Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Corker Flip Flops On The Minimum Wage

Bob Corker is willing to say or do anything to win this race, that is clear.

The latest example supporting this notion is his new found support for the minimum wage. According to the National Journal's Hotline:

"Ford supports an increase in the federal minimum wage while Corker supports a raise only if small businesses are given tax benefits."

Bob now says he supports raising the minimum wage, but the funny thing is it wasn't but a couple of months ago in which Corker opposed the minimum wage all together:
  • Corker Opposes Any Minimum Wage. During the July 13 Republican senatorial debate in Knoxville, Bob Corker was asked if he supports raising the minimum wage. Not only did Corker say he opposes and increase, he also proclaimed that it was not the government’s business to be setting a minimum wage in the first place. “I think that’s the responsibility of the people in the private sector to govern that,” Corker said. [GOP Senate Debate, 7/13/06; Memphis Commercial Appeal, 7/14/06]
  • Corker Opposes Raising The Minimum Wage; Thinks Responsibility Shoudl Fall To Private Sector.“Ed [Bryant] and I agree on the issue, and I do want to say though, as a business person that was worked through out the country, that we consistently, always made sure that the people working with us had a livable wage, and I think that’s the responsibility of the people in the private sector to govern that. I did that in other positions, and yet on this issue, I would say that Ed and I agree.” (7/13/2006 WBIR Knoxville debate)
Further, Corker has a record that suggests that he doesn't care about the minimum wage or the people working on it:
  • Corker Raised Pay At The Same Time He Cut City Workers’ Pay. In 2001, Mayor Corker’s pay rose from $118,796 to $122,360. He also accepted pay raises in 2002 and 2003, when he was the only mayor of the state’s four largest cities to receive one. Soon after finding out about his own salary increase, Corker proposed his first budget, which eliminated annual, the automatic cost-of-living increase for city employees, including police officers. Instead of the cost-of-living increase, Corker offered a smaller increase and said that employees should be happy with that. As one police employee said, “That is messing with our livelihood.” [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 7/17/01, 7/03/03, 8/22/01, 10/23/01, 10/28/01]
Clearly, Bob now is just saying what he thinks can garner him more votes come November. He has never been a supporter of the minimum wage and if elected, will not support raising it. This is simply an election year change of heart.

Congressman Ford on the other hand has a durable record of fighting for an increase in the minimum wage. In fact, just this past July Ford voted in favor of increasing the minimum wage to $7.25.

As the Congressman said:

"A leader with character doesn't oppose working people in July and claim to be for them in August. I have consistently voted to raise the minimum wage, and I did so last month when Bob Corker opposed me and the 450,000 Tennesseans who deserve a raise.

"Character is standing up for people who have no voice. Character is standing by them all the time--not just to win an election."

Well said Congressman. Bob could learn a lot from Harold Ford Jr.