This from Americans for Limited Government explains a lot. A few excerpts:
An email sent from an Service Employees International Union (SEIU) lobbyist to Democratic members of the U.S. Senate shows that the SEIU had advance knowledge of when key votes on Craig Becker were to be held. Becker is one of Barack Obama’s nominees for the National Labor Relations Board.
The email was released by Jeri Thompson, co-host of the Fred Thompson Show. Thompson described the email as “marching orders to the Senate HELP Committee, telling them what their schedule was going to be.”
According to the email sent from Alison Reardon, legislative consultant for SEIU, “Your attendance at is crucial to appointing Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Please attend Thursday’s HELP Ex. Session to report out President Obama’s nomination of Craig Becker for Senate confirmation.”
The memo continues, “This is the highest priority for organized labor, and Majority Leader Reid will file Cloture on Friday 2/5, and has assured us that Senate will vote to end debate at 5 p.m. Monday 2/8.”
The email also asks for Senators to confirm their attendance at the executive session of the HELP Committee.
In essence, the Senate was working at the beck and call of the Service Employees International Union. Talk about buying access! Their millions in campaign contributions sure are coming in handy as far as that goes.
Fortunately, it doesn’t look like the Becker nomination will go through because the GOP has another helper against him: Senator Ben Nelson, in full panic mode after word of the Cornhusker Kickback got out, has signaled he’d join with the GOP in filibustering the nominee. So the SEIU will be thwarted for now into getting their toady onto the National Labor Relations Board. (The vote today was 52-33 to invoke cloture with Democrats Nelson and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas joining the GOP cause.)
But just imagine if ExxonMobil or Halliburton had been behind a memo such as this – do you think the mainstream media and leftist bloggers wouldn’t be screaming about impeachment hearings? Yet most of what we’ve heard about this issue from the folks at the mainstream media (like this CBS News example from today) talks about how business groups held his nomination up, not the machinations to grease the skids.
Obviously the situation ended well, but the question remains whether this sort of influence exerted by the SEIU and Big Labor in general is too much for America’s good.