The conservative leader was active in the ultimately successful effort to prevent a Chattanooga, Tenn., Volkswagen plant from being unionized. The UAW not only subpoenaed Norquist as part of the effort to get the National Labor Relations Board to overturn the February vote, but it roped in one of his interns, too.
That intern, Tucker Nelson, describes the experience in a column Wednesday for National Review Online.
Nelson had worked on the Chattanooga effort as a blogger and researcher for ATR. For that reason, the UAW demand she turn over all work-related "communications" she had made since January, including diary entries. The union was arguing that the group's public opposition tainted the vote. (Ironically, the union had opposed letting the workers have a secret ballot election in the first place.)
I may be the only intern in U.S. history to be subject to this sort of legal attack by a union. My family was quite concerned. Grandpa even sent me an e-mail:
"Tucker — What kind of cookies should we send you when you are in the slammer? Grandpa."
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that his e-mail — and my cookie preference — were now subject to the document sweep.
They even demanded any telegrams Nelson may sent — not something a millennial like her would have used. They were not so thorough, though, to figure out that despite her name, she is a woman. The subpoena was addressed to "Mr. Tucker Nelson."
She traveled to Tennessee for the NLRB's April 21 hearing on the complaint -- only to have the UAW drop it at the last minute. Publicly, it claimed the reason was that Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., had refused to comply with a subpoena, but Nelson notes that UAW organizer Gary Casteel told Reuters that they had decided to drop the case the prior week.
"They chose to tell no one, humiliating their own supporters, including workers from the plant who took the day off to give their backing," she noted.