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Nelson To Join Filibuster Of NLRB Nominee Craig Becker

When you read Ben Nelson’s vow to filibuster Craig Becker for a commissioner post on the NLRB, consider a few things:

• Nelson just got $500,000 worth of DNC ads run in his home state to boost his flagging poll numbers after he destroyed his own credibility with the series of deals in exchange for a vote on health care.

• The NLRB currently has two members on a five-member board, not enough to function. Becker and two other nominees are essentially packaged together in a Senate deal, so that no nominee moves without the other. Which means that a vote against Becker is affirmatively a vote to shut down the NLRB.

In that spirit, we can understand Ben Nelson repaying his $500,000 in DNC ads by effectively crippling federal oversight of employer/labor relations in this country.

Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson announced that he will oppose a cloture motion to proceed to a vote and will vote no on the nomination of Craig Becker to be a board member of the National Labor Relations Board. The five-member board serves as a quasi-judicial body in deciding cases under the National Labor Relations Act.

“Mr. Becker’s previous statements strongly indicate that he would take an aggressive personal agenda to the NLRB, and that he would pursue a personal agenda there, rather than that of the Administration,” said Senator Nelson. “This is of great concern, considering that the Board’s main responsibility is to resolve labor disputes with an even and impartial hand. In addition, the nominee’s statements fly in the face of Nebraska’s Right to Work laws, which have been credited in part with our excellent business climate that has attracted employers and many good jobs to Nebraska. Considering these matters, I will oppose the upcoming cloture motion and the nomination.”

Becker, of course, has a wild agenda out of step with the Administration, which is why the Administration has nominated him twice.

Also, Nebraska is an anti-union state, and the National Labor Relations Board shouldn’t exist to disrupt that, so anyone who doesn’t have an anti-worker attitude can’t sit on the board.

Also. Too.

Nelson is a recent practitioner of the filibuster, having gotten religion on it right around the time Barack Obama was elected President.

He’s going to lose badly in 2012, having destroyed his reputation over the Cornhusker Kickback (a shame, because it was one of the better things he’s ever done). A vote for one member of a 5-member NLRB board isn’t really going to change that. But I’m sure it’ll make Nelson feel like a very important man.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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