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Kasich finds a winning issue for ’14

Published: Sun, September 15, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Republican Gov. John Kasich may have come up with the antidote for the political poison contained in the collective-bargaining reform issue that Democrats will use against the GOP in the 2014 statewide election.

Kasich’s decision to force 134,000 food stamp recipients to earn the support they receive from the government will resonate with the electorate. If the truth be told, even the most liberal of Democrats believe that individuals who receive benefits paid for by the taxpayers should not freeload. Indeed, as the economic recession took hold in 2008 and once-secure jobs could no longer be counted on, the backlash against recipients of food stamps, welfare and other aid programs grew.

Today, the sympathy and understanding for the less fortunate have been replaced by resentment and anger.

The governor’s initiative — it was even discussed on cable television — could not have come at a better time for Republicans.

State Issue 2

Democrats and their union allies are still reveling from their successful putdown in 2011 of the GOP over State Issue 2 (Senate Bill 5). 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 unions and the Ohio Democratic Party decided to go for broke and put the issue up for a vote of the people.

More than 1 million voters signed referendum petitions, sending a clear message to Kasich and the Republican majority in the General Assembly that political war had been declared.

In 2010, Republicans swept all the statewide offices, led by Kasich’s victory over Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat.

Many Democrats, disillusioned with President Obama and his signature legislative initiative, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), decided to stay home.

Kasich won the election by a very narrow margin, but since taking office in January 2011 has pursued an agenda that Democrats and the unions contend is designed to reward the wealthy and punish the middle class.

Democrats intend to carry the issue of the state’s uneven economic recovery into the 2014 statewide election. They also will resurrect the battle of 2011 over State Issue 2, the collective-bargaining reform push by Republicans.

Kasich may also have to deal with another highly controversial issue: right to work.

The tea party movement is determined to make Ohio the 25th state to adopt a right-to-work law, and petitions are being circulated to place a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 general election ballot.

If the issue is placed before voters, the election will be a rerun of 2011, with the Democrats and the unions launching an aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign.

It won’t be a tough sell, considering that public employees are still bitter about the Republicans’ attack on their collective-bargaining rights, and right-to-work is viewed as an assault on the unions.


Kasich is no doubt hoping that the advocates of this possible game-changer will either back off or fail to get the required number of signatures.

But he obviously isn’t leaving anything to chance, which explains why he has launched his initiative to force able-bodied food stamp recipients to spend at least 20 hours a week working, training for a job, volunteering or performing a similar type of activity. The requirements go into effect in October, and those individuals who do not meet them will lose their eligibility on Jan. 1. Sixteen counties with high unemployment are exempt from Kasich’s work initiative.

Democrats may be able to criticize the Kasich administration for not having programs in place to ensure that the recipients are able to go to work, volunteer or perform other similar activities. But, they will suffer the wrath of the voters if they go after the governor for forcing the freeloaders to get off their duffs and earn the assistance they receive.

Kasich is couching his initiative as a means of providing individuals with self respect, but many people aren’t so kind.

Despite the data showing that a small percentage cheat and that fraud is not as rampant as many believe, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a punching bag — especially for tea party types.


1redeye1(4560 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

All you hear is that these people can't find work or can't get to the jobs that are available. But they sure can find their way to the tattoo shops and the cell phone companies so that shouldn't be an excuse.
TOS I for one , I am all for the right to work vote, I hope it passes. Unions have become just to lazy anymore , all they really want is your money (dues). I worked in a union shop, the union was in bed with the company when we had a complaint on how things were going. People should have the right to work wherever they want. Unions are nothing more then a closed shop, Where they only want the companies to hire relatives or friends of the employees already working there now

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2NoBS(1959 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Kasich is pulling out all the stops trying to get himself a second term. Since that would be his last, because of term limits, he'll go for broke pushing his anti-public employee, anti-union, and anti-labor agenda. A leopard doesn't change its spots. Once a snake, always a snake.

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3NoBS(1959 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Appropriate name, there, Terrapin, since you're a little slow. If things worked like your fantasy scenario, unions would be more powerful and better paid than they are today. I guess you prefer Dickensian times. You must be a Scrooge, not a Cratchet.

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4NoBS(1959 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

It all comes down to jealousy, all right. Jealousy of the things union workers have that the non-union workers wish they had. Administrations and management hate Collective Bargaining, and REALLY hate Binding Arbitration. Why? Because the workers have a say in their own fate. Make no mistake, management still holds most of the cards, but without those things, management holds all the cards.

Turtle-boy thinks a mere 12% of the workforce is what's holding the US back in the global marketplace. And his stories about how he once knew someone who knew someone who ... hold as much water as a screen door. Management makes lousy decisions and blames "the union." Management makes crooked deals and, when caught, blames "the union." Management runs their business through not one, not two, but three bankruptcies, and still can't get their house in order. Who's at fault? "the union."

In his last post, the slow one wants to know why he has to give someone else HIS money. So obviously, he's a one-man show. He has no employees. So why all the griping and complaining and even spreading untruths about unions?

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5cathylukasko(116 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank God for Kasich. He got rid of DEMOCRAT STRICKLAND's $8 billion dollar defecit, brought jobs to OH and is turning this state around. Hopefully, the UNION mentality will NOT prevent intelligent Ohioans from voting for a Governor who makes things happen for OHIO!

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6NoBS(1959 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Turtle-boy, if the 12% don't matter, as you say, why do you hate them so? You attribute all the evils of the world today on unions - that's some pretty amazing power for such a small number of people to have.

And Cathy - how did Kasich accomplish this miracle? By making every local government and school district ask for new money to replace the state money he's kept for himself. That's nothing but the redistribution of wealth that the union-hater whose post is above yours is blabbering about. That's not smart - it's deceitful.

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7NachoCheese(163 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Right to Work! NOW!

How many more school districts, counties, cities, and villages will have to go bankrupt thanks to these unions before enough people come to their senses and eradicate them once and for all?

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8NoBS(1959 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Nacho, are you blind?? Kasich removes state funding to the the "school districts, counties, cities, and villages" and causes them to have to tax their constituencies even further in order to survive, and you blame "the unions?"

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9southsidedave(4784 comments)posted 1 year ago

I think we are in a place of need at one time or another if we live long enough

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