Recently, Rep. Drazkowski joined Sen. Thompson in introducing legislation that would put a right to work constitutional amendment on November’s ballot. The thought of giving workers the opportunity to say no to unionization is initially appealing. After additional thought, though, it’s apparent that first impressions aren’t right impressions.

First, adding a right to work constitutional amendment to the ballot will attract alot of special interest money to Minnesota. Why would we want to add another lightning rod to the ballot to drive DFL turnout?

Policywise, I get what’s appealing about right to work. It shrinks unions’ political power, something that’s badly needed considering the rash of nasty behavior by SEIU and AFSCME.

It’s plain wrong to force people into a union and to pay union dues. That’s why I opposed Gov. Dayton’s attempt to force child care small businesses into unions.

The marriage amendment is a lightning rod already. Millions of dollars of special interest money will be spent to defeat it. Millions more will be spent to justify it.

Do we really need this election decided by the left’s special interest money?

The best way to do this is to bide the time until 2014, when we’ll defeat or scare Gov. Dayton into not running again. Then the legislature can pass a right to work bill without flooding the election with millions of special interest influence.

It’s important that legislative consesrvatives make wise strategic and tactical decisions this election cycle. With their majorities hinging on turnout, GOP legislators need to pick their fights wisely.

In this instance, it’s important to choose not to fight this fight.

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7 Responses to “Great policy, terrible timing”

  • J. Ewing says:

    Courage! There is only so much turnout that special interest money can “drive,” and with the marriage amendment on the ballot (a 70% issue) and the voter ID amendment likely on the ballot (an 80% issue) likely there as well, adding a third 80% issue will accomplish two things: Drive lots of CONSERVATIVES to the polls, and drain the coffers of the special interests in futile opposition. Besides, surrender just because you might lose the battle is hardly the principled position.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Jerry, It’s foolish thinking that right to work won’t dramatically increase DFL turnout.

    Also, characterizing my suggestion as surrender is intellectually dishonest. I’m not suggesting surrender. I’m just suggesting we win the debate first.

    We haven’t laid the foundation for this susbject but we expect millions of people to just agree with us after a hard-fought campaign? I don’t think so.

  • J. Ewing, says:

    Apparently millions of folks already agree with us– it’s another of those “80% issues.” Yes, we will have to win the “debate,” meaning we will have to counter all of the lies put out by union money, and the intimidation tactics put out by union goons, but it is a fight worth having. Sorry for my verbiage, but I really do believe this is a positive for the forces of good and niceness.

  • Thorley Winston says:

    I have to agree with Gary and would just add something to consider – a lot of the people who are going to be voting for the marriage amendment are going to be to be socially conservative union members who will fight like hades against anything that they think might threaten their benefits. They could just as easily split their votes for the amendments while they continue to vote for the DFL candidate(s) on the ballot.

  • Chad Q says:

    Hummm, maybe the GOP shouldn’t have pushed the marriage amendment so hard and spent more time getting the voter ID and Right to Work on the ballot if you don’t believe they can take on the DFL with three amendments. The latter amendments will actually affect the state whereas the marriage amendment will only make us feel good. Kind of hard being the party of morality considering recent events.
    If the GOP can get a coherent message out there to combat the misinformation the DFL is spreading, it should be a piece of cake to pass all 3 amendments. But the GOP being what they are will squander any chance they have due to lack of a coherent message and will probably end up with only the voter ID to pass.
    Also, if not now, when? The GOP could easily get voted out of power in 2012 and the chance to do any of this could go out the door. Strike while the iron is hot!

  • Gary Gross says:

    With all due respect, there’s gonna be a ton of DFL special interest money spent on the marriage amendment. There’s going to be twice that spent on R to W. Getting the message out against that flood of money is almost impossible.

    If not now, when? How about 2015, when we’ll have the House, Senate & governor’s office.

    In terms of message, in this instance, money is message.

  • eric z says:

    What’s Santorum’s position on labor unions?

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