Media pundits, candidates and political operatives frequently described the 2008 elections as historic; however, the 2010 midterm elections have the potential to be far more politically significant.
With Sen. Al Franken (D) finally being declared the winner against Sen. Norm Coleman (R) in Minnesota, the Democrat majority currently occupies 60 seats in the Senate, and the Republican minority holds 40 seats. Now, Democrats can place a time limit on consideration of a bill, preventing Republicans from using a filibuster. Losing that threat of a filibuster means Democrats can pass any bill into law because they control the legislative and executive branches of government. There is no check or balance.
In 2010, 36 Senate seats will be up for election—18 held by Republicans and 18 held by Democrats. Six seats will be “open,” as the incumbent is not seeking reelection. A Republican currently holds five of these six seats.
Undoubtedly, Democrats, organized labor and other liberal special interest groups will make every attempt, including spending hundreds of millions of dollars, to retain 60 or more seats. Just last month, The Wall Street Journal
reported “the SEIU and AFL-CIO have been spending so much [money] on politics that they’re going deeply into debt.”
If Democrats expand their majority in the Senate to more than 60 seats, open shop contractors, including members of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), can expect:
- swift passage of the Employee Free Choice Act/“card check” legislation;
- government-run health care;
- increased personal and business taxes;
- continued expansion of union-only project labor agreements; and
- elimination of right-to-work laws.
A federal government controlled by Democrats means labor unions maintain unlimited access to Capitol Hill and the White House.
A tool in the open shop’s arsenal is the Free Enterprise Alliance (FEA). As the issue-advocacy arm of ABC, the FEA’s mission is to educate ABC members, their employees, elected officials and the general public about the value of open competition in business. Since its inception in 2001, the FEA has funded several successful initiatives, including: legislation/ballot referendums in eight states; preserving right-to-work legislation; issue advocacy campaigns in Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, New Hampshire and North Carolina featuring print, radio and television ads; educating ABC members nationwide about endorsed candidates through ABC Travel Teams; several national get-out-the-vote campaigns; and voter guides in both English and Spanish.
ABC also sponsors a national Political Action Committee (ABC PAC) that works within the federal election process to further the goals of the association through direct involvement in supporting or opposing candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives. This is accomplished through educating ABC members on the importance of political activism and financial support of merit shop candidates.
Once again, construction industry members have an opportunity to impact the nation’s direction. The 2010 elections are right around the corner, so now is the time to “get into politics, or get out of business.”