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Ohio Republicans are to blame for partisan tone in Columbus

Published: Tue, August 23, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, President of the Senate Tom Niehaus and speaker of the House Bill Batchelder, all Republicans, are either very good actors, or are politically naive. Given the results of last November’s statewide election in which Republicans swept all the offices, naivety is not an apt characterization of the three leaders. Therefore, we can only conclude that their expressions of surprise Friday at the absence of the heads of the state’s top public-employee unions to discuss the new collective bargaining law — commonly called Senate Bill 5 — was just an act.

After all, Kasich, Niehaus and Batchelder had been told early in the week that the meeting they had proposed on SB 5 would be a non-starter unless the Republicans agreed to repeal the law in its entirety. What part of the following statement from Melissa Fazekas, spokeswoman for We Are Ohio, which is leading the fight against the new law, did the Republicans not understand?

“While we thank the governor, Senate president and speaker of the House for reaching out and recognizing that the bill is flawed, we are asking for a fresh start. The fresh start must begin with a full repeal of Senate Bill 5.”

And yet, the three sat at a table Friday with six empty chairs and chastised the union leaders for refusing to participate in what they termed negotiations on SB 5. It is ironic that the word negotiations is being kicked around now, when it certainly doesn’t apply to the process the Republicans adopted to ram through the bill that strips the more than 300,000 public employees of some of their collective bargaining rights that have been on the books for more than two decades.

Indeed, a Democratic state legislator who has received high-praise from the governor for her willingness to work with the GOP majority on key measures had this say about the negotiating session: “Governor Kasich and Republicans in the General Assembly have finally admitted that Senate Bill 5 went too far. If they thought they could destroy collective bargaining in Ohio and get away with it, they have been proven wrong. More than one million Ohioans have already sent a strong message that Senate Bill 5 should be repealed.

“The time to negotiate was during the legislative process, not 197 days after Senate Bill 5 was first introduced in the Ohio Senate. Unfortunately, it has taken too long for the Governor and GOP leaders to acknowledge they overreached.”

Referendum vote

Senate Minority Leader Capri Cafaro, D-Hubbard, and members of her caucus were ignored when the collective bargaining reform bill was being developed. When it became law with Gov. Kasich’s signature, the public-employees unions, along with the state Democratic Party, decided to put the measure up to a vote of the people of Ohio in the November general election. The petition drive for the referendum was a rousing success, and polls consistently show that SB 5 would be rejected if the election were held today.

Kasich and the Republican controlled General Assembly now find themselves having to reach out to the opponents of the new law. They should not be surprised that their invitation to negotiate has been turned down.

Ever since the GOP took control of state government in January, partisanship has been the order of the day in Columbus. The governor and his colleagues may want to rethink their legislative strategy and begin listening to the Democratic opposition.


1Education_Voter(1162 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Thank you, Vindicator. The truth is that when citizens of Ohio went to Columbus to testify against the changes that SB5 might cause, Republican legislators refused to listen.

During the hearings they were shockingly rude to teachers, firemen, and police officers, and finally just closed the door of our statehouse in our faces.

Gov. Kasich's proposal for a meeting was obviously meant as a soundbite to be used in the onslaught of commercials that will soon be unleashed on Ohio's people, funded by money from the Murdochs, Kochs, and David Brennans of this country.
Well, we will have our own commercials, funded by our more modest contributions. And we will see.

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2dancinmoses(68 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Everyone in Columbus that voted for SB5 to pass will lose in future elections. This governor just doesn't get it that public employees are dedicated, hard-working individuals that ALSO PAY TAXES, PLUS they spend their income here in OHIO. Public employees are not the enemy, it's the trash that the republicans put into office. Get rid of all, Vote NO on SB5! Save Ohio!

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3jmagaratz(189 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Governor Kasich misread his election results. 50% of registered voters did not vote. Therefore he won with a simple majority of those who did vote. This translates into a actual vote of roughly 25% to 28%.

This is not a mandate!

It would be helpful if pundits would emphasize this and refer to him as 27% John

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4ChangingTimes(2 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Don't paint this like the democrats had no say in SB-5. This bill was extreme (no doubt), but I'm sure it was purposely designed to provide "fallbacks" in the negotiations with democrats and the unions. However, the democrats chose to take the "All or Nothing" approach and offered no amendments to the bill. A huge gamble on their part. Last Friday they were again offered the opportunity to soften the Bill - but once again, it was all or nothing ("repeal SB-5 and we will talk"). Simply said-- this is the same environment that collective bargaining has been conducted in - the Union's had all the leverage, and weren't willing to budge (at all). Look no further than school systems.

Personally, I believe that safety and firefighter forces should have been left out of this Bill (much like Wisconsin). Had they, SB-5 opponents would have been blown away in November. As it stands now, the referendum is a "crap-shoot", and even though the polling is leaning to the left-- don't be surprised if the general public votes with their conscience (and their pocketbooks) in November-- and upholds the bill. I know I won't be surprised.

