Card Check and the Colorado Senate Race
The Employee Free Choice Act played a much smaller role in the Senate Democratic primary in Colorado than it did in the Arkansas primary, or so it seems to us (having followed the races from afar).
Organized labor wanted to punish Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) for his criticisms of union-backed policies like the Employee Free Choice Act, but she handily defeated their favored candidate, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. In Colorado, both the incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet (appointed in January 2009) and his challenger, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, had their labor support.
Still, Romanoff endorsed the Employee Free Choice Act, while Bennet avoided taking a position on the anti-democratic legislation, labor’s No. 1 priority. Most notably, Bennet did not cosponsor the bill, S. 560, in the U.S. Senate.
And in the end, Bennet won with a healthy margin of victory, 54-46 percent.
Bennet will face Ken Buck, Weld County district attorney, who defeated former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, 51.5-48.4 percent in the Republican primary. He opposes the Employee Free Choice Act in clear terms.
Here’s how Buck responded to a Denver Post candidates’ survey question on the issue:
Ken Buck: EFCA seeks to undermine the privacy of voting in unionizing elections. By implementing a “card check” system, EFCA would undermine individuals the right to cast a private ballot. Citizens of our country should have the freedom to vote how they want without the fear of retribution. EFCA also requires mandatory arbitration. This requirement inhibits the union employees’ and employers’ ability to negotiate. The inclusion of a third party in such conflict complicates and undermines the process.
We would expect the Employee Free Choice Act to be an issue in the general election, with voters demanding that Sen. Bennet address his support or opposition to the bill with more specificity.