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Kasich was open about his agenda

Published: Sun, February 20, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Every time a Democratic Party leader, such as Mahoning County Chairman David Betras, issues a caustic press release accusing Republican Gov. John Kasich of being anti-worker, the image that comes to mind is of a mosquito nibbling at an elephant’s behind. The elephant doesn’t feel a thing, and the mosquito is invariably blown away. The criticism from the Democrats makes no difference to Kasich because he was elected in November on a platform of reducing the size and cost of state government — which is exactly what he is doing.

With a solid Republican majority in the House and Senate and Republicans controlling all the administrative offices and the Supreme Court, the governor has taken a “torpedoes be damned, full speed ahead” approach.

Kasich, with the backing of the GOP legislative leadership, pushed through the privatization of economic development, and now has set his sights on state workers.

Senate Bill 5 would eliminate collective bargaining for state employees, end binding arbitration for police and firefighters and make major changes in bargaining for teachers and local government employees. Anyone who paid any attention to last year’s election for governor would have known this was coming.

‘Be afraid’

Indeed, on Nov. 14, just days after the general election, the column in this space carried the headline, “Dear public employees: Be afraid.”

The column contained these paragraphs:

“Kasich, who was strongly supported by business groups, had said during the campaign that he wanted to re-examine Ohio’s collective bargaining law, passed in 1983, that gives public employees the right to bargain, seek arbitration and to strike. Only safety forces are prohibited from striking.

“There also is chatter in Columbus about looking at whether Ohio could become more competitive as a right-to-work state.”

During the campaign, Kasich was surprisingly honest about what he intended to do to fill an $8 billion hole in the biennium budget — without raising taxes. Everything would be on the table, he said, including education funding — state colleges and universities and even kindergarten through high school — which would take a major hit. Social service agencies, libraries and programs for the poor would be reviewed.

And yet, there are reports that Kasich, who enjoyed strong backing from an energized Republican Party in Ohio and the very active and vocal tea party, had traditional Democratic voters casting ballots him. There’s talk that Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, who sought a second four-year term, was able to grab only 40 percent of the votes of those who identified themselves as teachers. Why? A cynic might suggest that it’s because Republicans indicated during the campaign that the number of snow days would be increased from three to five.

And yet today, teachers are bemoaning the fact that the Republicans in Columbus want to prevent them from striking and want school assignments and layoffs to be based on merit, rather than seniority.

Likewise, strong Democratic counties like Mahoning and Trumbull failed to turn out the vote for Strickland, who lost the election by a sliver.

During the campaign, one prominent local labor leader who had canvassed union homes conceded that he was having a difficult time persuading his members to turn out on election day, let alone do the other traditional things labor does prior to an election, such as manning phone banks.

Too many Democrats voted for Kasich or sat on their hands, and now they are reaping what they sowed.

The question

Policemen and firefighters, school teachers and college professors, prison guards and social workers should answer this question: Did you think Kasich was joking when he said that government was the problem?

The governor has a very basic view of the world: Government needs to streamline the way business has in this national economic recession.

And since most of the operating budgets of governments at all levels go for salaries and benefits, public employees are the targets.

The people of Ohio saw what Kasich was selling — an end to public sector employees’ greed — and they bought it.

That’s why he doesn’t care about criticism from the minority party.


1Askmeificare(1252 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago


I tell folks the same thing about obama -

- he wrote 2 books basically stating he would socialize the states.
- joe the plumber incident obama stated he wanted to spread the wealth.

And people drove their foreign cars to the polls and voted for him and now they are crying.

Kasich is doing what he said he would do.

"Beneath these branches I once wrote such childish words for you.

But that's OK, there's treasure children always seek to find."

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2Jadedpast(19 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I am middle class and tired of being abused by the wealthy politicians. I didn't hear the Gov offer to take a hit in his goverment pension(s) or pay. I will not allow my rights to collectively bargain to go without a fight! Does the Gov want a repeat of Kent State or Stop 5? That's where he has pointed ..... the recent mideastern temperment has come to a neighborhood near you, stay tuned for another black eye for Youngstown and Ohio. You got what you voted for alright, he screwed us on Wall St. and continues in Columbus. Vote Republican!

