The Ed Show | December 12, 2012
>>> you the right to work for less money.
>> president obama telling it like it is. welcome back to "the ed show." michigan 's right-to-work law, my friend, is not about the economy. no matter what they tell you, it's not about the economy. it's about money in the political machine in this country. here is what governor rick snyder of michigan wants you to believe it is.
>> right to work is about the relationship between the union and workers. and this is about being pro-workers, giving workers the choice. if anything, this should encourage unions to be more responsive to workers. it's about economic development . we will get more and better jobs coming to michigan because we're going to be more competitive.
>> okay. so let me get this straight. the republicans in michigan are concerned about this relationship between the union and its workers. they're really -- hey, this is kind of like the health care debate. don't let the government get between you and your doctor. the government's getting between the union and its workers. why? this is not about economic development . unions account for only about 20% of the workforce in michigan . michigan 's new right-to-work law isn't going to affect economic development in a positive way whatsoever. and there is a road map to prove that. look at states around the country that are right to work. union membership has declined in this country, and that's what they want. so has middle class incomes. you see that? that graph right there starts back in 1967 . and it goes all the way to 2011 . and as union membership has gone down, so has middle class income. so if anything, michigan 's new right-to-work law will hurt economic development . governor snyder also says the law was all about the workers. really? he is concerned about the workers. that too is a lie. all the unions are saying is this, if you are going to be a union member, you are going to be expected to pay dues. you know, you're going to be not required to be a part of the union . that's another thing that is out there. they're saying well, gosh, you have to join the union . no, you don't. that would be against the law. it would be like if you go play nine holes of golf and you have the choice of paying the fee or just playing for free, what are you going to do? hey charlie, let's play the front 9 for free. you're going to take the free deal, right? what this legislation really does is give workers the chance to get all the benefits of collective bargaining without paying dues like everybody else who has decided to pay dues. and if you want to know what was really going on in washington -- in the state of michigan , which of course is being pushed by some in washington, all you have to do is follow the money. all right. let's go to the billionaires that we love to talk about, the koch brothers. they want to take down the democratic infrastructure in this country by basically manipulating the political environment in america. they don't give a damn about workers. they want union dues to go away so the infrastructure just dries up. if labor is taken way from the democrats, barack obama might not be in the white house . you can just ask karl rove .
>> they lost 612,000 union members in 2010 alone. now think about it. every one of the 612,000 people had union dues going into the political coffers of their union to spend on politics. so yeah, you keep having couple 100,000 people each year, if a half million people leave the labor movement every year, and pretty soon you start having a crimp in the political budgets of these unions, it has a direct effect on the presidential.
>> let's crimp the political budgets throughout, and the way we can do that is pass a right-to-work law that will tell union members that they real hi don't have to pay dues. that way they're not going to pay them, and that way it's going to reduce their resources even more. it's going to shake the foundations of the democrats even more. the koch brothers aring why is is making all the phone calls? who is doing all the social networks stuff. where are they getting money for that? they're getting it from the unions. without labor, democrats lose a solid base in wisconsin, michigan , ohio and pennsylvania and illinois. let's see, think about that. all those states together, holy smokes , that's the rust belt of america. it's the breadbasket of union membership in this country. so look at a these right-to-work states. they almost always go republican. so what the gop is missing is what? the rust belt . that's right. if they can crack the democratic hold on the rust belt , they can cobble together electoral victories. keep in mind none of those michigan republicans ran on a right to work platform because if they had had, they would never have been elected to the house or senate in that state. they were mum's the word. they were pretty quiet about that. but, you know, once they got in, here comes the big money interests like the koch brothers. they are now pulling all the levers of government in the shadows in every state they possibly can. right wing groups reportedly threatened michigan senate majority leader randy richardsville, threatened his leadership post and promised him a primary challenge in 2014 if he refused to move on this right-to-work legislation. he did. it passed, it's signed, now it's law. they got what they wanted. americans for prosperity, founded by the koch brothers as one of the big monied interests behind right to work. the american legislative exchange council alec is funded by the koch brothers. alec writes legislation state by state. guess what? michigan 's right to work rules mirror alec language practically word for word. these guys didn't even have to write the bill. it was handed to them. this is not conservatives' only line of attack. oh, there is more there are attempts to change the electoral college in ohio , pennsylvania, and virginia. a virginia state senator has proposed a scheme to allocate electoral college votes based on districts rather than the popular vote . it's a way of marginalizing urban voters in the next election. game plan page 2. you see, listen very carefully to romney's running mate paul ryan right after the election.
>> i think the surprise was some of the turnout. some of the turnout, especially in the urban areas , which definitely gave president obama the big margin to win this race. there is always an electoral college strategy in winning these things. and you know what states you need to win to get to 270 electoral votes . and when we watched -- look at the map here of virginia and ohio coming in, those ones coming in as tight as that were, and then looking like we were going to lose them, that is when it became pretty clear to us that we weren't going to win.
>> oh, yes, so what we've got to do now is change that we got to make sure the next time it comes in, whoever runs again, and it might be me, paul ryan says, we've got to make sure that the electoral college is all right for the republicans. so we've got three strategy points here. marginalize the urban vote by screwing around with the electoral college , dismantle democratic infrastructure by going after the unions through right the work laws state by state, keep voters from casting their vote in the first place through voter suppression laws, and we're four years away from the next election. so they've got meant of time to just chip away at this, 2013 , 2014 , 2015 and get a head start on the democrats. michigan 's right-to-work law is a victory for republicans, no question about it. but this fight, you know, i keep hearing that this fight isn't over. really? i'll talk with lansing mayor virg bernero about what is next for workers in michigan and former ohio governor ted strickland on what it means for unions in other states there is a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show." stay with us.
>> who are we as a nation? shouldn't we be coming up with ways in which we encourage more people to get to the polls to express their views?
>> attorney general holder makes a major announcement on protecting votes rights. details ahead.
>>> and retiring senator kent conrad , chairman of the budget committee is here with his thoughts on how the broken chamber