Nelson to support filibuster on Becker

posted at 10:12 am on February 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The news in the last week on White House appointees has mostly revolved around the blanket holds that Sen. Richard Shelby placed in order to get attention to his home-state pet projects, holds that Shelby mostly withdrew yesterday.  One of the holds involved Craig Becker, the nominee for the National Labor Relations Board, opposed by Republicans for his strong ties to the unions and the suspicion that Becker might try to push the limits on behalf of Big Labor.  Late yesterday, that opposition became bipartisan as embattled Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska pledged to help filibuster Becker, effectively ending any hopes of confirmation.

Nelson’s statement, in its entirety, notes that the NLRB is intended to be an impartial judge of labor disputes and lists the statements Becker has made that calls his ability to perform those duties evenhandedly:

Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson announced that he will oppose a cloture motion to proceed to a vote and will vote no on the nomination of Craig Becker to be a board member of the National Labor Relations Board. The five-member board serves as a quasi-judicial body in deciding cases under the National Labor Relations Act.

“Mr. Becker’s previous statements strongly indicate that he would take an aggressive personal agenda to the NLRB, and that he would pursue a personal agenda there, rather than that of the Administration,” said Senator Nelson. “This is of great concern, considering that the Board’s main responsibility is to resolve labor disputes with an even and impartial hand. In addition, the nominee’s statements fly in the face of Nebraska’s Right to Work laws, which have been credited in part with our excellent business climate that has attracted employers and many good jobs to Nebraska. Considering these matters, I will oppose the upcoming cloture motion and the nomination.”

Among some of the previous statements by the nominee that raise concerns for the senator:

• In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article Becker wrote: “On account of the asymmetry between representation elections in the workplace and the polity, Part IV [of the article] concludes that employers should have no legally sanctioned role in union elections.”

• In the same article Becker asserted that employees should be compelled to join labor unions: “…it could be argued that industrial democracy should be made more like political democracy by altering the nature of the choice presented to workers in union elections. Such a reform would mandate employee representation, and the question posed on the ballot would simply be which representative.”

• Becker has expressed his intent to limit the ability of employees to reject union representation: “At first blush it might seem fair to give workers the choice to remain unrepresented. But, in providing workers this ‘non-representation’ option, U.S. labor law grants employers a powerful incentive.” [New Labor Forum Fall/Winter 1998.]

Mandatory unionization?  That’s even more radical than Card Check, although it does have the virtue of honesty.  The labor movement wants Card Check as a means of mandatory unionization while cloaking it in choice; Becker simply reveals the motive more clearly.  Anyone who thinks that allowing workers a choice in whether or not they want unions to represent them only seems fair “at first blush” has no business at the NRLB, or anywhere near government authority in labor matters in general.

With Nelson joining the GOP filibuster on Becker, the nomination is all but dead.  The White House had intended on sounding out Scott Brown to see if the newest Senator from Massachusetts would want an opportunity to demonstrate some independence, but Nelson makes that a moot point.  Democrats would have to flip two Republicans now, which would be unlikely while one or more Democrats flip the other way.

The more interesting question is why Nelson flipped, and flipped so late.  After all, Becker’s nomination has been around a while.  The Obama administration announced it almost a year ago, and Becker’s nomination cleared the Senate HELP Committee in October, with two Republican votes in support (Murkowski and Enzi).  John McCain put a hold on Becker immediately to slow down the process.  Four months later, Nelson flips.  Why?

Nelson represents a Right to Work state, as his statement above notes, and mandatory unionization won’t sit well with Nebraskans.  But it’s more than that.  The Cornhusker Kickback he got in trade for his cloture vote angered his constituents, most of whom detest the ObamaCare bill.   Nelson has been called a sellout and worse, and he desperately needs to show some independence from Obama if he wants to stand any chance of getting re-elected in 2012.  Unfortunately, this won’t be high profile enough to undo the damage, although it does come at a good time for the GOP regarding the stop of radical unionization.


