‘Card Check’ Not in Cards for Lincoln? (Updated!)
Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln—recently challenged by reps from the Arkansas business community for being all mealy-mouthed on the proposed ‘card check’ bill being pushed by labor unions—now says that the card check legislation may not be necessary.
In this AP story by the Mysterious Reporter With No Name Because They’re Stickin’ It to the Man with a Byline Strike, Lincoln strikes a potentially more business-friendly tone on the issue:
“I don’t see this bill as being the solution to those problems, and I don’t see us focusing on that bill as helping us to solve those problems,” Lincoln said. “If what we want to do is strengthen our economy, create jobs, create a better working environment for working families and workers in this country and create a better environment for business to be successful, then it’s not focusing on the Employee Free Choice Act.”
Lincoln said she thinks the act has “room for improvement,” and indicated she’d be more open to talking about the measure once other issues are addressed first.
“Just to bring this up and say this is going to solve problems, we try really hard to not do things that way,” Lincoln said. “The point is, we try to go through the hearing process, which is what we’ve tried to do on health care and tax reform and other things we’ve had all these hearings on.”
One potential GOP challenger to Lincoln, former interim U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin, who was smoked out by blogger Jason Tolbert this week, has challenged Lincoln on this card check business. Read the whole thing.
Former Arkansas Farm Bureau head Stanley Reed was unavailable for comment, because it turns out he’s not running.
Update: National attention to this matter from Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic, as well as The Weekly Standard.
And blogging fiend K. Ryan James, an expatriate Arkansan sentenced to the nation’s capital, issues a challenge to Lincoln:
Based upon these words, Sen. Lincoln feels that any focus on voting to pass Card Check before these other issues would be an incorrect application of priorities in the United States Senate. Thankfully, Sen. Lincoln has the power to place a hold on this legislation should it come to the floor ahead of the issues she deemed important.
With this in mind, I call on Sen. Lincoln to publicly promise to the voters of Arkansas that she will place a hold on the Card Check bill, preventing it coming to the floor for a vote, until the Senate passes legislation which will – in her words – “strengthen our economy, create jobs, create a better working environment for working families and workers in this country and create a better environment for business to be successful.”
7 thoughts on “‘Card Check’ Not in Cards for Lincoln? (Updated!)”
what she is saying now is exactly what she said at the chamber breakfast and is exactly what she said to Brummett–that the card check bill isn’t a viable solution to the problems facing the labor community, and that it isn’t something that we should have distracting us from the more important issues. Unfortunately, she wasn’t clear enough and some people mistook her to mean that we, the citizens, shouldn’t worry over it and not to let it distract us. What it was clear to me, however, is that she meant she didn’t think that congress should even be considering the bill right now because it is a distraction from real priorities.
But she never says she would vote against it.
Since she says it would be a bad idea to “focus” on Card Check before solving all these other problems, we should force her to pledge to put a hold on Card Check if it is brought up before other legislation that would “strengthen our economy, create jobs, create a better working environment for working families and workers in this country and create a better environment for business to be successful.”
She has staked out a position (albeit not on the legislation, per se), and we should hold her to them.
I agree that this is not radically different from what she said on previous occasions, though it did seem as if she might be moving toward an articulation that is slightly— slightly — less opaque. Or perhaps laying the groundwork to one day move toward an articulation that is less opaque.
Does Tim Griffen realize that his role in the firing of the U S Attorneys will come up? He will have to answer questions.
I should have noted that Lincoln does address this question in the same AP story, as follows:
“I think he has a tremendous amount of history in terms of what he’s done in this past administration, and I think all of those things are going to be fair game for people to investigate in terms of whether he’s the guy for the job,” Lincoln said. “We all run on our track record.”
I think Lincoln’s statements are directly related to the Griffin news on Monday. She is appearing to oppose the card check but still leaves the door open. This is classic Lincoln; she plays both sides in order to negotiate her position. Also, if you read her comments on the auto bailout, she takes both sides on that issue as well.
Saw some interesting numbers via Twitter on Blanche: If you look at the 14 state senate seats coming open in 2010, the 11 most competitive is where John McCain won by a 2 to 1 margin. Out of those 11, 10 are currently held by Democrats, and she is -.89% in optimal voter turn out. Hate to be pulling the weight for Obama, Unions and Wall Street the next two years. The fact she even responded to the possible Griffin run, shows she is getting nervous.