State Republican Legislators plan to waste more time on meaningless legislation. Like their failed attempt at criminalizing abortion they will fall flat on their faces again

UPDATE: Joel Dykstra is spreading lies right now on KCPO (Sunday 10:30 AM – Cable channel 2)


Kind of sounds like someone is posturing for the Governor’s race;

Two powerful Republican state legislators say they will fight a bill now in Congress that would allow unions to organize without a secret ballot. State Senate Majority Leader Dave Knudson, who also is running for governor, and House Majority Leader Bob Faehn of Watertown will introduce a bill in the next Legislature that would put the issue before state voters. The measure would amend the state constitution to require secret ballots in all political and labor organizing elections.

Only in SD, where we rank 50th in hourly wages, would legislators try to limit union participation and thumb their noses at Federal Law. I’m glad they want to put it on the ballot, because it will fail, just like the stupid abortion ban.

If their effort is successful, the state almost certainly would end up in federal court to defend its authority to require secret ballots in labor votes, Knudson acknowledged.

What’s the point? Instead of trying to limit worker’s rights, why not introduce legislation that actually expands worker’s rights? Oh that’s right, I forget SD’s motto, “Big Business and Special Interests first, citizens second.”


#1 Sy on 09.25.09 at 10:52 am

I think it sends a powerful message that Steph aned Tim need to heed. The EFCA is a pile of shit that should never see the light of day.

George McGovern is dead on correct in his opposition to it. It allows unions to organize by stealth and takes away good faith bargaining to replace it with federally mandated contracts. It sets up a system to artificially reverse Union decline for the sole purpose of of continuing to usurp money from worker’s Pensions to advance a political agenda. All of which will be forced onto the end user (consumer) to pay for in the form of higher inflation. It will also perpeuate the loss of manufaturing jobs overseas which will widen our trade deficit and further weaken the dollar.

This bill is a gun to head of our Economy, don’t vote to pull the trigger.

#2 l3wis on 09.25.09 at 11:14 am

Sure, maybe the EFCA is a POS, but it is a Federal issue and none of the state’s business. I view this just like federally mandated maternity leave, serving in the reserve armed services and being able to miss work to vote. Sometimes the states should just keep their nose out of stuff – that, and I don’t trust Dykstra to tie my shoe let alone on this issue.

#3 John on 09.25.09 at 11:34 am

Basically Dykstra can’t organize himself out of a wet paper bag. First he runs a horrible senate race. Then he thinks he’s qualified to run a pettion drive?

SD R’s need Joel R back at the helm to get something done right.

#4 Costner on 09.25.09 at 1:26 pm

L3wis: Only in SD, where we rank 50th in hourly wages, would legislators try to limit union participation and thumb their noses at Federal Law.

I’ll agree it seems a futile effort to attempt to counter federal law, but frankly I agree with their concept. I don’t see this as an attempt to limit union participation but rather a way to ensure those who do participate do so on their own choosing rather than threats of intimidation.

I only wish we could get our elected leaders at the federal level to understand this very obvious concept.

That said, I disagree that if this was on the ballot that it would fail. I’d say this state is still conservative no matter what measuring stick you decide to use, and unions aren’t exactly popular around here.

Not that we should get into the habit of establishing law based upon popular opinion of course, but I’m not so sure this would be shot down like the abortion ban was. I could be wrong, but if it did get voted down I’d probably say it has more to do with concerns over the cost of a legal battle and less to do with union participation.

If there is one thing conserative Republicans hate more than unions, it is someone digging in their pocket looking for money.

#5 Sy on 09.25.09 at 4:30 pm


“to ensure those who do participate do so on their own choosing rather than threats of intimidation.”

and the purest and most successful way to vote for/against a Union is the same, exact way you voted for POTUS. In a booth, by yourself, free to vote your conscience, and how you voted is between you, God and the machine, or in Chicago’s case, the “Machine”.

Signing a postcard with no expiration date, or its equivalent, is how they stuff the boxes in the 3rd world.

#6 John2 on 09.26.09 at 8:46 am

The republicants repeatedly show they cannot govern: ’08 $71 million structural deficit; ’09 $151 million structural deficit; etc. But they sure can waste our and our governments time and money on meaningless crap. No wonder republicants think that government is the problem – they govern so poorly.

#7 GK on 09.26.09 at 3:01 pm

You want to talk about intimidation…mention the word “union” in any Wal-Mart across the nation and use a stop-watch to see how long before anti-union corporate thugs are on the scene to bust up any union talk. That is intimidation.

#8 l3wis on 09.26.09 at 9:55 pm

OH, but GK, if everyone is for a union, they would just think of it themselves, why would they need a union rep to explain it to them.

That has always been my biggest argument for unions, you never see the working man protesting the EFCA, only business owners, gee, I wonder why?

#9 Sy on 09.26.09 at 11:15 pm


“only business owners, gee, I wonder why?”

Well, for starters, do you know what type of employment will/always does lead us out of this recession? That’s when small to medium sized companies hire 1-2 or 10-20 new employees. If those companies are subject to unionizing by stealth they won’t grow. Nor will the Economy.

#10 l3wis on 09.27.09 at 7:03 am

Well, the way I see it, we need either a public insurance option or the EFCA, but not both. The main reasons Unions exist is to ensure workers have health insurance. If we have a public option that is affordable and covers 99% of healthcare costs, there really isn’t much of a need for unions, because employers would be able to pay more because they will not be burdened with those costs anymore. The problem though is that Republicans oppose both. They have to make up their minds. I would support a no vote on the EFCA is a public option was offered. But it looks like we will get neither.

#11 Costner on 09.28.09 at 6:40 am

GK – I will agree intimidation can go both ways and that has been my argument the entire time.

Unions can intimidate people into supporting them, and employers can intimidate people to refuse to join. If the vote goes against the union, the employer will now know who supported it and who didn’t – so who do you think will be the first to get let go when they resort to layoffs?

I’m not so concerned with how they decide whether or not to vote to form a union, but when that vote actually occurs it needs to be in private. Anything else is unacceptable.

L3wis – if the main reason unions existed was honestly to provide health insurance, then very few people (other than some business leaders) would have a problem with them. However many unions abuse their bargaining power to the point you end up with something like the UAW or the union representing Goodyear… both of which refuse to negotiate or give concessions and instead ride the wave all the way through bankruptcy.

I’m sure some unions are formed out of need, but these days it seems more and more are formed out of greed.

#12 Sy on 09.28.09 at 7:37 am


“The main reasons Unions exist is to ensure workers have health insurance.”

Like Costner touched on, there was a time when Unions filled a need. Health care is part of it, but also to ensure safe working conditions and higher wages was the basis of their formation.

Today, you have many Federal agencies, like OSHA, that didn’t exist in the Union’s heyday, that have assumed the role of insuring workplace safety. As the Feds have taken on more of the expressed role of Unions, the Unions have simply morphed into something else. Take the Minimum wage for example. Many, if not all Democrat pols are always in favor of an increase, why? Because many Union’s scales are tied to it. A pipefitter might get minimum wage + $20 + pension + benes. So when Congress pushes for a Minimum Wage increase each year, it is for the Union’s who have greased them, not the entry level employee at Burger King, who they don’t give a shit about.

#13 l3wis on 09.28.09 at 8:09 am

But don’t you agree if an affordable public option was available and people weren’t tied to their jobs for healthcare benefits they would be less likely to join a Union? I think so.

So what do the Republicans and Democrats that get their campaigns funded by big business want? They need to make a choice. Either better jobs or better healthcare for Americans.