A primary challenge for Blanche Lincoln?

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) has been under tremendous pressure by both sides of the card-check debate. She opposes the legislation in its current form, and though she’s a potential swing vote on a compromise bill, she’d undoubtedly like to put the issue off until after her 2010 re-election.

According to the Arkansas Times, however, labor is ramping up the pressure on Lincoln.

The head of the Arkansas AFL-CIO said this afternoon that incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln may yet face an opponent in next year’s Democratic Primary because of her anti-union stances this year.

Alan B. Hughes of Little Rock, president of the state organization, said the chances of Lincoln drawing an opponent depend on how she handles the Employee Free Choice Act or “card check,” legislation designed to make it easier for workers at a site to form a union.


Hughes said if Lincoln continues to disappoint Arkansas labor then all the local union organizations around the state will meet soon to discuss the possibility of recruiting a candidate to challenge her. “The doors are open at that time,” he said.


Said Hughes, “I’m sure national labor would be involved.”

I think its unlikely that national labor would actually support a challenger. It seems more likely that they’d dangle the threat of a primary over Blanche’s head to pressure her to vote for a compromise.

For the record, here’s what AFL-CIO political director Karen Acerkman told Talking Points Memo about Blanche recently:

“Endorsement decisions are made at the state level and the decision will be made by the workers in Arkansas when it’s the appropriate time. For now we are focused on talking to Senator Lincoln about why the Employee Free Choice Act is so critical to making the economy work for everyone and we are confident we will have 60 votes for major labor law reform this year.”

Tags Abraham Lincoln AFL–CIO Blanche Lincoln Blanche Lincoln Card check Employee Free Choice Act Government of Illinois Labor National Labor Relations Board Person Career Person Location Politics of the United States Quotation Union busting United States
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