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David Brock: Liberal boss and union buster?

Unionization for thee but not for me.

That’s the basic position of Media Matters for America, the anti-Republican watchdog group founded by David Brock, in its dispute with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The SEIU wanted to organize Media Matters workers using a much easier to win “card check” election instead of a workplace secret ballot contest.

“Brock…apparently refused,” reported Sean Higgins, old friend and union affairs columnist for the Washington Examiner.

When the story first broke this month, the two sides looked like they might make nice. After all, it would be a black eye for Media Matters to be seen resisting unionization efforts after it put in so much work over the years arguing unionization was just great for America.

For instance, in the report “Myths and Facts: Unions and Organized Labor” two Media Matters writers argued that unions didn’t significantly contribute to the collapse of the Detroit auto industry, don’t make businesses less competitive, and don’t hurt economic growth or job creation — with a straight face, as far as one can make out.

There were also donor considerations, since the watchdog group is a nonprofit kept afloat by liberal lucre. Media Matters had received money from several unions in the past, including $150,000 from the SEIU, to argue that press coverage is not already slanted enough against Republicans and conservative ideas.

But now, the two sides are girding up for electoral battle. The union claims it has majority support of the company’s 50-plus workers but has a history of overstating such things. Media Matters has retained the highly connected firm of Perkins Coie to represent the nonprofit in the unionization election and any later disputes with the National Labor Relations Board.

Publicly, Media Matters management claims it isn’t resisting unionization. A spokesman for the SEIU begs to differ: “For an organization that says they are not opposing employees’ efforts to unionize, it’s a little suspicious that they hire such a fancy legal team.”

In resisting SEIU’s unionization efforts, Brock becomes the latest in a line of pro-union liberal activist bosses who do not want to have their own employees unionized — including Ralph Nader. Perhaps when this is all over he’ll run for president.

Jeremy Lott About the author:
Jeremy Lott helped found and manage four publications for the Real Clear Politics family of websites. He is the author of three books and an e-book, as well as the recognized ghostwriter of former Maryland governor Marvin Mandel’s memoirs. Follow him on Twitter @jeremylottdiary
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