Michigan to be scene of the Right-to-Work War of 2013?

It’s an interesting situation up there in Michigan: as the Detroit News rather sourly notes, the Republicans control the legislature and the governorship, while the extremely-Big Labor-friendly Proposal 2 went down in flames (58/42, not that the Detroit News wanted to mention that statistic). This opens up the possibility of right-to-work legislation being introduced in either the current or the next state legislative turn; it also opens up the virtual certainty of a Big Labor response that will make the Wisconsin recall meltdown look like… well, I was going to write ‘a petulant, foot-stamping, and ultimately impotent temper tantrum conducted by spoiled brats with no conception of how the world really works,’ except that that was what the Wisconsin recall meltdown really was. Anyway, it’ll be worse in Michigan. To the point where things may start actually be set on fire.


But does it matter? …Maybe not. Consider the chart below:

State Sen House Cong
MI N/A -4 0
OH 0 1 0
WI 3 2 0

This shows the results of the 2012 elections on both the state legislative (Sen and House) and Congressional level (Cong); all of the federal Senate seats involved were held by Democrats, and none of them flipped, either. Note that the Republican party controls both the legislature and the governorships in all three states… and they’re going to keep on controlling them, too. Michigan had no state Senate elections in 2012, and while it dropped four seats in the state House the GOP still has an eight seat majority there. Ohio – scene of 2011’s rejection of the collective bargaining reform SB5 law – went ahead and actually increased the majority of the party that passed that law in the first place. And Wisconsin progressives, of course, utterly failed to either throw out the governor, or permanently flip the legislature, that passed Wisconsin’s landmark collective bargaining reform laws. Lastly… none of this seemed to have any effect on Republican Congressmen in the 2012 election.

Now, in Michigan’s case it’s going to get ugly: the UAW in particular is going to scream for help at any suggestion that they aren’t going to be able to collect mandatory dues. I don’t blame Governor Snyder for wanting to get to “bills dealing with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s governance, establishing a regional transit authority for Metro Detroit and allowing Detroit to create a lighting authority before lawmakers head home for the holidays” before the year ends. But when 2013 rolls around, consider this: Big Labor talks a really good game. But apparently state-level legislators can go up against them and still keep their jobs.


Now, isn’t that just… interesting?

Moe Lane (crosspost)


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