Idgit Watch

Has Think Progress’ Amanda Terkel pulled her endorsement of The Employee Free Choice Act – aka “Card Check”?

Posted by danishova on February 20, 2009

Think Progress reports:

Earlier this month, New Orleans’s new congressman Joseph Cao (R) stated that he would vote for the economic recovery package. “I believe that more likely than not, I will vote for it because the 2nd Congressional District needs a stimulus package,” he said. Even on the day of the vote, Cao was telling reporters that he was “leaning yes.”

Joseph Cao is the Republican who replaced replaced Democrat William “freezer” Jefferson in a heavily African-American-Democrat Louisiana district.  Cao’s Wiki page doesn’t bother to mention the $90,000 found in Jefferson’s freezer, and includes this objective analysis about his campaign against Jefferson:

The campaign was characterized by what Jefferson’s campaign called "overly negative" tactics on behalf of Cao’s campaign by outside organizations, such as the National Republican Congressional Committee. References were made to Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi‘s removal of Jefferson from the House Ways and Means Committee and entailed what USA Today termed a "barrage" of automated telephone calls, including from a woman who identified herself as "Katy" and who cited Jefferson’s federal indictment on 16 counts of corruption. In a meeting of African-American ministers, Reverend Samuel Butler claimed the reason was to "disenfranchise" African-American voters, which motivated Cao advisor and former New Orleans City Council member Bryan Wagner to reply: "with Rev. Butler’s imagination, he may want to go to work for Walt Disney."

Yep, Cao’s tactics and those of the NRCC sure sound scandalous to me. How dare they make reference to the fact that he was removed from the House Ways and Means Committee! That was a private arrangement between Madame Speaker and William Jefferson, and the public has no right to know this stuff.  Moreover, using robo-calls to inform voters of Jefferson’s 16 count-indictment is so unfair and prejudicial.

Anyhoo, Amanda Terkel believes that Cao was bullied into voting against the ‘stimulus’:

In the end, however, Cao succumbed to GOP arm-twisting and voted against the package. The Republican party’s chief deputy whip stood near the freshman lawmaker during the entire vote, and Cao admitted that the leaders had applied some “pressure” on him to vote no, so that they could boast 100 percent opposition from their party.

She goes on to note:

BayouBuzz.com reports that many of Cao’s constituents are now angry and may launch a recall petition:

Congressman Joseph “Anh”Cao, a Republican, who defeated William “Bill” Jefferson is facing a recall petition because of his vote on the Barack Obama stimulus package. The recall has been initiated by a group of ministers. […]

One elected official, State Representative Juan A. LaFonta, Democrat of District 96 told Bayoubuzz that he does not know about the existence of the petition but that he would sign it. … People are starving and Cao needs to represent the people of the district”, LaFonta said.

Hmmmm.   I wonder if the aforementioned Rev. Samuel Butler is among those ministers.  Bayoubuzz doesn’t name names. But I digress…

I infer that since Think Progress bemoans “arm-twisting”, and the physical presence of congressional whips overseeing a vote, that she joins George McGovern and opposes the “The Employee Free Choice Act” (“Card Check”) which eliminates the secret union ballot.  This would represent a change in position for Ms. Terkel who had this to say in opposition to McCain’s campaign promise to veto EFCA:

Despite McCain’s claim, the EFCA preserves workers’ rights to secret balloting. However, it also gives workers the option to form a union through a “card-check” system, in which a union would be recognized if a majority of workers signed a petition testifying to their desire to organize.

She concluded her defense of Card Check by making this analogy:

McCain’s indignation that organizers may go to people’s homes to persuade them to vote a certain way also seems odd. Perhaps he will be pulling his door-to-door canvassing operation as well?

Yes – it’s exactly the same thing, Amanda!  Everyone knows that we can now vote in Federal elections right at our doorstep when a campaign volunteer shows up, and don’t need to bother with those pesky private voting booths any more.

You go girl!


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