Monday, December 22, 2008

The legacy of Mrs. Mitch McConnell..

I called into Jay Marvin's show today and asked David Sirota about where he thought Obama was on labor. I'd say he was cautiously optimistic. The fact that Congresswoman Solis was not named with the economic team was his biggest concern. It's an argument that I've dealt with in the past, I'm still not convinced but I understand the sentiment.

During the course of my call I referred to our current Labor Secretary, Mitch McConnell's wife Elaine Chao. I spent a little under a year at the Department of Labor towards the end of Bush's first term while I was in law school. It was interesting work in a lot of ways, first the subject matter as I was doing work for the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Second though was the atmosphere in a department/agency like MSHA which is supposed to be active in carrying out a fairly clear and non-political mission while the agency is under overtly political direction. Political direction, it should be added, which was purposefuly sabotaging the core mission of their office. The kicker to all of this was that the Department's top lawyer was none other than Justice Antonin Scalia's son, Eugene. I's been a brutal eight years for the department.

This evening I see that Kevin Drum has been nice enough to give a quick summation of Mrs. Mitch McConnell's legacy,

Before her appointment, Elaine Chao spent four years as a fellow at the Heritage Foundation. She campaigned tirelessly with McConnell against the Employee Free Choice Act. Her choice to head up OSHA was a partner at one of the best known union-busting lawfirms in the country. Under her watch the NLRB reclassified 8 million workers as "supervisors," primarily in an attempt to throw a wrench in unionizing efforts. New overtime rules wiped out time-and-a-half for 6 million workers. The probability of union organizers being fired went up by more than half.

No comments: