Whopper of the Week: Linda Chavez
The onetime labor secretary nominee elaborates on her affection for unions.
"I think organized labor, I think quite mistakenly, somehow thought that I was going to be their worst nemesis. I had a very nice talk with John Sweeney this morning, by the way, and I don't think ... that would have been the case. I think I would have actually been very helpful in trying to bridge a gap that exists between the Republican Party and organized labor."
—Linda Chavez on CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, Jan. 9, 2001.
"My name is Linda Chavez. You may remember me as President George W. Bush's original choice for Secretary of Labor.
"Big Labor Bosses like the AFL-CIO's John Sweeney pulled out all the stops to defeat my nomination. After all, members of the media were calling me 'Big Labor's Worst Nightmare.'
"And they were right! I'm completely opposed to the special privileges given to Big Labor unions …powers that no other private organizations have. …
"AFL-CIO boss John Sweeney is an avowed Socialist, by his own admission.
"And he's put BILLIONS into pushing the Socialist agenda. …
"We can cripple liberal politics in this country by passing the Workers' Freedom of Choice Act.
"If we stop now, the terrorists win."
—Fund-raising letter for Stop Union Political Abuse, signed by its founder, Linda Chavez, sometime after Sept. 11, 2001.
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.