District 48 challenger wants to repeal right-to-work law
Posted: 06/05/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Tim Vandenack
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The law, passed during the last legislative session, is an affront to teachers, policemen, firefighters and other union workers, he thinks, and needs to be reversed.
“Basically you’re telling these people they don’t have a right to negotiate their wages,” said Morrison, slated by Elkhart County Democrats on Saturday to vie for the District 48 spot.
He said Monday that he plans to start campaigning in the coming days, hoofing it around the district to make contact with voters. That’s what he did in vying for Indiana’s District 2 seat in the U.S. House, eventually losing in last month’s Democratic primary to Brendan Mullen but outpolling the winner in nine of the district’s 10 counties.
“I’ll kick off this week. There’ll be a lot of door-to-door, just like there was before,” Morrison said.
Apart from right-to-work — incumbent District 48 Rep. Tim Neese, R-Elkhart, backs the new law — education will be a focus for Morrison.
The nation’s high school graduation rate is 77.5 percent and needs to be bolstered, he thinks. Possible fixes could be requiring students to stay in school until they graduate or until they reach the age of 19. As is, state law allows high schoolers to drop out when they’re 16, he said.
Neese is seeking his sixth two-year term and he reiterated Monday that he had been anticipating a challenge. “I will be prepared. My campaign won’t assume anything,” he said.
Neese, like other right-to-work supporters, has defended the measure, saying it will help attract new business to Indiana. The law prohibits unions from requiring dues of members, which foes fear will weaken organized labor.
Elkhart County Democrats confirmed late last week that they were planning to slate Morrison to challenge Neese, but Morrison, of Elkhart, was hesitant, at least initially, to comment in-depth on the matter. He worked around 25 years in the recreational vehicle industry, but now is starting a new job in sales with a company that provides identity theft protection, Harvard Risk Management.
Precinct chairmen from the Elkhart County Democratic Party unanimously decided to slate Morrison to run at a specially called caucus on Saturday. District 48 covers northwestern Elkhart County and includes northern Elkhart.
“Dan Morrison has shown that highly refined organizational skills and hard work at the ground level can pay off when campaigning,” Shari Mellin, head of the Democratic party here, said in a statement Monday. “Dan’s personal contact with voters, his knowledge of the issues and his work ethic will help him win in November.”