Link to Press Release:
Questionable statements: “In sharp contrast to (Wisconsin) Gov. (Scott) Walker’s stand against government union bosses whose demands threaten to bankrupt America, Pete Hoekstra voted with liberal Democrats Stabenow and Obama to strengthen and expand union bosses’ power over state and local government budgets and funnel hundreds of millions more dues dollars into the pockets of AFSCME, SEIU, and Teamster union officials,” Glenn said.
Gary Glenn is running for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate and he’s attacking Pete Hoekstra over the issue of Hoekstra’s co-sponsorship of the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007, which sought to establish collective bargaining rights for public safety officers nationwide. The bill, which never cleared the Senate, had bipartisan support and backing from many public-sector unions, including the Fraternal Order of Police and International Association of Fire Fighters.
The bill did start with broad-based support, with no fewer than 280 co-sponsors, including such staunch Republican conservatives as Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann,Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan and, yes, Hoekstra. At the time, the bill was presented as support for public-safety workers, guaranteeing them the right to unionize, bargain collectively and seek mediation in disputes. But a late push from such groups as the Heritage Foundation, the National Right to Work Committee and others recast the argument as an attack on volunteer firefighters, and all-around union bullying. Bachmann, who ran for president earlier this year, took pains to disavow her co-sponsorship three full years after the bill was dead and buried, blaming her lapse on “bad information.”
Glenn goes on to describe Hoekstra’s relationship with Teamsters President James Hoffa Jr., whose union endorsed the candidate in the past, and links to a 2009 Dome magazine story about him that states he wouldn’t vote for a ballot initiative on Right to Work, calling him “wildly out of step with Republican primary voters.”
Greg VanWoerkom, a campaign spokesman, denied that Hoekstra opposes Right to Work, which reduces union power by allowing workers in a unionized workplace to decline to join it.
“Pete is supportive of Right to Work,” VanWoerkom said. “His position has always been that it needs to be the right timing for it. He opposes the (Protect Our Jobs) ballot initiative, and, in fact, in the 105th Congress, he was a co-sponsor of the National Right to Work Act.” That bill died in committee.
Truth Squad call: No foul. Glenn is selective in his citations, but that’s to be expected in a press release from one candidate.