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Nelson probably thinks Becker is that grouchy doctor who looks like Ted Danson.

jon1979 on February 9, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Too late, Judas. You are fini!

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Nelson has clearly decided he’s supported the Admin enough.

Now, it’s time to get real.

AnninCA on February 9, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Benadict Nelson is trying to save his Azz from being booted out of DC…..It’s not going to work!.

hawkman on February 9, 2010 at 10:16 AM

He is still feeling the heat for selling his vote. This might help some, but I doubt it will be enough to get him re-elected.

Johnnyreb on February 9, 2010 at 10:17 AM

He must have the inside scoop that Brown will uphold the filibuster too on his first big vote. Nelson usually votes with the Republicans as long as his vote isn’t the deciding factor–”cosmetic votes”–as Limbaugh puts it. But notice when they need 60 he’s there for them.

David Mickelson on February 9, 2010 at 10:17 AM

He’ll still get booed the next time he goes out for pizza.

Funny how Nelson remembers that we in this right to work state wouldn’t like this nominee, but when we were screaming at him in December to vote no on Obamacare, he was deaf to us.

Too late, Benny.

NebCon on February 9, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Nelson doesn’t have to run again till 2012… he has plenty of time to comeback…

ninjapirate on February 9, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Nelson is going to “support a filibuster” Nebraska a completely repaved thru-way!

Caper29 on February 9, 2010 at 10:19 AM

As a citizen of Nebraska, and one of Nelson’s ticked off constituents, I say Damned STRAIGHT you better do pennance for that Obamacare vote. Good for you for doing the right thing.

This ain’t gonna save your job. Yer still gonna be out on your ear in your next election, but at least your LISTENING to us (your constituents) during the interrim.

ExSubNuke on February 9, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Pandering.

Bishop on February 9, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Nelson doesn’t have to run again till 2012… he has plenty of time to comeback…

ninjapirate on February 9, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Yeah, but us Nebraskans have a long memory. We’re not gonna forgive the Cornhusker Kickback.

ExSubNuke on February 9, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Unfortunately, this won’t be high profile enough to undo the damage, although it does come at a good time for the GOP regarding the stop of radical unionization.

I think you meant fortunately….

TheBigOldDog on February 9, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Mandatory unionization? That sounds pretty creepy to me. I’ve never been in a union but I know many people who have worked for/with unionized labor. I have never heard anything good about unions except the pay, thats always great especially when you are working for the state.

Mord on February 9, 2010 at 10:23 AM

“Mr. Becker’s previous statements strongly indicate that he would take an aggressive personal agenda to the NLRB, and that he would pursue a personal agenda there, rather than that of the Administration,” said Senator Nelson.

Earth to Ben. Wake up Ben. Becker’s agenda is the agenda of this “Administration” and it’s highly personal.

[Y’know that whole “return to the nation’s wealth to the ‘rightful owners’” thingy.]

Branch Rickey on February 9, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Kill the HealthCare bill, clown, else your days as a Senator are numbered.
How much did you get to almost force the rest of us to pay for abortions!

Tell your present Pinnochio to drop healthscare!

dhunter on February 9, 2010 at 10:24 AM

This, I think, is where the founders had it right. When its in your own best interest to do the right thing, the right thing gets done.
And you get more of what you encourage.

SnowSun on February 9, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Nelson’s got 2 1/2 years to repent, and luckily for him, Obamacare will likely never pass. So it’s not inconceivable that he could turn things around and get re-elected.

But selling out on abortion and securing the Cornhusker Kickback will be hard to distance himself from. His only chance at re-election may be to pull an Arlen Specter and switch parties.

Doughboy on February 9, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Oh and Ben, keep repenting.

