In 2006 Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said this about so-called "Right to Work" laws
“I am a supporter of the labor laws we have in the State of Indiana, and I’m not interested in changing any of them,” he said. “Certainly not the prevailing wage law. And certainly not the right to work law. We can succeed in Indiana respecting the rights of labor and fair and free competition for everyone.”
Great to hear a Republican come out against the anti-union RTW laws. Mitch knew then of course that Right to Work really is just a means to harm unions and give businesses a labor force that will work for less not more. It's not about fairness, it's about naked partisanship and a desire to de-fund important Democratic constituencies.
But for whatever reason (cough)ALEC(cough) Mitch now believes Indiana must change the law to allow workers to be represented by unions without paying dues. In 2012 Mitch has jumped onto the union-killing bandwagon.
The idea, that no worker should be forced to pay union dues as a condition of keeping a job, is simple, and just. But the benefits in new jobs would be large: a third or more of growing or relocating businesses will not consider a state that does not provide workers this protection.
Almost half our fellow states have right to work laws. As a group, they are adding jobs faster, growing worker income faster, and enjoying lower unemployment rates than those of us without a law. In those ratings of business attractiveness I mentioned, the only states ahead of us are right to work states.
Clearly, Mitch Daniels is no longer the moderate who spoke to the Teamsters in 2006. But the unions are fighting back. Both Politico and The Hill have noted this new ad by the Teamsters which attacks Daniels for lying to them:
PRWatch makes clear there are millions of reasons that Gov. Daniels and Indiana Speaker of the House Bosma are so anxious to enact Right to Work (for less) in Indiana. As you might expect, each one of those reasons is green and is printed with a dollar sign. PRWatch:
Daniels was, however, the cover guy featured in ALEC's magazine, "Inside ALEC," in April 2011. He also by-lined the feature article in that issue about his budget efforts, which echoed many ALEC agenda items.
Bosma has been involved in numerous organizations over the years, including ALEC, a national organization of state legislators that is largely funded by corporations. Among other things, Bosma has been involved in ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture and Civil Justice task forces, in which corporations and politicians vote behind closed doors to approve their ideal legislative proposals which are then introduced in state houses across the country without any mention of the corporations pre-voting on them.
The Center for Media and Democracy has analyzed Indiana's "right to work" legislation and noted that its three main penalties echo ALEC's ideal RTW bill, an agenda ALEC has pursued for over 30 years, in conjunction with allied entities. Bosma has voted on hundreds of bills over the past 25 years, including in favor of school vouchers and charter schools, both of which are also long-standing items on the ALEC agenda.
No surprise here. ALEC is also heavily involved in the anti-union legislation in Wisconsin, Ohio, and other neighboring states.
Of course, Gov. Mitch Daniels tries to appear moderate and has done a good job of fooling a majority of Hoosiers into believing that he's not just another GOP apparatchik. But his ties to ALEC and his reversal of his previously stated pledge to the Teamsters to not pursue Right to Work laws show he does not deserve to be regarded as anything other than just another Republican hack hell-bent on destroying labor unions in his state. By his actions we now know him. Mitch Daniels is just another anti-labor Republican governor dancing to the tune of his billionaire backers.