The Ed Show | December 12, 2012
>>> good to have you back with us. thanks for staying with "the ed show" tonight. make no mistake about it. republicans a big victory yesterday. they do stay on point, despite thousands of protesters and national news coverage. governor snyder turned michigan into the so-called right the work state. as the president said monday, it's a right to make less money law. the republican governor won't admit that the law is designed to keep unions from campaigning for democrats. he won't admit that the law will make it easier for him to get reelected. snyder just keeps saying that the bill was all about giving michigan workers more freedom . yes, more freedom ! we believe governor snyder , yeah. he is gutting the unions to give more freedom to less than 20% of the workforce in the state? actually, only 17.5% of the workers in the state of michigan are union members. that's 671,000 people. governor snyder needs to explain why a small percentage of his state needed such a massive legal overhaul before the end of the year in a lame duck session of their legislature. let's turn to virg bernero , mayor of lansing , michigan , where all the action was yesterday and in recent days, and former ohio governor ted strickland with us tonight. gentlemen, great to have you with us. it's either unions took a shot in the boiler or a sleeping giant has just been awakened. only time will tell as this all unfolds. governor, you first. is ohio getting pressure to pass the so-called right-to-work legislation? what is going on there?
>> well, there are efforts under way in ohio right now to gather signatures for an initiative, and i think we're going to face this challenge in ohio , and i think other states. listen, ed, a handful of billionaire billionaire oligarchs. he intends to fund anti- union initiatives. that's what we're facing. it's an attack on the middle class . but we're going to be ready for it in ohio . and i believe, as you said, i believe a sleeping giant has been awakened, and i think the people of michigan will bring back michigan 's union ability. but temporarily a setback. but our eyes are open. we know the threat, and we're going to be ready for it.
>> all right. governor snyder was on a morning show this morning claiming the new law is not anti- union . here it is.
>> i don't believe this is actually anti- union . if you look at it, i believe this is pro-worker, because the way i view it is as workers now have freedom to choose.
>> hang on a sec. are you serious? are you serious this is not anti- union ?
>> i don't view it as pro or anti- union . unions just need to be responsive to people to step up and deliver value. and workers have that choice. and workers should have that choice. they shouldn't be compelled to join something they don't see value in.
>> virg bernero , isn't it interesting how government in michigan is so concerned about the relationship between union and its workers?
>> yeah, it's interesting this freedom , freedom and this choice. you know, if the governor and others who are for this believe really in this kind of freedom and choice in a democracy, then why don't they make taxes voluntary? because the reality is that that's what union dues are. the majority has voted for a union , and the majority rules in a democracy. just like the majority voted for rick snyder . i might not agree with his policies as governor, but i don't have a choice to hold back on my taxes. i might not agree with the direction the president is taking, but i got to pay my federal taxes or the irs will come after me. so the idea that you get all the benefits of the union membership and you don't have to pay your dues, and the union has to earn the support is a bunch of nonsense. the majority in those shops have spoken. 51% have wanted a union , and if you don't like it, you can take your business elsewhere. we're only 17% union . i agree with the governor, though. it's both a shot in the gut and a call to action .
>> and i believe, you know what? sometimes it takes both. sometimes it takes a slap in the face , a shot in the gut, a kick in the shins to get people motivated. we are motivated and fired up.
>> the big picture here, governor, is they're after the rust belt .
>> they are.
>> if they can break the backs of the unions and their infrastructure of funding and pass laws to make it so people don't have to pay dues, this, of course, is going to break the backs of the democrats in those state. or is that a bridge too far?
>> well, i don't think it's a bridge too far. ed, this michigan governor is intellectually dishonest . he is not speaking the truth. this is an attack upon organized labor . it's an attack upon the middle class . and he is doing this at the behest of the tea party right wing elements within his party. he absolutely was dishonest with the people of michigan . he said this was not a part of his political priority.
>> but they're going to the money in the democrats. they're going right to the heart and soul of what supports the social networking .
>> and they're knocking on the doors and making the phone calls in the get out the vote effort that really makes a difference in the elections. mayor, what about this. the front page of the detroit free press says that this fight isn't over. what does that mean? how are you going to fight this new law?
>> well, there is any number of ways. of course, lawyers are going over this very carefully. now advocates are looking at it carefully to see if -- we think we can do an initiated law that will undo this law. at the same time, it's definitely motivation for 14. the governor is exactly right. it is an attack. we know that organized labor has been at the forefront of social and economic change. so it is an attack on organized labor . it's an attack on the democratic party . many democratic officials get support from the labor unions . and more than money is what they get is organization. the unions are organized. they're good at organizing. and again, that's what we're going to do. we are motivated by this, and we're not going to take it laying down. so the law may be challenged. and there is every legal option is being looked at. but it's definitely a motivation to win the governor's seat and to take over the legislature in 2014 . we're starting that work today.
>> well, governor, you got the unions to win their battle on measure 2 in ohio . it looks like this is going to have to be a repeat performance.
>> that's right.
>> and i don't think that what we're going to see sheer these legislative sessions controlled by the righties start making up laws that it's going to be harder to recall, that it's going to be harder to maneuver around these laws. and the only way you're going to be able to do this is to vote these people out. but i think it's going to be very interesting in 2014 to see president obama engage his army of support in the rust belt to turn some of these state legislative houses all around. great to have both of you with us tonight. mayor virg bernero and governor ted strickland with us here on "the ed show."
>>> attorney general eric holder slaps our broken election system and urges officials to consider national voting standards. we've got big news, next. stay with us.