The Nerd mimics The Knife.
Rick Snyder’s gubernatorial twin, Indiana Businessman-Governor Mitch “The Knife” Daniels, for years vowed that he had no interest in signing a right-to-work bill. Like Snyder, Daniels saw it as an unnecessarily divisive issue that impeded his budget reform priorities.
Yet when Indiana’s right-to-work bill crossed Daniels’ desk this January, The Knife proudly signed it. And at that moment, the game changed for Rick Snyder as well. Just one year later, One Tough Nerd announced that he, too, would support a right-to-work law from his Republican legislature – making Indiana’s neighbor the second Midwest R2W state.
“This is inconsistent with Snyder’s goals to concentrate on making Michigan more attractive to business,” said an angry Mark Schauer, ex-Democratic Michigan Congressman and Big Labor tool, on The Frank Beckmann Show recently.
No, it’s exactly in line with those goals.
“In this lousy national economy, Indiana needs every advantage it can get,” said The Knife in January. Ditto The Nerd. With a stroke of his pen, Daniels instantly made Indiana more competitive to business - and Michigan (the cradle of the UAW) less so. As The Michigan View’s Robert Laurie reported in February, Caterpillar almost instantly relocated a plant from union-friendly Illinois to Muncie, Ind. Indeed, as anyone covering the auto industry in the last few decades knows, foreign transplants like Kia make right-to-work a priority in picking states for manufacturing expansion.
Add Big Labor’s political miscalculation in the 2012 campaign of trying to undo Snyder’s first term reforms with the needlessly expensive, $30 million, Prop 2 campaign and you have One Determined Nerd to support right-to-work in Michigan.
Like Daniels in Indiana – who didn’t sign R2W until he had secured a second term – the political timing is good for Snyder as well: By signing a R2W bill in the current lame duck session, Republicans will have two full years to see R2W successfully implemented in Michigan. Come the guv’s re-election campaign in 2014, voters will see that the sky didn’t fall – indeed, that R2W helped Michigan’s business outlook and empowers individuals by giving them workplace choice.
Snyder and Republicans are learning what 23 other R2W states already know: That right-to-work brings higher jobs growth and higher per capita incomes.
The Nerd bravely goes where The Knife has gone before. Call him “The Spine.”