With what sounds like really quite a fight, the Indiana State House is debating the anti-union Right to Work bill today. The Indy Star's Mary Beth Schneider is tweeting from the scene, if you want to follow the scrapping amendment by amendment.
Indiana Republicans have the votes to pass the bill, and it seems as though they'll do that at some point this week. Meanwhile, another part of the fight has gone outside, with a protest at Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma's home and also with new challenges at the ballot box.
The state's new Lunchpail Republicans, a pro-labor PAC announced today that they've got two candidates ready to go. From the press release:
[Diana] Boersma, a lifelong Republican with an MBA, has grown fed up with the Republican attack on the middle class. “Growing up, I always believed in what Republicans stood for, but over the years, something about the party changed,” Boersma said. “Today, our leaders are blaming Indiana’s problems on the middle class workers who built this country, and we have got to stick together to protect regular, working class people from these political attacks.”[Michael] Scott, an electrician who has been laid off since October of 2010 due to the economic slowdown, felt he had to step in to stop the downward spiral for working class Hoosiers. “Everyone I know - our paychecks are getting smaller, and it is getting harder to survive. Families cannot get by on one salary, or in many cases, two salaries. When parents are struggling to put food on the table, it is the next generation that suffers.”
The seats they're challenging in the Republican primary are occupied by Republicans who support the anti-union legislation. That's in keeping with what PAC leaders say they're trying to do. One seat is held by Representative Douglas Gutwein, who is listed as an author of the bill.
Neither seat is the one now filled by Speaker Bosma, who the Lunchpail Republicans have promised "will lose big" next time. Lunchpail spokesman Ed Maher says three more people are in the process of filing papers to run. Their hunt is still on for someone to challenge the House speaker. "Right now, we don't have anybody identified in that district," Mr. Maher says. "You can bet we're going to try."