Branch Rickey on February 9, 2010 at 10:26 AM

This is huge…the tide is turning folks,slowly but surely.
I don’t care if it is just 1 dem coming out,it will encourage the R’s to stand firm.This is such a golden opportunity for them,the differences in the 2 parties could not be more stark.Indy’s are leaving,the dems are in disarray and our party does not have to do anything but get out of the way and let them commit suicide!!!

ohiobabe on February 9, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Sorry, Ben Nelson. The mask slipped once; it fell on the floor, and blew away in a wind of anger. You’re done.

ParisParamus on February 9, 2010 at 10:29 AM

He’ll still get booed the next time he goes out for pizza.

NebCon on February 9, 2010 at 10:19 AM

At this point, he’ll get tossed outta’ the drive-thru line trying to pick up a Runza®

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Too late.

LibTired on February 9, 2010 at 10:29 AM

I don’t care how crass or cynical this is on Nelson’s part, I am thrilled. It is a HUGE win for business and a HUGE defeat for the unions.

rockmom on February 9, 2010 at 10:30 AM

BREAKING:

Sen Nelson (D-NE) reportedly enters Political Rehab Center. Spokesperson for Nelson says “He feels it’s time to face his problems and get some needed treatment.” Critics say he’s looking for sympathy.

BobMbx on February 9, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Looking for another payday.

artist on February 9, 2010 at 10:30 AM

But selling out on abortion and securing the Cornhusker Kickback will be hard to distance himself from. His only chance at re-election may be to pull an Arlen Specter and switch parties.

Doughboy on February 9, 2010 at 10:25 AM

No, thanks. Judas is toast, we don’t want him any more.

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:31 AM

I don’t see any reason for the Republicans not to take advantage of Sen. Nelson’s long drawn out apology to his state. In fact I hope Nebraska plays really hard to get.

Cindy Munford on February 9, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Ah,Mr Nelson,there a delivery,a package,shall I sign for it….

what is it…..

more rope,to politically hang yourself with…..

……what……(snark).

canopfor on February 9, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Obama and the Dems have had over a year to do anything, and I mean ANYTHING they wanted to do, yet they could not get a single thing done, because of one thing, greed. Plain, pure and simple it was greed that killed every item on Obama’s agenda. For every single vote a bribe had to be made to satisfy the greed of the democratic party.

Johnnyreb on February 9, 2010 at 10:31 AM

It’s nice to find (political) religion on your (political) death-bed.

notropis on February 9, 2010 at 10:32 AM

At this point, he’ll get tossed outta’ the drive-thru line trying to pick up a Runza®

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Maybe he’ll try today. It’s Temperature Tuesday, after all.

NebCon on February 9, 2010 at 10:33 AM

You know…if you asked me, this looks like he’s trying to cover for his Cornhusker kickback thing.

Duh.

LtE126 on February 9, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Hey Nelson….Turn out the lights, the party’s over

Just made my donation to: Boot Ben Nelson

yoda on February 9, 2010 at 10:35 AM

I like that Nelson has to effectively be a Republican Senator for the next 3 years to make up for his vote on ObamaCare.

Good stuff.

BadgerHawk on February 9, 2010 at 10:36 AM

At this point, he’ll get tossed outta’ the drive-thru line trying to pick up a Runza®

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Maybe he’ll try today. It’s Temperature Tuesday, after all.

NebCon on February 9, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Oh, it is??? Guess what I’m havin’ for lunch.

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Hey thanks. Yer still outa here.

Akzed on February 9, 2010 at 10:36 AM

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:36 AM

You guys are hurting me. It’s probably 200 miles to my nearest Runza.

notropis on February 9, 2010 at 10:39 AM

If you all believe him, then you all are crazier than I thought.

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

Knucklehead on February 9, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Oh, it is??? Guess what I’m havin’ for lunch.

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:36 AM

I think so. Maybe call first, just to make sure. Sorry, notropis!

NebCon on February 9, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Valueless dolts like Nelson will vacillate to whatever position gives them the most political cover. The man is unprincipled and therefore very dangerous.

rplat on February 9, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Yeah, but us Nebraskans have a long memory. We’re not gonna forgive the Cornhusker Kickback.

