As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Broken News: DiFi Doesn't Support The Same Thing Today She Didn't Support Yesterday

If Dianne Feinstein really was backing away from supporting the Employee Free Choice Act, I'd be the first to blast her. But she never supported it in the 111th Congress to begin with. She remains the only Democratic member of the California delegation, in the House or Senate, not to co-sponsor the bill. And she signaled her support for a compromise bill, which has a kind of "early voting" card check where workers mail in their cards to the NLRB, and if 50% return they get a union, three weeks ago. So some reporter got fooled today by a Chamber of Commerce press release suggesting that DiFi "pulled her support" of the Employee Free Choice Act in a meeting with CoC folks from the Santa Clarita Valley.

Yeah, we get it. You want to break news. But at bare minimum, one Jon Dell should have:

Looked up the meaning of the word "cloture," which apparently he does not know, since Feinstein's vote for the bill isn't needed for its passage

Asked Feinstein for comment instead of taking the word of an organization spending millions of dollars to defeat the bill, and

Done a simple Google search to determine Feinstein's history with the bill, and discovered that she offered up her own compromise three weeks ago:

[Diane Feinstein's] proposal would replace the card-check provision, which would allow workers to unionize if a majority signed authorization cards and strip a company's ability to demand a secret ballot election. "It's a secret ballot that would be mailed in ... just like an absentee ballot. The individual could take it home and mail it in," Feinstein said. If a majority mailed the ballots to the National Labor Relations Board, the NLRB would recognize the union.

What about that? Did she say anything about her own "compromise" bill? Well, we don't know, because a bunch of "breathless" delegates from the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce who know nothing about the history of the bill or Feinstein's position apparently didn't ask her about it, they just told their story to an equally incurious reporter who quickly decided that they "broke national news" in a "major turn of events."

This doesn't take Feinstein off the hook or anything - she ought to support the perfectly reasonable provisions of the bill as they stand right now. The California Labor Federation is engaging in a two-day hunger strike in front of her San Francisco office (1 Post Street) to bring attention to DiFi's position on Employee Free Choice. But this "breaking news" is, um, broken.

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