Berman Huddles with His Bailout Buddies

From a Center for Union Facts ad against the Employee Free Choice Act"Three days after receiving $25 billion in federal bailout funds, Bank of America Corp. hosted a conference call with conservative activists," including corporate front man and Lifetime Falsie winner Rick Berman, aimed at blocking the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). "At least one representative from another bailout recipient, AIG" was also on the October 17, 2008 call, reports Sam Stein. EFCA, which is supported by labor unions and human rights groups, would give workers the option of either signing cards to join a workplace union, or holding an election. Berman, whose Center for Union Facts corporate front group campaigns against EFCA, said on the call that the only way to defeat the bill post-election, "if we don't have a filibuster proof Senate ... is to make the issue so hot in some states so that even a Democrat who is up for election in 2010 has to think twice" about supporting it. Another call participant suggested EFCA opponents make major contributions to Berman's group, adding, "Some organizations have written checks for $250,000, $500,000, some $2 million for this." Berman said the call was "one of a series with people around the country who are connected to businesses." A Bank of America research document, released after the call, said while EFCA "could drive higher labor cost at retail," it would also increase the "spending power of lower income consumers."