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5AnotherAverageCitizen(1193 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Changing times,

Guv hitler would only do things his way. The was no calling the UNIONS. He said there was no place to negotaite. It was his way and his way only.

The Vindy has not changed any stance, the Vindy is just stating how it is. Guv will talk now since he knows he is LOSING.


Vote No on ISSUE 2

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6republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Labor unions and the NEA are on the verge of destroying Ohio with their unreasonable and selfish demands. Only SB5 will save this state.

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7AnotherAverageCitizen(1193 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago


Even kasich realizes sb5 will be gone. Quit drinking the koolaid. Its bad for you. Several months ago hitler said get on the bus or get run over. Now he realizes the bus is going over a cliff. And those he wanted to run over are waving BYE to the CRASHING BUS

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8Phil_Eng_Amer(10 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Hopefully the two sides can find a common ground, because doing nothing could have dire consequences for the state. The issue of fair compensation is one plaguing states all across the country. When cities can’t get their compensation system in order, the unsustainable system often yields disastrous results. In Rhode Island a city couldn’t fix its pension system and had to file for bankruptcy (http://eng.am/rrfynn).

An interesting case study is to look at Wisconsin. They have implemented new legislation that curtails the powers of the unions. However not every district was able to put the legislation in action due to previously negotiated union contracts. In Kaukauna, where they able to use the legislation, the district turned a deficit into surplus and were able to decrease class size (http://eng.am/nGSRqB). However, in Milwaukee where they couldn’t put the legislation into place, 350 teachers had to be laid off to accommodate budget restrictions (http://eng.am/nfGqDq).

The fact that Kasich is trying to compromise on the issue shows how seriously the state needs public sector reform of some kind. Ultimately a system where state and local employees are awarded a total compensation package that far outstrips those found in the private sector is unsustainable (http://eng.am/pZofYR).

A common ground needs to be found for the common good.

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9VindyPost(436 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago


really? surly, you can't be serious?
Just typical; deceitful, corrupt motives.
Negotiations? Compromise? Read through the lines. Embarrassing, pathetic, artsy stunt on behalf of republicans. (all dressed up in suit & tie and "No where to go"!)

Exactly, this bill is flawed, tainted, poisoned. It's DISPOSABLE TOILET PAPER! WASTE...GARBAGE! LANDFILL MATERIAL!

*****sb5 is gone, done.
*****Vote NO issue 2

..."it's been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that other's waste!" hf

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10cambridge(4064 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

UnionsbuiltAmerica.....Didn't you spend your life as a union auto worker and live off of a union pension? Kind of a hypocrite huh? I'm glad you're back so everyone can see what the people that vote teabagger are really like. Try not to get kicked off this time.

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11southpaw(8 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago


Are you seriously arguing that unions want to pay people better wages so the government can collect more taxes? So, by your reasoning, the best way to avoid paying high taxes is to earn lower wages by getting rid of unions. Sounds like a "logical" teabagger argument to me. I just don't understand why people like you can be so angry at unions for trying make employers pay people a liveable wage, but aren't angry at the greedy employers that don't want to pay them. Large corporations are raking in enormous profits; CEO pay is up 25% from last year alone; Sales of high-end luxury goods are back up to pre-recession levels; but the pay for the average worker is down. And all the teabaggers/conservatives/republicans can say is that the unions caused it and everyone should take a pay cut so it's fair. Why not fight for higher wages instead? I wish just one of you could formulate a coherent argument to suport your views instead of just repeating talking points you hear on Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh Show.

Please explain how the unions, whose purpose is to ensure that their membership receive fair wages and working conditions, are anti-american. I just don't follow your "logic."

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12southpaw(8 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

How exactly does paying union dues and, consequently, taxes equate to freebies for the illegals? Isn't one of the big teabagger agguments that illegals are a drain on our economy because they live here tax free? Wouldn't legalizing them make them pay taxes and create a huge tax base to help pay back the deficit? Further, if they were legalized, wouldn't they be protected by our labor laws and have to be paid a fair wage? I would think that would make it hard for them to take American jobs. Is what Cambridge said true? Did you really work for a union your whole life? Kind of hypocritical isn't it?

And hatred for upper mobility? Isn't that what you are doing by claiming that anyone in a union is overpaid?

Also, unions didn't kill anything. GM and Chrysler made terrible cars that nobody wanted to buy. Union workers only assembled the turds designed and marketed by the engineers and upper management. The steel mills were killed by a massive influx of foreign made steel subsidized by Japan and China. The only way to compete would have been to impose tarriffs, subsidixe our own steel, or pay the workers pennies per hour to make it here.

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13southpaw(8 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

By the way UnionshateAmerica, which unions want to legalize illegals? Can you provide proof or are you just repeating some crazy rant you heard from someone on a street corner?

