The Corner

How Not to Answer the Question

Missouri Senate candidate Robin Carnahan (D, Mo.) was interviewed by the Kansas City Star on Card Check. Here’s how the interview went:

Where are you on the Employee Free Choice Act, card check?

Carnahan:  Yeah, I know that that’s under negotiation even right now, in the Senate, so I don’t know what the current form of that is.  I will tell you I think the middle class has taken a lot of hits in the past eight years, and we’ve got to figure out a way to even the playing field.  I think there’s no room for intimidation on any side; there’s been a lot of charges of that.  And so we’ve got to figure out a system that is balanced and lets workers figure out without any intimidation whether they want to unionize.

Would you vote for the bill as it now stands?

Carnahan: I don’t know where the bill now stands.

OK, but generally, is it a good idea to allow people to unionize by signing a card rather than a secret ballot? 

Carnahan: What I’m in favor of is what I just said, and that is that there is no intimidation on any side.

 So you really don’t have a position on the bill?

 Carnahan: You know what, I’m going to see what comes out of this compromise, and then I’ll talk to you about what that looks like.  You’re asking me to talk about something….

…..But generally, the whole idea is you should be able to unionize without a having a secret ballot, just a one-step process.

Carnahan: That’s not the whole process.  And what we need to make sure of is there’s a way that there’s no intimidation, that workers get to decide how they unionize, I’m totally in favor of that.  And I don’t think there should be intimidation in the process.

Should a secret ballot be a part of that, or not a part of it?

Carnahan: Let’s see what comes out of here…

I did my best.

Carnahan: I think you ought to wait and see what comes out of the conversation, and then we’ll talk about it. I’m obviously on the side of getting some balance in this situation.  Obviously the middle class has taken a hit. I think there’s no question organized labor has been a huge part of growing the middle class in this country, and I’m very supportive of that.

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