Thursday, May 21, 2009

SEIU prez refers to democracy as ugly

The quote reads in the ad reads: "Since when is a secret ballot election a basic tenet of democracy?"
James Hoffa, Teamsters President.

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times interviewed Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern about the so-called Employee Free Choice Act.

In the interview he twice referred to the democratic system as ugly. Yes, I know it's not perfect, but ugly should be used to describe the governments of Cuba, North Korea, and Zimbabwe.

Here's what he said:

Democracy is an ugly picture sometimes, (Emphasis mine) people do have rights, the business community does similar things from the outside. We used to always complain about how many of our members can give a $5,000, $25,000, $30,000 check to a candidate. How many people have the same ability to get their contract, subcontract? I think government has always been a place where a variety of interests -- if you go to Washington there's a whole K Street group of people that spend their life trying to shape policy. The fact that we're organized from inside as opposed to organized from outside you may think has more advantages, but any organized voting bloc of any kind, or any organized financial bloc, honestly impacts democracy. That's just the system we've set up, and no one seems to mind that the Chamber of Commerce can fly 100 people in and threaten to not elect people if they don't do things because they either don't have a union contract or they're not government employees. I don't know how you stop people from participating. …

And again:

I think democracy is an ugly thing at times; (Emphasis mine again) it just happens to be the best thing we've found, and I think there will always be a debate about what's the right financial support involvement that people are allowed to have. The public employee one has gone on for a long time, and I'm not sure it's going to end.

Of course Stern believes doing away with secret ballot elections and replacing them with free-to-peek card checks is beautiful.

Photo courtesy of Jillian Bandes.

Related posts:

SEIU prez: Union spent $60.7 million to elect Obama

SEIU's influence being felt: Obama administraton threatening to yank stimulus funds from California

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1 comment:

Sam Talbot said...

You should check out Kate Bronfenbrenner's new report at the Economic Policy Institute website for a view of just how ugly NLRB "fair" elections get...

(yes, I know it's a union-funded website, but take a look at the findings if you want to learn about the subject)