A delegation from the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, joined by similar groups from around the country, is in Washington to have meetings to express their opposition to the bill. At around 12:00 eastern time this afternoon, the group met with Senator Diane Feinstein.
Feinstein, a major proponent of the Employee Free Choice Act, broke national news when she told the local delegation that she is withdrawing her support.
“She will not vote for the bill, and she will not support any modification allowing the process to bypass secret ballots, and she believes that now is not the right time for this type of legislation given the downturn in the economy,” said John Shaffery, a local lawyer and vice president for the SCV Chamber Board of Directors, who was in the meeting.
More as we get it.
[UPDATE]: There is as yet nothing elsewhere in the news.
[UPDATE, 3:07 PM]: No official confirmation yet, although I am informed by third-party sources that there will be a statement from the Senator. Let us simply say that it looks very possible that these people are going to be sadly disappointed.
[UPDATE, 3:34 PM] HuffPo’s better at getting somebody from a Democratic Senate office to call back – surprise, surprise! – and is announcing that there will be a ‘clarification‘ this afternoon. Be sure to cross-check it against this from March.
[UPDATE, 3:48 PM] While we’re waiting patiently for them to come up with something that squares the circle, let me just note something; it is not actually unreasonable for the labor unions to get a straight answer on this issue from the Senator. They’ve certainly paid enough for the privilege.
[UPDATE the last, 4:00 PM]: This is what HuffPo calls a ‘firm denial’:
“A statement has been put out mischaracterizing my position on this bill. The truth is that I am working to find common ground between the needs of both business and labor in order to reach a bipartisan solution.
I believe we must find a way to protect the privacy of individual workers so that they may elect whether to form a union free of intimidation.”
So… I guess that means that ‘she will not vote for the current bill’, as it has no secret ballot, and ‘she will not support any modification allowing the process to bypass secret ballots’; whether or not you believe that ‘she believes that now is not the right time for this type of legislation given the downturn in the economy’ is I guess largely dependent on your opinion of the Senator’s reasoning powers. All I know is, I’m pretty sure that she just called a bunch of small businessmen liars.