Monday, December 10, 2012

Detroit Free Press: Gov. Snyder Has Betrayed Voters

Rick Snyder (left) of Michigan is the latest Republican governor to mount an assault on organized labor, as he rushes his GOP-led legislature to a vote on so-called "right to work" laws that could take place Tuesday. Such bills have consistently harmed workers' wages, pensions and health coverage across the country. The Detroit Free Press, which has endorsed and generally supported Snyder as a supposedly pragmatic leader, excoriated him in an editorial, "A failure of leadership: Snyder's about-face on right-to-work betrays voters":

...That trust has now been betrayed -- for us, and for the hundreds of thousand of independents who voted for Snyder with the conviction that they were electing someone more independent, and more visionary, than partisan apparatchiks like Wisconsin's Scott Walker or Florida's Rick Scott.

...The real motive of Michigan's right-to-work champions, as former GOP legislator Bill Ballenger ruefully observed, is "pure greed" -- the determination to emasculate, once and for all, the Democratic Party's most reliable source of financial and organizational support.

...The argument that right-to-work status makes states more competitive or prosperous is refuted by a mountain of evidence that shows right-to-work states trailing their union-friendly counterparts in key metrics like per capita wealth, poverty rates and health insurance coverage.

...Snyder has long acknowledged that steamrolling right-to-work legislation through the Legislature would have enduring negative consequences for productive collaboration between workers and employees. His decision to embrace such legislation now destroys, in an eye blink, the trusting relationship he and his business allies have struggled to establish.

It also yokes a governor who once aspired to be seen as a new kind of Republican with the most ideological, backward-looking elements of that party -- the very people whose exclusionary vision of the country's future was rejected by voters in last month's election.

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