Michael Bennet Stretched in Employee Free Choice Battle

March 2009
As the Employee Free Choice Act was introduced last week, political newbie Michael Bennet received a visit from Andy Stern, who leads the powerful Service Employees International Union. Stern told Colorado's junior Democratic senator that the proposed law would be a boon to labor rights, a contrast to a conversation weeks earlier that Bennet had with members of Colorado Concern, a business group that could be "critical" to his political future. The Denver Post reports about the tussle over the bill, which proponents say streamlines union organizing and opponents say violates worker privacy by replacing secret-ballot elections with a process known as "card-check." It's a thorny issue for any politician but especially one as vulnerable as the governor-appointed Bennet, notes the Post: "both sides see this as a proxy vote." Moreover, the two sides tend to "put forth starkly different versions of both history and present-day reality, making it hard to imagine how [they] could compromise," according to The Washington Post. What should Bennet do? Be safe and Machiavellian--in other words, vote no--advises television producer Dominic Dezzutti at CBS4's blog. Meanwhile, ColoradoPols asks, "Where is Mark Udall?" on the legislation. As for Betsy Markey, of Fort Collins, she's supportive. Yet her fellow House Dem Jared Polis, of Boulder, has yet to announce where he stands, writes Face The State.