UPDATED WITH UNION RESPONSE: Blanche goes after Halter’s union support

She must read my column. Did you get the Lincoln mailing today? It’s pretty damned tough on his connections with a drug company. Actually, it’s from “Friends of Blanche Lincoln.” The Senator calls down some fire and brimstone with this release.

Lincoln Released AFL-CIO Survey,
Challenges Halter to do the Same

Lincoln Campaign Calls on More
Transparency from Bill Halter

Little Rock – U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln’s campaign today released her answers to a federal candidate questionnaire distributed by the Arkansas AFL-CIO and called on Bill Halter to do the same.

“National labor unions have pledged to help Bill retire his old campaign debt and spend $4 million in Arkansas on his behalf attacking Sen. Lincoln for the next two months,” Lincoln campaign manager Steve Patterson said. “We think Arkansas voters have the right to know what he has promised in return for this level of support.”

The first question in the document asks: “If elected, would you co-sponsor and vote for the Employee Free Choice Act (S. 560/H.R.1409)?”  To date, Halter has not said publicly that he would vote for the union organizing bill.

“Bill’s union backers are already at work distorting Sen. Lincoln’s record fighting for Arkansas jobs,” Patterson said.  “Without any public promise of his support for card check, you have to wonder what Bill is saying to these special interest groups behind closed doors.  We think Arkansans deserve to know what he’s telling them that he is not telling us.”

Patterson said that Senator Lincoln’s voting record in Congress is open to public inspection and today she is taking the additional step of publicizing her answers to a survey.  “If he is true to his promise of transparency in government, Bill will reveal his answers to this and other questionnaires.”

Labor groups pledge $4 million to help Halter. The unions have committed $4 million to outside expenditures:  $1 million each from AFSCME, CWA, SEIU and the Steelworkers. [FDL Action, 3/3/2010]

Labor groups say Lincoln “too close” to Arkansas business. Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said Senator Lincoln “was too close to Wal-Mart and other Arkansas businesses.” [New York Times, 3/2/2010]

Halter won’t say how he’d vote on card check. As for the union organizing bill, Halter said it wouldn’t be productive to discuss the version of the legislation that caused so much tension between Lincoln and labor unions last year.  “As you know, the previous legislation that was labeled as ‘card check,’ it’s no longer on the table,” he said. “The negotiations now have moved beyond that and have moved into a discussion of can we make elections occur more rapidly and how can we ensure that workers have a process where they have the ability to decide collectively for themselves how they want to be represented in negotiations.” [CQ, 3/2/2010]

Halter hasn’t given a solid answer about his positions on a public option for health care, cap-and-trade and the Employee Free Choice Act. Running to Lincoln’s left – while not at all difficult considering her voting record – will endear Halter to national interest groups, but it won’t enhance his credibility with Arkansas voters. I sense that he knows this, which is why his positions on the public option for health care, cap-and-trade and the Employee Free Choice Act have been less than concrete. [Blake Rutherford, 3/5/2010].

Halter has “ducked” taking a stand on card check. But Halter hasn’t exactly been forthright in his position on the EFCA. In fact, he has ducked the matter entirely, because the EFCA in its current form is going nowhere in the Senate. [Blake Rutherford, 3/19/2010]

Halter answer on card check is insufficient. The card check answer, on the other hand, is terrible. While a simple “Yes, I support it”, would seem to suffice, he instead has gone on and on about how there’s a compromise solution that he could support because we’re beyond card check yadda yadda yadda. Whatever, keep it short dude. The longer he goes on, the more Blue Doggie he looks, and it’s clear that his hedging has turned off many potential supporters, at least here on Daily Kos. [Daily Kos, 3/7/2010]

Follow Senator Lincoln’s Campaign Online:
blancheforsenate.com
twitter.com/blanche4senate
facebook.com/SenatorBlancheLincoln

UPDATE: Get a load of this.

This is in response to Senator Lincoln’s releasing her questionare to the AFL CIO.

“Today Senator Blanche Lincoln released her questionare to the Arkansas AFL CIO and challenged Lt. Governor Bill Halter to do the same thing.  We want to thank the Senator for acknowledging that she sought after, and in the past did receive the support of Arkansas working families.  Working families she now calls outside interest groups.  This just goes to show how empty her promises to fight for them on jobs, health care and trade have been.”

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About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

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