ThinkProgress filed this report from the Conservative Principles Conference in Des Moines, IA.
March 28, 2011- The defining political story three months into 2011 is the spread of anti-union legislation in the states. Now, a leading senator on the right wants to eliminate collective bargaining rights at a federal level.
During an interview with ThinkProgress in Des Moines this weekend, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), a leader of the Tea Party movement and veritable kingmaker for conservative candidates, made no bones about his desire to diminish the power of public employees. DeMint told ThinkProgress that he “doesn’t believe collective bargaining has any place in government…including at the federal level.” The South Carolina senator then went on to call public employees’ unions an “unelected third party” that enjoyed “monopoly power” in negotiations. “It just doesn’t make any sense,” DeMint quipped:
KEYES: Senator, would you like to see some of these bills that we see at a state level curbing the collective bargaining rights of public employees’ unions, would you like to see those on a federal level?
DeMINT: I don’t believe collective bargaining has any place in government.
KEYES: Including at a federal level?
DeMINT: Including at the federal level. That’s what elections are, collective bargaining, for people who are [inaudible]. I think it just doesn’t make sense. When we’re elected as representatives, to determine the fiscal condition of the government, then to have an unelected third party bargaining at the table with monopoly power, it just doesn’t make any sense.