Update: In his announcements, Specter claims he won’t be a Democrat rubber stamp and that he won’t change his position on the Employee Free Choice Act. But it’s still potentially bad news as other RINOs, like Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins may now be inclined to switch parties, officially making Republicans extinct in the Northeast.
Original post: Arlen Specter was always considered to be something of a RINO — Republican In Name Only — but his switching from Republican to Democrat might still have policy ramifications.
Now that he doesn’t have to win over the Republican base in a primary against Pat Toomey, he’s free to come out in favour of Democrat-friendly positions. The big one on everyone’s mind is the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) referred to as “card check” for shorthand.
Basically, the law would make it much easier to unionize, and though the unions say it’s not as radical as its critics maintain, there’s a reason they’ve been so vociferous in their support of the bill.
The bill looked unlikely to pass in this Congress, as Spectre and certain key Democrats, Blanche Lambert Lincoln had signalled opposition to it. But if Spectre switches position on this one, then the law could be back — and soon.
That’s bad news for Wal-Mart (WMT). If unionization is made easier, Wal-Mart stores around the country will be at the centre of the fight.
Too soon to speculate on this? Tell that to the traders who sold off Wal-Mart shares the very second the news leaked.