For the last two weeks, or so, the left wing blogs, aided and abetted by the Denver Post, have had a field day accusing Bob Schaffer of selling his vote. At no point did anyone, even the left wing blogs, claim that Schaffer didn't believe in the issue for which he was voting. This weekend, the Rocky Mountain News did what the Post should have done from the beginning-they actually checked the timing of the donation and the vote.
The Denver Post should be embarrassed, but won't be. After all, its editor, Gregory Moore is on the Pulitizer Board and helps set journalistic standards across the nation. Some Standards!
But this essay isn't really about Bob Schaffer because Schaffer didn't sell his vote. Mark Udall admitted in an email to Ralph Shnelvar that he disliked parts of a bill that he co-sponsored and voted for:
On Thu, 1 Mar 2007 17:37:57 -0500, "Congressman Mark Udall" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Congressman Mark Udall
Serving Colorado's Front Range and Western Slope
Dear Mr. Shnelvar:
Thank you for contacting me regarding, the Employee Free Choice Act. I am always happy to hear from fellow Coloradans.
After long and careful consideration, I have decided to co-sponsor the legislation. This bill is an effort to level the playing field between management and labor, but I have reservations about a provision that denies workers the opportunity to vote by secret ballot when making the decision to form a union. It seems to me that simply signing a card in front of a union organizer could provide the opportunity for undue influence. However, this concern has been overshadowed by reports of employers using heavy-handed tactics, including coercion and threats, to discourage unions from being formed.
I'm especially troubled by decisions by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that permit employers to tell workers who are about to vote on whether to form a union that workers in other divisions of the company were fired for voting for a union. I don't know how this could be interpreted as anything but allowing obvious threats.
The legislation is far from perfect, but until the NRLB can be counted on to rule in a fair and unbiased way, it will create balance between the rights of workers and the needs of employers.
Thanks again for contacting me.
Mark Udall Member of Congress
This is a very curious email. It stinks of vote buying and selling. If Mark Udall doesn't like a provision in a bill, he has a responsibility to try to change it through the amendment process. He has proven that he knows how that process works. He chose not to rock the labor boat.
Did the $75,000 in campaign donations he received from organized labor last quarter cloud his judgment? In the words of one of our left wing counterparts, Mark Udall's actions give bribery a bad name. Unlike Schaffer, Udall's own words convict him.
And, what will we hear from the Denver Post and the left wing blog echo chamber about this smoking gun? Let's watch, but not with bated breath.
Thanks to Mr. Shnelvar for permission to print this email.