's term, to meet the requirements of the law. For the 50% minus one workers who do not sign (or are not offered the opportunity to sign) union membership cards, the last protection of their right to a secret ballot would be lost if card-check legislation passed.

I believed from the moment the complaint was filed that its audience was the media, not the campaign board. Call it vapor-complaint. Its intent was to keep us off the air. However, that has failed, as more ads are currently running.

One can hardly accuse us of being anti-labor. A Zogby survey done on behalf of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy found that 53% of union workers, when offered a choice between card check and the current secret ballot form of organization, chose the government protection of a secret ballot, as opposed to 41% favoring card-check. 84% of the respondents agreed with the statement "workers should have the right ... to vote on whether they wish to belong to a union." No wonder the union leaders and the DFL have tried to squelch these ads. Their own rank and file do not agree with them.

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