By: Audrey Berkshire Jackson (@audreydbjackson)
Tim Kaine’s fierce desperation drove him recently to a rhetorical flourish that the former governor will sorely regret. Silence on any policy matter, the candidate-cum-ultimate political arbiter said, was affirmation a politician holds an unpopular and wrong position.
“If you decline to state your position, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what your position is, and that’s the … wrong position for Virginia” Kaine said at a weekend candidate forum of his Republican rival George Allen and the debate over a pay discrimination bill.
The implication was clear: Kaine is a man of sound conviction. But that implication, the feigned outrage of campaign wordsmiths, was fundamentally askew of Kaine’s record as governor and stump pledges as a candidate.
Once hailed by President Barack Obama as a “friend of labor,” Kaine has remained curiously tight-lipped on Big Labor’s assault on Commonwealth businesses. Kaine’s own stump speech holds that his silence is an implicit endorsement of Big Labor’s agenda, blocked by one court after the next and souring by the day in public surveys.
That friendship has come at a cost to Old Dominion businesses and job creators. It is no secret that union rolls are declining, a threat to labor bosses and their radical agenda.
The National Labor Relations Board, which first burst onto the national scene when it blocked Boeing from building a manufacturing plant in right-to-work South Carolina, has taken up the cause, adopting rules designed to increase union membership at the expense of precedent and even worker rights.
Its most recent endeavor to boost Big Labor’s bottom line, this band of unelected bureaucrats has begun green lighting micro bargaining units, or micro-unions, in which as little as five employees can form separate, unique labor unions. The most recent case involves the federal regulatory agency approving a petition by the women’s shoe department–and just that department–of a fine New York City retailer to unionize.
Now, unions are trying to shoehorn into Commonwealth workplaces through the same dangerous mechanism. Virginia business owners might soon find themselves negotiating with multiple unions within a small workforce, entangling them in an expensive and expanding jungle of bureaucratic red tape. The result: division, discord and disharmony in the workplace.
Kaine remains hushed; his campaign coffers, meanwhile, are buoyed by donations from labor bosses.
Virginians deserve more than Kaine declining to state his position on an issue of fundamental importance to the state’s job creators. They deserve a senator willing to fight special interests, even friends, particularly when those friends espouse job-killing policies.
Slowly, Virginians are beginning to understand why Kaine has remained silent: his “decline to state” position is simply the “wrong position for Virginia.” He merely lacks the courage or conviction to admit it.