The obvious start of our look back at old legislative sessions were the two in 1979 and 1981. These were the two years that right-to-work legislation passed both the state House and state Senate.
The legislation was vetoed by then-governor Bruce King, a Democrat who was a close ally of labor, both times. Neither chamber had the votes to override the veto.
New Mexico Political Report collected some quotes from newspaper stories in 1979 and 1981 as well as quotes from news stories from the past month or so. All are by politicians or labor leaders.
Look at the quotes below and guess if it is from 35 years ago (give or take a year) or from this past month. Unfortunately, there are no quotes from Rep. Nick Salazar, D-Ohkay Owingeh, or Sen. John Pinto, D-Gallup, who both served in the Legislature at the time and still do.
The answers are below the video.
- “The bill gives freedom of choice for the employee.”
- “The fact is, the people of our state and our nation don’t like to be told to do something.”
- “There’s going to be plenty of opposition to this… Unions will stand against it.”
- “It’s just an attack on unions.”
- “I certainly think it would pass. A majority of House members favor right-to-work.”
- “I think right to work in general as an overview allows people to choose how they work.”
- “The good jobs that we want are union jobs. That’s where we want to be.”
- “New Mexico will lose more of her sons and daughters to other states, in search of a decent job and decent wages.”
- “The bill originated from out of state and it should stay there.”
- “It is fundamentally wrong to require membership (in a union) in order to get a job … or take money from the paychecks of our workers by force.”
Pencils down, time for the answers.
- Rep. John Daly, R-Bernalillo, February 20, 1979, the Albuquerque Journal.
- House Minority Leader Hoyt Pattinson, R-Lea-Roosevelt-Curry, March 15, 1981, the Albuquerque Journal.
- Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque, January 5, 2015 The Daily Caller.
- Carter Bundy legislative director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, December 28, 2014 the Santa Fe New Mexican.
- House Minority Leader Hoyt Pattison, R-Lea-Roosevelt-Curry, February 18, 1981, the Albuquerque Journal.
- Sen. Lee Cotter, R-Las Cruces, January 15, 2015, New Mexico Political Report.
- Jon Hendry, president of the New Mexico Federation of Labor and a representative of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, December 29, 2014, KRQE.
- Rep. Ben Lujan, D-Santa Fe, March 15, 1981, the Albuquerque Journal.
- Rep. Frank Gurule, D-Bernalillo, February 20, 1979, the Albuquerque Journal.
- Gov. Susana Martinez, January 8, 2015, the Albuquerque Journal.