Kentucky State AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan says Ron Paul, the state’s Republican Senate candidate, is so vehement in his opposition to the right to the freedom to form unions and bargain contracts that when an anti-union Republican front group sent out a candidate questionnaire, Paul indicated his opposition to workers’ rights across the board.
Paul, a Bowling Green ophthalmologist and the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), is running against Louisville Democrat Jack Conway, Kentucky’s attorney general. One or the other will succeed retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, whom unions consider one of the most anti-labor lawmakers in Washington.
The state AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed Conway this month.
The questionnaire was sent to Paul, Conway and to Bluegrass State U.S. House candidates by the Coalition to Protect Kentucky Jobs, a corporate group that is against the Employee Free Choice Act. The group says it will publish candidates’ responses to its survey.
Meanwhile, Conway declined to answer the questionnaire, which focused on the Employee Free Choice Act. Conway favors the proposed measure, which would level the playing field for workers seeking to form unions.
Paul answered that he opposes the Employee Free Choice Act and all of its various parts, Londrigan said. He added that a reporter gave him a copy of Paul’s answers and handwritten comments, which include National Right to Work support in primary.
The National Right to Work Committee contributed $2,500 to Paul’s campaign. Conway opposes right-to-work-for-less laws.
In the survey’s comments section, Paul wrote he will “oppose all power grabs aimed at paying off Big Labor.” Says Londrigan:
We can expect millions more in campaign contributions from groups like the National Right to Work Committee and corporate-backed Republican front groups established by [Senate Minority Leader and Kentuckian] Mitch McConnell’s minions to elect their darling, Rand Paul.
The message should be clear: If you are not a wealthy shareholder or a corporate “person” you have inferior rights—if you are a worker you are on your own and you better watch out because “accidents happen.”
Londrigan said Paul favors “the law of the jungle—no government to mediate between the power of wealth and corporate influence and the rest of us. Workers of Kentucky beware: Rand Paul is not on your side. Paul does not believe you have the unfettered right to freely choose a union at your workplace. Paul does not believe you have the same rights as corporations.”