Yesterday in “Hey, union man” I wrote about the excellent New York Times story on the astounding effort by Big Labor to send a message to incumbent Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln and her Democratic colleagues through the primary campaign of Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. Halter is challenging Lincoln for the Democratic Senatorial nomination, and Big Labor has proved to be Halter’s ace in the hole.
According to the Times: “They have knocked on 170,000 doors, made 700,000 phone calls, sent 2.7 million pieces of mail and spent almost $6 million on television and radio advertising.” That’s a huge effort in a small state with virtually no union workforce. By all appearances, Big Labor will be delivering a big message to incumbent Democrats with the Arkansas primary results tonight.
The Times and I missed one salient point in the story. Big Labor’s contribution to Halter’s campaign is a result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, expanding the the free speech rights of corporations and unions over the efforts of Congress to restrict them. At NRO, Stephen Spruiell cites Suzy Khimm’s Mother Jones article on “The Citizens United effect.”
The photograph below accompanies the Times story on Big Labor’s involvement in the Arkansas primary on behalf of Halter and is in the size at which it is posted at the Times Web site. (In my hard copy of the Sunday Times, the photo was published in black and white.) The hefty gentleman depicted in the photo is placing phone calls to Arkansas voters on behalf of Halter.
According to the t-shirt he’s wearing, he’s “making health care happen.” I’d say that’s unlikely. The health care motto is a variation of the AFSCME motto that they’re “making America happen.” The unwritten message here is that they’re making Democrats happen.
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