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3mrblue(1175 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Everyone----brace yourselves because the cuts are on the way. John Kasich told us what was on his agenda should he be elected. Hopefully the cuts won't destroy, but rebuild. Time will tell.

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4billoneill(2 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

When John Kasich was in Congress he and his pal Steve LaTourette decided that the way to make the economy grow was to "streamline" those ancient rules from FDR that protected us from the greed of Wall Street seeping into the lifeline of banking America. Streamline them, they said, and let the bankers write sub-prime mortgages, make huge profits, and then bundle them and sell them on Wall Street. Streamline this, Governor. The Unions are not the problem. Your money grubbing friends on Wall Street and in the halls of Congress are the problem. The last Governor who decided to eliminate the Unions in Ohio was C. William O'Neill, and he was run out of office in 1956 along with all his friends. That started a quarter of century of Democratic/Union leadership in Ohio, and saw the birth of the state highway system, local airports, Youngstown State University's growth and the birth of the community college system. Enjoy yourself Governor. You are a one termer, and the second half will be presiding over a Democratic House and Senate once the voters realize what you are up to. Once again, what were the salaries for your non-Union cabinet compared to Ted's??? Bill O'Neill, RN South Russell, Ohio

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51970mach1(1005 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

What solution is there to the budget other than drastic cuts? Govt. employees have a great gig. We just cannot afford it any more.

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6Westsider(269 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

People are deliberately missing the point of SB 5 - it does not dismantle unions - it just stops taxpayers (that's you and me, folks) from paying for benefits we do not get and can no longer afford to pay for our neighbors. When a collective bargaining agreement includes health care premium sharing of $600/month - which is what I pay - and smaller employer contributions toward retirement then I will re-think my position.

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7walter_sobchak(2727 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Are you for real? What does Kent St. and Stop 5 have to do with collective bargaining? At Kent St., National Guardsman opened fire on a crowd and killed students. And, the Stop incident was a gun battle between two warring trucking unions, the Teamsters and FASH.

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8captdinger(110 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Jadedpast, you are in the past. This 2011, Hellooooo.

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9mrtb74(14 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Our leaders (lol) Have managed to convince everyone that all our problems are because of us. Not their policies or anything like that. Its, govt workers, auto workers, steelworkers, hell is anyone working blue colar person making more that $25 an hour. And from some of the posts I've seen here it has been mission accompolished. Since alot of you obviously don't like the fact that some other workers like police, firefighters,, nurses, teachers, etc make more that you or have a benifit you don't have, maybe you would feel better if everyone made the same with the same exact beneifts. Sounds like socialism to me.

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10mrtb74(14 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Did ya ever notice the Tea Party. They will protest against a cop, teacher, firefighter, because they might make $3 or more dollars an hour more that them, but when gas goes up $2 a gallon and the oil companies put billions more profits into their pockets, and to show their appreciation they give the CEO a $45 million dollar bonus, they don't complain at all.

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11TrickleDownOnMe(2 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

With the union protests going on in Ohio I found it curious that on February 22, 2011 Karl Rove was a speaker at the Trumbull County Chamber of Commerce “closed door meeting”. Mr. Rove is known for being the Koch Brothers front man. On February 22, 2011 hundreds of deeds were filed by Atlas energy (who is being acquired by Chevron) in the Trumbull County Recorders office (the properties all have ties to the Marcellus Shale Vein). It also struck me suspicious that Governor Kasich is arriving in Trumbull County on February 24, 2011 to address the same group. We do not need the same people who control oil in this country to control natural gas. They are skirting the E.P.A. and what tax laws are in place. I imagine if these companies were taxed on this energy it would be more than enough money generated to keep the state government running. What is governor Kasich’s interest in the Koch brothers and Karl Rove is my question. Is this attack on the unions a well planned distraction to keep the news media from reporting on what is happening with the natural gas supply in Ohio? Hopefully someone will investigate this further to uncover what is really going on. Follow the money, the American people do not want the same people that control the oil in this country to control natural gas?

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12rocky14(839 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Warsaw Poland 1980---Columbus Ohio 2011
Look it up

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