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Ohio Dems could use right to work

Published: Sun, May 19, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Why can’t the Republican majority in the Ohio General Assembly just play nice and give minority Democrats a reason to hope in 2014?

All that the GOP in the General Assembly needs to do is pass a right-to-work law and you’ll see Democrats smile as broadly as they did in 2011 with the collective-bargaining reform act (Senate Bill 5).

But, with the Senate leadership adamant that the right-to-work issue is dead on arrival — legislation has been introduced in the House — Democrats are left to indulge in political wishful thinking.

Consider this fund-raising email from state Rep. Kevin Boyce, D- Columbus, the former state treasurer who lost a re-election bid in 2010:

“When was the last time you heard billionaires were willing to spend millions of dollars to give you and other workers more rights and more freedom on the job?

“That’s right. Never!

“You can’t trust this so-called right to work. It is wrong for the middle class and wrong for Ohio.

“Two Republican lawmakers recently introduced so-called right to work bills. Like Senate Bill 5, these proposals would destroy collective-bargaining rights and tilt the balance of power in favor of CEOs who put profits before people.

“This is not a drill. We need your help right now.

“You may have heard the bills were DOA in the Ohio General Assembly because Gov. John Kasich said so-called right to work is not on his agenda.

“We heard these same claims before in Indiana and in Michigan where both Republican governors said so-called right-to-work laws were not on their agendas right before they signed these anti-middle class laws almost overnight.”

But what Boyce and Democratic Party leaders in Ohio won’t acknowledge is that without Senate and House approval the bill will not get to Gov. Kasich’s desk. And, without the governor’s signature, it won’t become law.

Therefore, nothing is going to happen this year to undermine the Republican Party’s extremely good political fortunes going into the 2014 statewide election.

Ohio’s economy is recovering — Democratic strongholds like the Mahoning Valley are leading the way — the governor’s approval rating is rising, and several Democratic candidates for statewide office next year are virtual unknowns in Ohio. And then there’s Democratic President Barack Obama, who is having a difficult time getting any traction for his second term.

Indeed, with such major controversies as the Benghazi debacle that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, the IRS’ targeting of conservative 501C(4) groups, and the Justice Department’s accessing of the telephone records of Associated Press reporters, the White House is forced to play defense.

The political shockwaves will be felt at the state level. The 2014 election in Ohio will be a referendum on the Republicans’ control of state government, and the Democrats’ control of the presidency and the Senate.

A right-to-work law would redefine the election, which is why Democrats are so eager for the Republicans to act.

But the GOP isn’t going to hand the opposition such a political hot potato.

The wounds of Senate Bill 5 (State Issue 2) are still raw. Gov. Kasich and the GOP believed that their 2010 sweep of the statewide election was an invitation to go after government workers.

After majority Republicans in the House and Senate rammed through legislation that took away many collective-bargaining rights, public-employee unions have enjoyed for more than two decades, public and private sector unions, along with the Ohio Democratic Party, decided to go for broke and put the issue up for a vote of the people.

With more than 1 million voters signing referendum petitions, it became clear that the Republicans had woken a sleeping giant.

They want that giant to hibernate next year.

Democrats don’t want to hear it, but right to work is dead on arrival.

They’re going to have to come up with some other lightning-rod issue to energize their base. Thus far, they haven’t had much success.


1BrianPannebecker(1 comment)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

The power hungry Dem's thought the same thing in Wisconsin when they "tried" to recall Governor Scott Walker; He was re-elected with a larger majority because his policies of responsible government were working and saving taxpayers money.
Greedy, power hungry Dem's thought the same thing in Indiana, but Gov. Daniels popularity went up after businesses started moving into Indiana and creating jobs!
Now Michigan has passed labor freedom and Ohio has to decide: Do they let greedy union bosses keep dictating the cost of labor, and driving businesses and jobs out of the state? Or do they let workers decide whether they want to join a union and pay the union bosses so they can keep supporting liberal Dem's with workers forced dues money ....
But maybe Ohio isn't as smart as Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana ....

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2greevey(23 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Congratulations, Bertram! A thought provoking article about Ohio politics instead of the incessant dribble you've been spouting the last few weeks. No doubt, the GOP would be committing political suicide if they choose to take on the money laden unions again - despite the fact that everything that BrianPannebecker states above is accurate. Unfortunately, economic growth is still being impeded in northeast Ohio by those that blindly follow the union thugs along with the environmental 'fracko's'. Hopefully, someday the people of this region will realize that these groups along with a ballooning government workforce / taxes are the cause of our problems and not the cure.

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3UnionConservative(1 comment)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

From a previous post: “When was the last time you heard billionaires were willing to spend millions of dollars to give you and other workers more rights and more freedom on the job?"

Answer: Last year in Michigan. Right to Work represents additional rights, freedoms, and protections for union workers around the state - especially from the abuses of their own union officials.

And guess what??? Ohio is next. You can't stop freedom and liberty; you can only work to suppress it for a while. Union officials have worked hard to suppress the freedom and liberties of workers in Ohio for way too long. They have worked hard to force dues to pay for a political agenda that 40% of union members disagree with.

Forced solidarity is no solidarity at all. Even prisoners in a chain-gang have solidarity. Only when union membership is completely voluntary without intimidation and harassment will there be true solidarity.

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4doubled(210 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Pannebacker says scott walker was relected by majority because his policies of responsible government were working and saving taxpayers money. Wrong -- He won a recall election. His policies aren't saving people money on their taxes -- his policies are taking away services to pay down a state debt that accumulated by Walker for giving tax breaks to EVERY company that knocked on wisconsin's door. And by the way - When he was first elected he promised to create 250,000 new jobs -- and despite the enormous amounts of corporate welfare given away by walker -- He has created any new jobs and wiscosin is one of the WORST states for job creation. You're a hack - walker is a pimp. And Kasich is a whore who's willing to sell himself (and our state) of to the highest bidder, and damned the consequences.

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5Askmeificare(700 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Union Solidarity?

H A!

Union leaders sell out there own members. I have personally seen that here in Youngstown.

The unions in Ohio have been done with years ago.

Bring on the Right to Work!

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6cathylukasko(116 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

another UNION supporter who would rather see OHIO fail rather than succeed under Kasich. What a sad statememt about DEMOCRATS.

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