The minimum wage play

John Dimsdale Jun 6, 2006


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Yesterday President Bush threw his support behind a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriages. No one thinks it has the votes in Congress to win approval. Analysts say it’s just an attempt to rouse the conservative base prior to mid-term elections.

It seems the Democrats may have something similar in mind, using the idea of hiking the minimum wage. Here’s John Dimsdale with more.

JOHN DIMSDALE: Democrats are taking a page from the Republican playbook. In past elections, the GOP has galvanized its conservative base by asking voters to endorse school prayer or ban gay marriage.

With the minimum wage, Democrats think they’ve found their own get-out-the-vote magnet. Rebekah Friend is the chair of the minimum wage coalition in Arizona

REBEKAH FRIEND: It crosses the lines with independents and Republicans who see this as a working family issue and will use this as a defining issue.

A similar effort is underway in Ohio, where GOP political strategist Mark Weaver concedes the minimum wage issue could help some Democratic candidates.

MARK WEAVER: No question about it and particularly in the northeastern part of Ohio where the economy is more of an issue I think you will see a difference in some close races.

Deadlines to collect enough signatures to put the minimum wage on state ballots are this summer.

I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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