Companies that get bailouts will suffer consumer backlash

If the Big Three automakers are bailed out now, watch out for the backlash. The disdain for Congress and all the money they are throwing around is going to affect consumers’ actions in the future: They are going to turn away from any company that they have been required to bail out.

We still live in a land of choices, at least for the moment. Would you buy a car you didn’t like from a company that you had to loan money to, without your permission, just because your neighbor worked there?

Will you bank with an institution that borrowed your money from the government to stay in business and yet will not make you a loan?

Is your next insurance policy going to be with an insurer that did not know enough about risk to keep itself from failing, and you were forced to insure them?

When things are rammed down your throat it sure leaves a bad taste for a long time, and in these cases the flavor will never return.

Naples, Fla.

Enough said

From Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), regarding Dick Morris’s column “Bush’s Legacy: European Socialism,” Nov. 19

 Amen.

Holland, Mich.

Secret to freedom

From former Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.), chairman and CEO, The Nickles Group LLC

In the House and Senate, a curious irony is developing. As the Democratic leaders in each body prepare for the 111th Congress, one item favored as a top legislative priority is the inaptly named Employee Free Choice Act, legislation that would strip workers of the ability to decide by secret ballot whether or not they want to be represented by a union.

In order to smooth the way to accomplish this agenda, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) faced the questions of whether to punish Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) for supporting Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the presidential election, and whether to keep Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) as the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House.

Notably, these questions were resolved by secret ballot.

Since the 1800s, all citizens of the United States have used secret ballots to decide who will represent them in Congress, and those elected to Congress have long used secret ballots to decide their own leaders. During my tenure in the Senate, it once took five secret ballots to elect Sen. Bob Dole as majority leader.

Considering this history, the important question to ask here is this: If secret ballots are good enough for members of Congress to decide who will lead and represent them in their workplace, why do their constituents deserve any less?

Casting a ballot privately, free from intimidation or coercion, to determine representation in the workplace is supported by clear majorities of Americans polled, and it must be defended from the contrary desires of union leaders and their allies in Congress.

If we cannot protect the ability to vote in the workplace as a personal and confidential process that ensures maximum freedom, it is an ill omen for the direction of our democracy.

Washington

Good riddance

From Dick Vaughan

Mr. Obama, we in New Mexico want to thank you for picking Gov. Bill Richardson (D) for Commerce secretary.

At least he is out of our hair and now is your problem. Doesn’t know much about commerce, but has lots of experience in compromise, particularly with the United Nations and North Korea.

Like a number of New Mexico politicians he migrated from the East to pick up a new congressional seat.

Sadly, under his watch New Mexico has remained near the bottom in education quality.

Best thing about the Commerce appointment is that Lt. Gov. Diane Denish will become governor. She will be a respected change within New Mexico if she follows her roots and does not get caught up in the liberal political pressures that certainly will be directed her way.

Albuquerque, N.M.

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