Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sen. Jim DeMint's nationwide blogger phone conference

I participated in a phone conference call this morning with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) who is considered one of the rising stars in the GOP. The call, which lasted 25 minutes and was attended by bloggers from across the nation, was an opportunity for Sen. DeMint to discuss the Card Check issue and then answer questions.

Sen. DeMint, who voted against the auto industry bailout, thanked the bloggers and said they are needed to sound the alarm and get the word out. Bloggers have been helpful with energy, immigration, spending, and earmarks ... and he encouraged them to keep up the good work.

The Card Check issue is dangerous, he said, as a way for the Democrats to pay back unions for their help in winning the 2008 election. It is but one more step toward socialism in America along with nationalizing the auto, finance, and banking industries ... and should startle most Americans to see where we are headed. He pointed out that the socialist movement has always been very closely associated with unions and workers' rights dating back to 1800s Europe.

Sen. DeMint believes in the right to join a union ... but he also believes in the right to be able to not join a union if a worker so chooses. He does not believe it is the place of government to require people to be members of unions in order to work especially when those unions demand dues from their members that are given to the Democrat Party. Workers then become part of a political machine that people are forced to be a part of. He commented that as union membership declines, unions are looking for ways to bring in more money and new members, and reminded that unions are the only organizations that can give dues to candidates without approval of their members.

A main strategy for forcing unionization is Card Check. If a union wants to organize a company, they have a process: 50% of the members must sign a card, there is a campaign by the union and the employer, and then a vote is taken by secret ballot. Unions want to remove the "secret" part of voting which could then intimidate workers to vote to join the union.

Card Check needs to be stopped by legislation but the danger comes if the Democrats say they will compromise and then allow forced arbitration.

Forced arbitration could be a larger danger for employees and employers because it would allow unions to sit on their hands, delay decisions, and then turn to arbitrators who would control the first contract with the unions. Problems would arise with third party decision-making, a lack of flexibility, delay in moving or closing plants -- all are strung out longer than necessary with delaying tactics. Arbitration will contribute to those problems.

Sen. DeMint urged citizens to call their senators and let their views be known about Card Check and the bailouts. Americans, he said, need to make it a priority to stop these issues.

Responding to follow-up questions about the bailouts, the Senator said it appeared the majority of the senate had blurred the lines between where government should stop and the private sector begins. Companies, he said, will not be competitive unless they realign union contracts. Voting for the bailouts, he said, was throwing the Constitution out the window and betraying the oath of office.

Commenting on the recent arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Sen. DeMint said too much power in the hands of politicians causes corruption which is why our Founders wanted a very limited government.

The phone call ended when the Senator had to go to a TV interview but he again thanked the bloggers and again encouraged them to keep up the good work.

Listen to the audio of the blogger conference call.

See We're Going To Have Riots by Carter Clews at the Daily Grind.

Disclaimer: I have stated to the best of my ability the conversation that took place. If there are mistakes it is a misunderstanding of what was discussed.

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