Monday, October 13, 2008

What if we threw a debate and nobody came? 

We keep hearing that people want to discuss the issues and get away from personal attacks. Fine, I thought, let's have a discussion of the Employee Free Choice Act (discussed early last summer here and here). So we invited the DFL, its chairman Brian Melendez, or any representative of Senate candidate Al Franken, to debate us. They filed a complaint instead; when it was marked incomplete, they filed another. It was returned as without merit. I had thought at that point, well, maybe they would debate us. Finally we decided we'd schedule a debate and hope someone showed up.

Drove down to St. Paul in crappy weather, and nobody showed up. (At least we have a gorgeous late afternoon back here in the Cloud!) I'd like to thank Congressional candidate Ed Matthews and a cameraman from WCCO for showing up. My comments focused on this as a free speech issue: the decision to unionize is too important to be left to a conversation that doesn't include both sides. This is recognized in the most recent Supreme Court case (Chamber of Commerce v Brown,) that "Congress struck a balance of protection, prohibition, and laissez-faire in respect to union organization, collective bargaining, and labor disputes.� (quoting Cox (1972)). Congress could of course choose to change that balance: that's what EFCA does. But unions currently win 57% of organizing elections when they choose to go to them. Doesn't that sound fair enough to you? Do you think they should win 75%? 90%? Why? That's the debate.

The issue matters. In his new stump speech featured today, Senator McCain reminds us the consequences of electing Senator Obama to the presidency:
We have 22 days to go. We're six points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending � take away your right to vote by secret ballot and labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq � and concede defeat in Iraq.
Emphasis mine. Donald Lambro has already pointed out Senator Obama's support for what was referred to as the Employee Forced Choice Act. I wonder if Senator McCain is planning on using this line of attack in Wednesday's debate? I'm pretty sure it did not come up in the first two.

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