Gov. Mitch Daniels’ Self-Inflicted Wound
Last year’s election results provided many opportunities for conservatives to beat back the forces of big government which are about to bankrupt our country. Some elected Republicans are missing the biggest of those opportunities they have.
See my letter, below, to my old friend, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels:
March 1, 2010
The Honorable Mitch Daniels
Office of the Governor
200 W. Washington St., Room #206
Indianapolis, IN 46204
As a long-time board member of the American Conservative Union, I congratulate you on your recent, well-crafted and well received speech at CPAC in Washington, D.C.
This speech introduced you to many conservative activists who don’t know you as I do but have heard reports that you will likely “throw your hat in the ring” for the Republican nomination for President.
But I found disturbing something I learned at CPAC, so I am writing to offer you some friendly advice.
Your work to stop passage of the Right to Work Bill in your own state of Indiana will cost you dearly should you decide to run for President.
If you have any aspiration of running for President, it’s absolutely vital that Indiana pass a Right to Work law in 2011.
The reason is simple. Republican primary voters are staunch opponents of forced unionism.
That was true when I served as Barry Goldwater’s youngest elected delegate in 1964 and during my time in the Reagan White House. The sudden public awareness of the threat of government bankruptcies at every level, caused by caused by excessive union power, make it even more true today.
Coming off the very heated federal fight over “Card Check,” Big Labor’s role in ramming through “ObamaCare,” and the bloated public-sector union contracts that are just now coming to light across the country, grassroots opposition to forced unionism is quite possibly at its highest level ever.
Grassroots people who will determine the 2012 Republican presidential nominee see clearly now that organized labor is the engine of socialism in America and that compulsory unionism has forced unwilling workers to fund the power union bosses are using to expand the cost and power of government at every level.
That’s why I believe the grassroots will be searching for a candidate who will take on Big Labor and push for real reforms.
It’s unlikely you will be able to pass this test without passage of Right to Work.
What you do now will prove more important than anything you have done before regarding the abuses of organized labor.
In your speech before CPAC, you stated that “big changes take big majorities.”
Of course, freeing hundreds of thousands of Indiana workers from the shackles of compulsory unionism by passing Right to Work in Indiana would be considered a big and important change across the country.
You have said in the past that Indiana’s lack of a Right to Work law has cost your state economically.
And if you translate the Republican majorities in your own state legislature to the U.S. Congress, it would equal a 261 to 174 Republican majority in the U.S. House and a 74 to 26 majority in the U.S. Senate.
Based on those numbers, it’s clear that you have a large enough majority to pass Right to Work in Indiana should you so desire.
But it’s obvious that it takes something more than “big majorities,” as you stated, for real reform to take place.
It takes leadership.
Mitch, if the Presidency is something you desire, you must show that quality now by passing Right to Work.
Should you refuse, the political price you pay could be enormous.
Just consider that Right to Work has been the single hottest issue in Iowa’s state politics over the past several years as Big Labor was beaten back from repealing that state’s Right to Work law due to overwhelming grassroots opposition.
In the first primary state, New Hampshire, despite its having a Democrat Governor, Right to Work is a hot issue. Right to Work legislation just passed the House and is on its way to the state Senate for consideration, with a massive battle ongoing. You know which side GOP primary voters are on.
And in South Carolina, one of the least unionized states in the nation, support for forced unionism is virtually unheard of — even among Democrat voters.
Let me conclude by saying that you’re in a position that many great men and women throughout history would envy.
Right now, you have the opportunity and the majorities to pass a state Right to Work law in Indiana.
Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s something that would boost your stock as a Republican candidate for President.
But make no mistake, should you choose to continue along the path of working to defeat Right to Work, GOP voters will make sure the Presidency stays out of your reach.
That’s a decision only you can make.
But I’m urging you to stand up to Big Labor, and make Indiana the 23rd Right to Work state this year.
Virginia Republican National Committeeman