State Budgets in Trouble
Want to know how your state stacks up against others in the budget department? This blog post from Joseph Henchman at the Tax Foundation provides links to overviews from each state.
Not surprisingly, lots of states are hurting. 40 States are currently facing a substantial budget gap for 2009, the combined deficit is over $100 Billion. There are some bright spots - West Virginia and North Dakota are looking for ways to spend a surplus.
Some Good News About Card Check
For all the chambers our there voicing opposition to Card Check, be reassured that your efforts are not in vain. Last week a Wall Street Journal editorial suggested that Card Check may be losing its political legs. Here is an excerpt:
It hasn't been much noticed, but the political ground is already shifting under Big Labor's card-check initiative. The unions poured unprecedented money and manpower into getting Democrats elected; their payoff was supposed to be a bill that would allow them to intimidate more workers into joining unions. The conventional wisdom was that Barack Obama and an unfettered Democratic majority would write that check, lickety-split.
Instead, union leaders now say they are being told card check won't happen soon. It seems the Obama team plans to devote its opening months to important issues, like the economy, and has no intention of jumping straight into the mother of all labor brawls. It also seems Majority Leader Harry Reid, even with his new numbers, might not have what it takes to overcome a filibuster. It's a case study in how quickly a political landscape can change, and how frequently the conventional wisdom is wrong.
It seems that many moderate Democrats and newly elected Democrats from traditionally 'red' states are pushing the issue to the back burner. The author attributes much of Card Check's changing landscape to you all.
Credit for this new environment goes to a business community that has been uncharacteristically unified in a sweeping campaign against the bill.
All this is a welcome piece of good news for those who support secret ballot elections. Click HERE for the full article.
How Does the Incoming Labor Secretary Feel About Secret Ballots?
Representative Hilda L. Solis (D- El Monte), Obama's pick for Secretary of Labor, was a co-sponsor of the Card Check bill, yet she hasn't always opposed secret ballot elections. A recent LA Times Op-Ed points out that just two years ago she spoke out strongly in favor of secret ballots for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. See an expert from the Dec. 22nd article below:
On Jan. 5, 2007, Solis co-signed a letter criticizing the absence of secret ballot elections in the leadership selection of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Solis wrote, "Votes by secret ballot were in order but never taken. We therefore believe that we need to follow proper rules of procedure and hold a vote by secret ballot." She continued, "It is important that the integrity of the CHC be unquestioned and above reproach." There's no way to spin it. It's a textbook example of hypocrisy, and one that may soon make its way into the law books as well.
Click HERE to link to the full article.
The editorial also references a 2001 letter from members of Congress to Mexican labor officials advocating secret ballot elections. That letter is posted online at PolicyClearinghouse.com