Providing check on Senate Democrats good reason to vote for Saxby

With the election of Barack Obama as President and increased Democratic majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, we are entering an era of Democratic rule we have not seen in 30 years.

Powerful interest groups such as the trial lawyers, environmental extremists and union bosses were key players in helping elect President-elect Obama and the new members of the House and Senate. These interest groups now are licking their chops because they know it is payback time.

With Democrats controlling the Presidency and a strong majority in the United States House, one of the last hopes for forcing moderation and compromise on an extreme agenda is through the use of the filibuster in the Senate.

That is why the run-off on Dec. 2 between Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin is so critical. Pending the outcome of recounts in Minnesota and Alaska, Saxby Chambliss may be the swing seat that determines whether the Republicans in the Senate have enough seats (41) to maintain the possibility of a filibuster.

One of the starkest examples of the kind of extreme legislation I’m referring to is being pushed by big labor and is called the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) by its supporters.

Despite the benign name given to it by its proponents, the legislation would actually deprive employees of a variety of choices when it comes to unionizing.

It is a bill that is designed to make it much easier for union organizers to coerce and intimidate workers into joining unions. EFCA would remove secret ballot protections and allow union organizers to approach employees and ask them to sign a card expressing their desire to form a union. Once a majority of workers signed such cards, every worker in the place (whether they wanted the union or not) would be forced into the union.

Currently, workers vote to form a union through a secret ballot. Unlike union organizers circulating sign-up cards, a secret ballot is, as its name says, secret. No one knows how you vote. You get to decide, based on your conscience, not based on the union representative looking over your shoulder or the views of your coworkers or employers who may be watching you.

Secret ballots are used because they insulate voters from intimidation. As we know very well from history, unions have used intimidation when it suited their purposes.

With the number of union workers declining, it seems clear why labor leaders want to do away with the secret ballot for union elections. They know that if the choice is made in the open, it is likely that unionization will increase. The union bosses don’t seem concerned that this increase will come at the expense of employees’ free choice.

If Congress passes this law and President Barack Obama signs it (as he has said he would), over 70 percent of Georgia’s workers would be disenfranchised by it.

This kind of legislation is why we need to make sure we return Senator Saxby Chambliss to the Senate. The only way of stopping EFCA and other extreme legislation of this type is if the Democrats cannot overcome a Republican filibuster in the Senate.

Sen. Chambliss has stood firm against attempts to pass legislation favored by union bosses that would hurt both employers and employees. His opponent, however, has come out in support of EFCA.

Our nation is already reeling from a financial crisis. We do not need business-crippling laws like EFCA to become law. We need to have enough members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to stand up to this type of misguided legislation. In that regard, I urge you to support Senator Saxby Chambliss on Dec. 2.

[Matt Ramsey is District 72’s representative in the Georgia General Assembly. He lives and works in Peachtree City, Ga.]

login to post comments | Matt Ramsey's blog