Mitch Daniels Is Repeatedly Dishonest About Right-to-Work And His Record


Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) repeatedly misled viewers about right-to-work (for less) laws and his own record on Fox News Sunday morning.

WALLACE: Finally, you just signed this month a law making Indiana the 23rd state, right-to-work state in the country, which means that people don't have to join the union to get a specific job. Question: What's wrong with unions?

DANIELS: Nothing is wrong with unions. And if that measure affected any way the right to bargain, the right to organize collectively, I wouldn't have been for it. That's completely untouched. All it says is the worker can decide whether or not it's worth the dues, whether they'd rather have that money themselves.

WALLACE: But doesn't that necessarily in a practical sense over the long run weaken unions? Certainly, the unions think so.

DANIELS: No, not necessarily. There are higher rates of unionization in some right-to-work states than there are in Indiana today. It really a matter of whether people think they're getting their money's worth. And we just knew it would bring more jobs to our state and that was my principal motive for doing it. And already, the phone is ringing and we are about to strike some agreement I think to put more Hoosiers to work.

WALLACE: All right. Back in 2006, you said that you opposed right-to-work as, in your words, too divisive. Now, the unions say, as a result of this decision to sign and make it a right-to-work state, that wages will go down and work places will become more dangerous.

DANIELS: Well, first of all, that's all bunk. Facts be could not be more clear that safety is unaffected, wages and job growth are much faster in the 22 right to work states than in the 28 that didn't provide this protection to workers.

Now for several years that really true I said -- I never said I was opposed to right to work, I said we can succeed under the labor laws we have. Ultimately, particularly in this terrible national economy I reluctantly came to the conclusion that we need to take this step if we were going to have the kind of opportunity state I wanted Indiana to be.

WALLACE: Governor Daniels, I want to thank you so much for coming in. It's always a pleasure to talk to you, sir. Please come back.

Daniels first bit of dishonesty is saying that the right to collectively bargain is untouched after he signed a law that specifically weakened unions and their ability to bargain. He follows up by stating that the new law will bring jobs to the state despite clear evidence to the contrary. He goes through a litany of outright lies about right-to-work states and how they are better for jobs, safety and wages than other states.

His final lie is also a pretty big one: "I never said I was opposed to right to work, I said we can succeed under the labor laws we have." Even if he didn't say that he wanted right-to-work laws in the state, he said that the laws didn't need to change and the state didn't have right-to-work at the time. But it's clear that he did say that he opposed right-to-work in 2006:

"We cannot afford to have civil wars over issues that might divide us and divert us from that path. I have said over and over, I'll say it again tonight: I'm a supporter of the labor laws we have in the state of Indiana," he said in a speech to the Teamsters 135 Union Stewards Dinner on Sept. 23, 2006. "I'm not interested in changing any of it. Not the prevailing wage laws, and certainly not the right to work law. We can succeed in Indiana with the laws we have, respecting the rights of labor, and fair and free competition for everybody."


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