Free Market Activists to Challenge Big Labor This Election with 'The Concord Project'

It’s no secret that Democrats and organized labor have long shared a love affair that’s lasted for decades and burns even stronger under the Obama administration. As more and more legislation has been enacted over the years in the interest of protecting workers, including state and federal safety and environmental regulations, voluntary union membership in the private sector has decreased. Yet, public sector unions have grown under big government policies. And they continue to grow.

Creating union jobs has become far less of a worker protection issue and far more a political tool for vote pandering. With 12% of the overall workforce, labor union leaders invest their members’ dues in Democrats and rally their members to turnout at the polls and check off the box for those candidates. Democrats in turn reward the unions with bigger government – more public sector jobs, more government projects, more schools and other facilities…more spending means more union dues. And more union dues means more money to spend on political campaigns. And so the cycle goes. All too often, big government is a reflection of special interest paybacks, not of well-intended policy.

But for the other 88% of us equally hard working Americans who, primarily by our own choice, are NOT union members, where does that leave us? Usually, with more taxes and without much of a voice. And nowhere near as much voting power as Big Labor has amassed over all these years.

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But all that is about to change, thanks to The Concord Project. Finally, a tool for liberty-loving Americans that’s sure to bring out the community organizer in all of us. And give the average voter a fighting chance against powerful unions and overbearing lefty groups during election season.

Newly launched on Labor Day, September 7th, The Concord Project has taken the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) approach of labor unions and community organizers and built that into a powerful online platform that can be shared amongst activists in this energized movement to boot big spending, big government politicians.

An idea conceived by reformed union activists, the Concord Project is an online tool designed for hardworking Americans to learn GOTV basics. It will serve as a hub for individuals, activists and groups to collaborate and coordinate their GOTV efforts.

Utilizing an open platform, the Concord Project gives individuals, activists and groups a place to post events, coordinate GOTV efforts, as well as comment on specific candidates and issues.

The lead-up to this November 2nd will see record levels of spending and some of the most heated rhetoric in decades as political differences between big and small government viewpoints polarize the country. Front and center to much of that dissonance will continue to be Big Labor’s union bosses.

Just weeks ago, reports indicated that organized labor is expected to spend $100 million or more this election. This past Labor Day Monday, President Obama stood in front of hundreds of labor union members to resurrect former SEIU Secretary/Treasurer and Change to Win chair Anna Burger’s New New Deal – announcing his plan (i.e. union bosses’ plan) to stimulate jobs. It included everything from a National Infrastructure Bank to invest in thousands of miles of Roads, Rail and Runways, to Green Jobs to tax credits for research and development in specific industries. Sounds great, but of course those of us who actually read the massive $787 billion stimulus bill last year know that all of the projects in the President’s “new” plan were already outlined – and paid for – in that bill. This president and labor union bosses assume that the voting public has already forgotten all about that, expecting we’ll eagerly embrace forking out another $50 billion that should have been spent more wisely in the first place, if at all.

And then of course there is the disastrous $165 billion union pension bailout at taxpayer expense, and the continued looming threat of the deceptively named Employee Free Choice Act.

With so many door-knockers planning to make the rounds this election season, why sit this one out?. 2010 is the year when free market, small government activists will put boots on the ground and their voices to work. It’s time that we organized our own union of ordinary citizens to affect REAL change in America. Change that puts citizens, families and our communities back in charge of helping one another, not government bureaucrats. The Concord Project provides a hub to help coordinate GOTV activities and offers resources for learning and educating others about the candidates running for office. Quick, educational videos on the site walk you through the basics of getting involved as a GOTV organizer. Talk to friends and neighbors about the issues that are important to you. Encourage them to vote. Recruit some of them to help you in GOTV activities.

The website was the brainchild of a couple of reformed union activists (and bikers), including my friend and fellow blogger, Peter List of LaborUnionReport. Peter also writes at Red State and here at Big Government. Peter explains how it all started in his post, “GOTV: Fighting for Freedom in the Fall“:

“In late May, a couple of us were on a bike ride (as in V-Twin, for those motorcycle aficionados) and, while sitting in a hotel parking lot on the bikes late one evening, we started talking about how the majority of Americans don’t understand the power that unions and special interests have to sway elections. As former (some say ‘reformed’) union activists, we realize that most Americans don’t know the sheer amount of money unions devote to politics.”

One of his key recommendations on the site – keep things simple, abide by the Power of Five.

Do you have five friends or family who feel as you do and will Get Out the Vote?

Do each of them have five friends who will go and vote?

If so, then you have a voting block of 31 people (including yourself).

Most importantly, just get involved. Engage. Educate. Empower. Remember, your vote is your voice. The Concord Project can help make those voices heard this November 2nd. And this is certainly the year to do it – for if we don’t do it, who will?


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