ExSubNuke on February 9, 2010 at 10:21 AM

You are right. In Louisiana we will try to hold Landrieu to the Louisiana Purchase, but remember they didn’t actually get the deals. In future political spinning they will say that those items helped stop Obamacare.

barnone on February 9, 2010 at 10:42 AM

One thing about the new Internet world, nothing ever goes away.

tarpon on February 9, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Knucklehead on February 9, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Yep.

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Like this is going to get you back in all your old favorite pizza places, Nelson-baby?

I don’t think so!

pilamaye on February 9, 2010 at 10:44 AM

• In the same article Becker asserted that employees should be compelled to join labor unions: “…it could be argued that industrial democracy should be made more like political democracy by altering the nature of the choice presented to workers in union elections. Such a reform would mandate employee representation, and the question posed on the ballot would simply be which representative.”

Huh? This is a mere snip of the article, but it sounds like Becker is proposing that citizens be made to join a political party. And there aren’t competing unions in a factory, just one. So is Becker proposing that we have only one political party?

rbj on February 9, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Becker is a sacrificial lamb. They serve him up so Nelson can vote against him. Then, he withdraws and Obama appoints another leftist that Nelson will vote for. Then, Nelson’s constituents are duped into thinking that he’s now a moderate.

Let’s hope that the people of Nebraska don’t fall for this rope-a-dope.

orlandocajun on February 9, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Hey Nelson….Turn out the lights, the party’s over

Just made my donation to: Boot Ben Nelson

yoda on February 9, 2010 at 10:35 AM

yoda:I’m goona whip out my micro-violin,rubbing my finger
and thumb together,to the tune of,my heart bleeds for
the party!hehe:)

Oh,good tune!!:)

canopfor on February 9, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Such a reform would mandate employee representation, and the question posed on the ballot would simply be which representative.”

These guys truely have no respect for democracy. Except when they are guarenteed to win at the outset.

MarkTheGreat on February 9, 2010 at 10:49 AM

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Yeah, and Nelson is going to hit the road Jack too. Can’t come soon enough for us!!!

yoda on February 9, 2010 at 10:49 AM

I think so. Maybe call first, just to make sure. Sorry, notropis!

NebCon on February 9, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Yeah, sorry notropis. Gotta’ have one anyway, and I like their fries, too. Maybe ice-cream afterwards, in honor of Michelle, my belle’s new initiative.

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Ah, Nelson is just looking for the Landrieu pay-out.

jbh45 on February 9, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Just so everyone remembers, Marco Rubio\’s MoneyBomb is tomorrow (Feb. 10), but you can get a jump in it today:

https://senateconservatives.com/moneybomb/rubio

UnderstandingisPower on February 9, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Judas

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Nelsen knows it will take three years to fool Nebraskans into voting for him again.

And he likes pizza. Which is good, because if his faux-conservative performance doesn’t play well in the corn fields, he may be making them for a living come 2012.

ROCnPhilly on February 9, 2010 at 10:52 AM

I guess his phones haven’t been, er, “broken”.

SouthernGent on February 9, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Luckily, Nelson has done little damage to the country, but great damage to himself.
The country can recover. Nelson won’t!

donh525 on February 9, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Nelson’s security detail had better be alert. Expect a gang of SEIU thugs to show up one night in Nelson’s office with megabucks in one hand and baseball bats in the other, asking Nelson which he wants to deal with…

Steve Z on February 9, 2010 at 10:54 AM

yoda:I’m goona whip out my micro-violin,rubbing my finger
and thumb together,to the tune of,my heart bleeds for
the party!hehe:)

canopfor on February 9, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Benny and the Jets. Here’s hopin’ Ben takes a jet and stays away from Nebraska. Nah, second thought, keep coming to the pizza parlors…we have a surprise waiting for him.

yoda on February 9, 2010 at 10:55 AM

3 years is a long time for that hole in his foot to heal.

