Card Check loses a vote? Perhaps

Marc Ambinder believes Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln has announced her opposition to Card Check, the legislation that would remove the secret ballot from union organizing elections.  The report to which Marc links seems less conclusive than suggestive, though any wiggle room on this point means troubles for backers of the EFCA:

Sen. Blanche Lincoln says she doesn’t think federal legislation that would allow labor organizations to unionize workplaces without secret-ballot elections is necessary. But in an interview with The Associated Press today, Lincoln gave herself room to support the measure if it’s brought up later.

I’d be a lot more sanguine about this if Lincoln had expressed principled opposition to the idea of forcing workers to vote publicly and lose the protection of the secret ballot. George McGovern had no problem making that argument on two different occasions this year (see links below).  Lincoln’s argument that the unions don’t need Card Check leave open the possibility that she can be convinced otherwise.  Expect the SEIU, AFL-CIO, and AFSCME to amp up the pressure on Lincoln in the next few weeks to get her on the Card Check bandwagon.

Hopefully, though, Lincoln will stick to her guns.  She has shown remarkable independence from the unions already, joining Max Baucus and Jon Tester as the only three Democrats to oppose the Big 3 Bailout last week by supporting the Republican filibuster.  If she sticks to her skepticism about Card Check, the measure will probably not come up in the 111th Congress — and perhaps Baucus and Tester might join her on this as well.

Previous posts on Card Check: