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Romney’s support of SB5 clear

Published: Sun, November 4, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

An astute newspaper reader — what other kind is there? — reacted to last week’s column about labor union members owing President Obama their votes with this question: “Why isn’t anyone talking about [Republican] Mitt Romney’s support of Senate Bill 5 last year?”

Why, indeed.

Poll after poll has shown that Obama’s re-election bid is in trouble because white, blue-collar males (union workers mostly) are ignoring the actions he has taken on their behalf and casting their votes for the GOP nominee for president.

If autoworkers at General Motors’ Lordstown plant who owe their jobs to the president don’t care about gratitude and fairness, perhaps they will view Tuesday’s election in terms of their own self-interest. To be sure, they are riding high now because Obama’s bailout of GM and Chrysler has not only given the companies new life, but they’re both reporting profits.

What if Romney is elected president?

Obama’s record in office, especially as it involves labor issues, is clear. Not so, Romney. He has criticized the president for using federal dollars to prevent GM and Chrysler from going under, but now insists that he was always in favor of Washington’s intervention. An opinion piece he wrote in the New York Times provides a different picture.

No ambiguity

But, there’s no ambiguity when it comes to Romney’s position on the highly controversial collective bargaining measure pushed through by Republican Gov. John Kasich and the Republican majority in the General Assembly. Senate Bill 5 was designed to strip public employees of the collective bargaining rights they have enjoyed for more than three decades.

The law was blocked from taking effect after the public and private sector unions and Democrats placed the issue before the voters of Ohio last November. The rejection of the GOP’s attack on workers was overwhelming.

The referendum energized the union leadership, but the rank and file has not rushed to embrace Obama.

That’s why the astute reader believes Romney’s support for Senate Bill 5 deserves to be revisited.

Last October, the former governor of Massachusetts who was in Ohio campaigning for the Republican nomination for president, seemed to distance himself from anti-union measures around the country that were losing popularity.

But a day later in Virginia he told reporters he supported the Ohio ballot measure aimed at restricting collective bargaining rights for state employees.

“I’m sorry if I created any confusion in that regard,” Romney said. “I fully support Gov. [John] Kasich’s — I think it’s called Question Two in Ohio. Fully support that. Actually, on my website, I think back as early as April, I laid out that I support Question Two and Gov. Kasich’s effort to restrict collective bargaining in Ohio.”

With the Buckeye State a battleground — if not the battleground — in Tuesday’s election, Romney and the Republican Party are making an all-out bid for white, blue-collar voters who have traditionally supported Democratic candidates.

The turnout this year is not expected to be as high as it was in 2008 when Obama, whose election would make history, brought out large numbers of black and college-age voters. In Ohio, a total of 5.77 million voters (69.97 percent) went to the polls.

Obama received 51.5 percent (2.94 million) of the votes cast in the presidential race, while Republican John McCain received 46.91 percent (2.67 million). There were 12 other candidates on the ballot.

The lower turnout this year is not good news for Obama. Republicans vote in greater numbers than Democrats on election day.


And that poses a challenge for heavily Democratic counties like Mahoning and Trumbull.

In 2008, in Mahoning County, Obama received 62.2 percent of the 177,203 votes cast in the presidential contest; McCain received 35.6 percent.

In Trumbull, the Democratic nominee got 59.99 percent of the 106,911 votes; McCain, 37.56 percent.

In Columbiana County, 48,487 votes were cast of which McCain received 52.7 percent and Obama, 45.13 percent.

If the turnout in Mahoning and Trumbull counties is less than 2008, the president’s chances of re-election will be diminished.

Every vote counts.


1chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Let's revisit the President's vote in the Illinois legislature which allows the slow death of infants born alive from botched abortuions?

Let's revisit President Obama's decision to block the Canadian pipeline even though he professes to support all forms of energy. Leases of federal lands have dropped dramatically.

Let's revisit the flawed events surrounding the events at Benghazi which led to the the death of 4 Americans. He had a chance to provide force to save their lives, but Obama failed to act. Our president has not given a press conference to answer reporter's tough questions. Rather he hid behind the excuse of a You-Tube trailer/movie leading to the deaths.

Let's revisit his promise to close Gitmo

Let's revisit his promis e of no new taxes while the Affordable Health Care Act is full of new taxes as characterized by the Supreme Court and argued by the president's Solicitor General.

Our President treats us as his puppets. Unfortunately most of his supporters are and expect everything for free

Real change will be here in 2 days

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2dmacker(539 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

"If autoworkers at General Motors’ Lordstown plant who owe their jobs to the president don’t care about gratitude and fairness, perhaps they will view Tuesday’s election in terms of their own self-interest".
I think that the hard working people at GM had a little something to do with the success of the plant.
Over the years their sacrifices and cuts in pay have done more for the success at Lordstown than the administration throwing our tax money at Detroit.
I think they would agree that they did build it....

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3Photoman(1249 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I always wonder about these local debates. Are we only looking out for our best interests locally or are we being truly patriotic and considering what is best for our entire nation?

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4Education_Voter(1174 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

So Photoman, you're thinking that people in California say to themselves:

"Yeah, that's terrible for us...but it's great for Youngstown, OH folks, so I'm going to vote against my own best interest."


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5fd6636(288 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Govenor Kasich: " Sir, you have been put on notice, your next!"

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