MarkTheGreat on February 9, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Plain, pure and simple it was greed that killed every item on Obama’s agenda. For every single vote a bribe had to be made to satisfy the greed of the democratic party.

Johnnyreb on February 9, 2010 at 10:31 AM

More critically it was greed that made them go for everything they ever wanted at once.
A more moderate health care bill could have easily peeled off two or three Republicans, making the bribes unnecessary in the first place.

MarkTheGreat on February 9, 2010 at 11:05 AM

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Yeah, and Nelson is going to hit the road Jack too. Can’t come soon enough for us!!!

yoda on February 9, 2010 at 10:49 AM

yoda: Another good tune,hey,one of the singers,with her back
turned to the camera,resembles,FLOTUSA,Michelle OMama
Obama!:)

canopfor on February 9, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Nelson is drowning and he’s reaching for the nearest life vest.

rjoco1 on February 9, 2010 at 11:07 AM

He is trying to get re-elected. What a scum bag!

lilium on February 9, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Benny and the Jets. Here’s hopin’ Ben takes a jet and stays away from Nebraska. Nah, second thought, keep coming to the pizza parlors…we have a surprise waiting for him.

yoda on February 9, 2010 at 10:55 AM

yoda: Love this song.It was played in the movie,Aloha Bobby
and Rose!:)
———————————————

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073941/soundtrack

canopfor on February 9, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Nelson has clearly decided he’s supported the Admin enough.

Now, it’s time to get realout.

AnninCA on February 9, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Mo betta

chewmeister on February 9, 2010 at 11:15 AM

yoda: Another good tune,hey,one of the singers,with her back
turned to the camera,resembles,FLOTUSA,Michelle Obama
canopfor on February 9, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Ah yes, the junk in the trunk.

yoda on February 9, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Ah yes, the junk in the trunk.

yoda on February 9, 2010 at 11:15 AM

yoda:Hehe:)

canopfor on February 9, 2010 at 11:32 AM

The more interesting question is why Nelson flipped, and flipped so late.

A little payback for being booed out of a unionized pizza parlor?

mrt721 on February 9, 2010 at 12:04 PM

You guys are crazy to think that mandatory unionization a green police will happen under Obama. Totally crazy.
-crr6

angryed on February 9, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Too Little,Too Late

bevslape on February 9, 2010 at 12:11 PM

He’s a democrat and democrats lie. They lie all the time.

jukin on February 9, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Too late, Benny. Your pizza has come home…..to roost.

HornetSting on February 9, 2010 at 12:53 PM

I know Bens decision was political, and for his survival, but it was a good issue to make a stand on. So I’ll give him credit for this.

Now if more of these dems would see thru the veil of dishonesty the liberals, and Obama have put up. It’s time to stand up against this treacherous path Obama wants to take our country on.

capejasmine on February 9, 2010 at 1:05 PM

canopfor: Ben Nelson’s theme song. Pizza Boy.

yoda on February 9, 2010 at 1:10 PM

We’ve already established that Nelson is a whore. Now we’re just haggling over his price.

NTWR on February 9, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Mandatory unionization? That’s even more radical than Card Check, although it does have the virtue of honesty.

Michigan has mandatory unionization, as it is a closed shop state. There is your model of what this would do to the rest of the country.

Vashta.Nerada on February 9, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Michigan has mandatory unionization, as it is a closed shop state. There is your model of what this would do to the rest of the country.

Vashta.Nerada on February 9, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Quick equation for what this means:

Mandated unionization = NO JOBS

BobMbx on February 9, 2010 at 1:57 PM

We can still call him “Madam”.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Becker was defeated 52/33.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Unions are legal mafias. At some point there will be a court that will severely restrict these thugs from the worst of their strong arm tactics. It is truly criminal what the public employee unions have done to California… they’ll sell out the entire state for their own gain.

leftnomore on February 9, 2010 at 5:40 PM