Friday, July 1, 2011

Senate hopefuls spar over Big Labor in first candidate forum

September 23, 2010 by ShawnMillerick  
Filed under Business, HP_Featured

At this morning’s candidate forum, hosted by the NHBIA and the Union Leader, Paul Hodes and Kelly Ayotte had a contentious exchange over the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA).

In a question to Hodes, the UL’s John DiStaso pointed out that the 2nd district Congressman is a co-sponsor of the job-killing bill, asking “What’s wrong with allowing the continuation of the secret ballot for unionization, as opposed to what critics are calling union boss intimidation?” Hodes responded by countering DiStaso with the blatantly untrue claim that the legislation “doesn’t eliminate the secret ballot, it ends the employer monopoly on how unions can be formed.” Hodes also said that “choice is the essence of American society,” without addressing the fact that EFCA would actually remove choices from workers.

Ayotte disagreed vehemently, referring to EFCA as a “misnomer” that “removes a fundamental right of democracy” through the elimination of the secret ballot. Ayotte referred to Hodes’ support of EFCA as an attempt to “pander to the leaders of Big Labor,” noting that he has received extensive campaign contributions from national union bosses. Watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics estimates that Hodes has received approximately $768, 850 in campaign cash from Big Labor groups.

Paul Young, head of the Alliance for New Hampshire Jobs, a pro-jobs advocacy group, attended the forum and, when asked about the exchange, remarked, “Voters watching or listening today were left with no doubt about which candidate stands on the side of New Hampshire’s small businesses and workers, and which one supports lining the pockets of Big Labor bosses.”

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