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14cambridge(4064 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

southpaw.....Not to worry. UnionsbuiltAmerica is a Democrats best friend. Now that this scumbag has reappeared his posts will only drive people away from voting teabagger/republican. Think about it, could you even imagine anyone but the lowest pile of crap voting the same way as: UnionsbuiltAmerica/USEless1/ProMerkin/henry/hank/dorothy? By the way those are all his old usernames.

He was a union auto worker at Lordstown. Imagine taking advantage of generations of union workers who sacrificed for him to earn a decent wage, health care and have some dignity in the work place along with a pension and then turn your back on the people that fought your battles for you all your life. And in the end this clown is an organizer for the teabagger/republicans. I feel like I need a shower from just talking about him.

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15Westsider(269 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I think the non public worker taxpayers are tired of paying for everyone else. While I am certain SB5 will be repealed in this part of the state - just remember that more enlightened, smarter taxpayers live in other areas of Ohio. Yes on Issue 2

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16wearepack(26 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Stop feeding the trolls everyone.

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17AnotherAverageCitizen(1193 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

unionshatemaerca says
""Maybe they're taking a well deserved rest; they've already helped bankrupt, GM, Chrysler and lots of other municipalities.""

You make it sound like only union jobs put companies go bankrupt. Unions make up only 11% of the workforce, but you blame 100% of the problems on the union.I believe numerous stores, restaurants, businesses have gone bankrupt that were nonunion. How many nonunion banks/walstreet neded bailed out from bush? How many of the banks/walstreet were unionized?

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18snydro0108(61 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

The Weather Channel says Tuesday's east coast earthquake was caused by an unknown fault line running under D.C. and through Virginia. It is now being called Obama's Fault, though Obama will say it's really Bush's Fault. Other theories are that was the founding fathers rolling over in their graves or that what we all believed to be an earthquake was actually the effects of a 14.6 trillion dollar check bouncing in Washington.

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19snydro0108(61 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Unions protect the lazy workers! Always have and always will. There are good people that are Union Members, but they whine and complain about EVERYTHING. If they want it to be sunny outside and it rains, they blame the NON-union members on the weather. They need to grow up and be concerned with themselves, rather than waiting on the Union to bail them out after every misstep!

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20cambridge(4064 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

UnionsbuiltAmerica.....You can probably get some help for that stu stu stuttering problem but I don't think they can fix stupid.

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21Education_Voter(1162 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Please keep posting. Your hatefulness is a reflection of your political allegiances, and effectively an effective repellent for anyone on the fence, thinking about voting yes on Issue 2.
They should join the rest of us who will vote "no" with the safety forces.

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22georgejeanie(1493 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

300,ooo pigs at the trough, when will it ever end? People wake up, move to a right to work state where we still might have a chance at upward mobility.Sticking around Ohio especially NE Ohio is political and economic suicide, just look at Mahoning County, Trumbull County or Cuyahoga County.

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23outoftownbutstillaround(16 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Unions did not build America, people did. Just like anything else the everyday union member is typically a good person - it is the leaders who are the problem. Unions are necessary evils. Watch the old WKBN Youtube videos about the decline of Youngstown - unions are great, but jobs are greater.

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24cambridge(4064 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

UnionsbuiltAmerica....You're the only person I can think of that is ashamed of their heritage. You are truly a loser in every way. It just goes to prove that the haters of the world are that way because who the truly hate are themselves. They're losers and they know it, all they need is someone else to blame it on and your list seems to be endless.

Makes me smile. :-)

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25cambridge(4064 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

JRBYYoungstown.....That low life's heritage is actually Italian. I share your views on the people that immigrated to America and shared their culture with the rest of us.

All of my grandparents immigrated from Italy and I still keep that culture alive in my life. I also look forward to St. Patrick's day, Cinco de Mayo, October Fest and any other day that celebrates the customs of the true Americans that built this country.

I love a good party and what party is better than sharing in the foods, celebrations and customs of others? Sharing our cultures is what makes people like you and me and 99% of the other Americans cultured.

UnionsbuiltAmerica obviously doesn't know anything about culture and that's his loss. The real Americans, the ones I mentioned wouldn't want him at their celebrations anyway, all he would do is smell up the place.

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26Rockabilly(93 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I find it amusing that you claim that you love America when in reality you are the very worse America has to offer. Since you are a tea party person I can see why they have such odd balls as candidates. Noone should have that much hate in their heart. You should seek some help.

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27misterlee(118 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

UHA: I really wish you would learn what Marxism and socialism are before you throw those words around. You are obviously an uneducated willfully ignorant person. Get your tounge out of Rush Limbaugh's nether region.

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28cambridge(4064 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

UnionsbuiltAmerica/USEless1/ProMerkin/henry/hank/Dorothy....Ah where did you go? I was counting on you to represent the teabagger/republicans on this site. Don't get me wrong there re plenty of morons posting here with the same brain damage you have but no one owns it like you do. Have a nice trip.:-)

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