John Brummett with the Arkansas News Bureau tackles one of the many points of contention between Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in their heated primary race.
Halter, who is strongly supported by national and state labor unions, has consistently refused to say how he would vote on "card check" legislation. His logic is that a compromise is in the works and the former bill, which stirred so much controversy and consternation, won’t be voted on.
Halter favors elements of the discussed compromise.
Lincoln, a former card check supporter now opponent of the measure, has been using this policy difference as a wedge issue in her campaign. She has the backing of many chamber of commerce leaders.
According to Brummett:
Lately Lincoln has decided that the best way to slow any momentum Halter is gathering is to frighten and mobilize business people by saying Halter has promised labor something supposedly sinister that he won’t admit publicly. It is that he will go to the Senate and vote for this idea that unions could be formed by pre-emptive signing of cards by a majority of workers.
I don’t quite get her tactic. The state’s business community is sufficiently frightened of Halter already. At least two independent groups backed by business money have been formed to run ads to try to stop him. Getting millions from labor is evidence enough that Halter is a labor man.
Maybe being a union man isn’t incendiary enough. Lincoln must have polled those two specific words — “card check” — and they must have come back as nearly as toxic as “Nancy” and “Pelosi.”
You can read Brummett‘s full column here.
I might add this observation: While a compromise on card check may be in the works, the bill is still filed in Congress and awaiting action. If it is truly off the table, then it should be withdrawn from consideration. That’s what you do with bills that no longer "are on the table."
Until then, I think Lincoln’s camp – and Arkansans – have the right to know how Halter would vote on a bill that is clearly still on the Congressional agenda. He’s been asked point blank on several occassions. Thus far, he’s danced all around a "yes" or "no" vote on the topic.