HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
July 2, 2007, Herald Journal

Union ballots should be secret

By ROZ KOHLS

Democrats are pushing hard to take away our secret ballot elections during unionization drives.

It’s part of a plan to expand union membership and payback for labor leaders’ campaign cash to Democrats.

Instead of voting by secret ballot, employees will be forced to fill out a union card identifying themselves, and showing union organizers if they choose to reject their union.

It’s called the Employee Free Choice Act, an Orwellian name if ever there was one, as US Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called it.

A better name would be “Get Your Kneecap Broken by a Union Goon Act.”

“We went to the secret ballot in this country almost 200 years ago, because everyone believed that the only way to have a ballot that really counted was if somebody was not looking over your shoulder,” McConnell said in the New York Times June 20.

This is how dictators get “re-elected” with 99.9 percent of the vote in banana republics. Their constituents know their votes will be seen by the dictator, and they know what will happen next.

I personally wouldn’t want anyone knowing how I voted, if my co-workers and I were approached about joining a union. I can’t believe anyone else would either.

The bill already has cleared the house 241 to 185. It’s now being considered by the senate.

Why would representatives and senators in a democracy like the US prefer union cards over a secret ballot? Let’s follow the money.

The following is a list of senators who have been paid to get this legislation passed:

The first dollar amount is the total received from labor contributions. The second is labor contributions made in 2007.

• Sen. Mark Baucus-Mont., $1 million, $30,500.

• Sen. Joseph Biden-Del., $480,000, $5,000.

• Sen. Richard Durbin-Ill., $880,000, $63,500.

• Sen. Tom Harkin-Iowa, $1.7 million, $36,500

• Sen. Frank Lautenberg-N.J., $1.2 million, $33,500.

• Sen. Carl Levin-Mich., $1.2 million, $51,500.

• Sen. John Kerry-Mass., $51,500, $42,000.

• Sen. Mary Landrieu-La., $900,000, $46,000.

• Sen Mark Pryor-Ark., $400,000, $50,500.

• Sen. Jack Reed-R.I., $719,000, $44,100.

• Sen. John D. Rockefeller-W.Va., $980,000, $55,000.

Senate Republicans blocked the bill Tuesday in a 51 to 48 vote. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass said the Democrats have vowed not to let the bill die. With all the money involved, I believe that.