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Last Wednesday, February 10th, the Senate blocked the (routine) nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board.  Actually, the Senate voted in favor of him, 52-33, but due to arcane Senate rules that were established to make sure they never get anything done, he wasn't confirmed.  While this vote, and the filibuster procedure in general, both bothered me, it was the response from the Republicans that made me ever more angry.  

Mike Enzi, the leading Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said

"If a nominee garners a greater level of public scrutiny and larger than usual volumes of questions, we should ask why. This unique scrutiny should be a signal that the individual has raised a great level of concern and controversy."  

Becker was asked as many questions as the GOP wanted, and answered all of them.  However, what Enzi is saying is that he rejected the nomination because the scrutiny was raised.  So, because Republicans questioned him at all, he was deemed unqualified, as if the opposition party has never scrutinized a nominee before.

If you Google "Craig Becker Filibuster", you will see and ad for the Workforce Fairness Institute (I was going to link to them, but I don't want anyone giving them internet traffic), which asks you to sign a petition with this wording:

"Sign this petition and say "no" to a recess appointment for Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board, which would subvert the bipartisan will of Congress."

The Senate voted for him 52-33.  I'm not sure what about that vote tally adds up to "subverting the bipartisan will of Congress", but it is clear that they are either too stupid to do simple math to determine that a side that lost by 19 votes in the Senate doesn't represent the "bipartisan will of Congress", or their organization profits and operates off of lying to people that are less informed than they are.  Either way, I hope that each and every person at their organization is ashamed to work where they do.  Email them at workforcefairnessinstitute@workforcefairness.org if you want to tell them anything else on the topic.

Sherrod Brown, the great Senator from Ohio, put it best when he was talking about Republicans who claimed the Becker nomination was "rushed":
"I hear them on the floor saying we shouldn't rush this. It's been 10 months. The Senate Republicans are the only people in the United States of America who think it should take more than 10 months to give us the option to vote up or down on a nominee who is clearly qualified."

If Republicans don't want to work to move country forward and are willing to block every single policy and nomination the Democrats put forward, then lie about the Democrats violating the "bipartisan will of Congress", it's time for them to start acting on their own.

Originally posted to charlierybak on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 03:00 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I called it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, HylasBrook, DemandTruth

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 03:10:37 PM PST

  •  it's all about Andy Stern... (0+ / 0-)

    The Republicans don't like Andy Stern (who does?). They think they are hitting him by sidetracking Becker.  

  •  Craig Becker (0+ / 0-)

    I must say I don't like him either based on some of his opinions...such as...  

    "Mr. Becker has other ideas. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, he explained that traditional notions of democracy should not apply in union elections. He wrote that employers should be barred from attending NLRB hearings about elections, and from challenging election results even amid evidence of union misconduct. He believes elections should be removed from work sites and held on "neutral grounds," or via mail ballots. Employers should also be barred from "placing observers at the polls to challenge ballots."   Posted in WSJ.

    Traditional notions of democracy should not apply in union elections & even amid evidence of union misconduct?? WOW

    How about this......No Choice – Workers Must Have A Union
    "To try to justify his extremist position, Mr. Becker, associate general counsel for the Service
    Employees International Union (SEIU) and the AFL-CIO, borrowed an extraordinary analogy:
    "Just as U.S. citizens cannot opt against having a congressman, he contended, workers should
    not be able to choose against having a union as their monopoly-bargaining agent.
    "‘Employees' only choice, explained Mr. Becker, should be over which set of union officials get
    ‘exclusive’ power to negotiate their wages, benefits, and work rules."
    National Right to Work Newsletter – May 2009

    Workers should not be able to choose against having a union?

    I am sick to death of thugs...employer thugs, union thugs, Senate thugs, Congressional thugs.  Who the hell do these people think they are? Always trying to dictate our lives to us.  

    I am sick of them all.

    •  I disagree with these parts of your post. (0+ / 0-)

      Just on first glance

      "Employers should also be barred from "placing observers at the polls to challenge ballots."

      Employers should not be allowed in, it sounds like Union busting or intimidation to me.

      And the worst part of your post is that you don't have any links to back up what you are saying about Becker.. If it was this easy for you to come up with quotes, Why not?

    •  There aren't any "traditional" notions of (0+ / 0-)

      democracy in the workplace now.  There is the thuggery of management, which in no less than one quarter of all NLRB-conducted "elections", fires key union supporters.  If John McCain said to people, "Vote for me or you're fired" and he could actually make that happen, would that be democracy?  That is why "card check" is a viable and fair option.  

      And I do know that the National Right to Work Committee -- which has never helped an employee fight a bullying employer in its existence -- is not a reliable source to determine Mr. Becker's positions on anything, since the RTW people have no interest in protecting and advancing labor's cause.  They are, after all, funded by employers, and seek to weaken unions at every opportunity.

      "The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love."

      by Budlawman on Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 10:24:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Worst are the corporation thugs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timbuk3, bgold

    Craig Becker has probably seen corporations in action.  They uniformly break the law by threatening employees - and never suffer the consequences.  We need extremists to balance these extremely hostile, controlling, illegal corporations.

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