Maybe a month ago, in MPR’s Capitol View, there was a note to the effect that labor leaders claimed to have about ten GOP legislators lined up to vote against the Poorer, Sicker, Deader Worker Amendment. The item wasn’t sourced, and I couldn’t find anything similar anywhere else, so I ceased to give it much thought.
Then this appeared, in this past Sunday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune, indicating that there is, indeed, declining moxie for this, in the Republican caucus.
Passage by voters would make Minnesota the 24th state in the nation to allow employees who opt out of unions to avoid paying dues or fees. But a full debate could lead to the kinds of protests and energized union voters that have made Wisconsin ground zero for labor activism.
“The question is, is the juice worth the squeeze?” said Charlie Weaver, head of the Minnesota Business Partnership, which represents the state’s largest corporations. Weaver’s members support right to work but worry that the blowback could jeopardize Republicans’ legislative majorities in November.
Committee Chairs Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Good Thunder) and Rep. Morrie Lanning (R-Moorhead) are identified as opposing the amendment. Freshman Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona), who won the tightest race of any MN Senate Republican (437 votes), dislikes legislating by amendment,in general.
I suspect that what is really going on here, is that GOPers are seeking to damp down controversy and blowback for now, and will pass the thing just before the end of the session. They’ll do the same thing with the amendment that would require legislative supermajorities, to make the rich man start to pay back some of the tax cut welfare government handouts, with which conservatives have been engorging him.
But I’m not entirely discounting the possibility, that many righties really do want to focus on marriage discrimination, both for its own sake, and because they believe that that approach could best skew turnout, to give them a chance, however minute from an objective standpoint, of holding legislative majorities.