Ramesh Ponnuru writes that the politics of the Employee Free Choice Act “don’t seem all that complex” and Arlen Specter’s “own political interests counsel opposition to EFCA.” In the Republican primary, that’s certainly true but the politics of EFCA are more complex for Specter than most other Republicans. Specter typically enjoys union support — that is, the backing of union leaders, not just the rank-and-file — in general elections. The AFL-CIO, AFSCME, the American Federal Government Employees Union, the American Federation of Teachers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — all these unions and more endorsed Specter in 2004.
Specter’s political interests in the Republican primary suggest that he should join the rest of his party in voting against card check, as he now seems open to doing. But that level of union support can be helpful come November in a state like Pennsylvania, and it might not be forthcoming against a pro-EFCA Democrat unless Specter toes the line.
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