Published April 25, 2011
As the Ohio Democratic Party and its labor union allies step up the campaign against the new collective-bargaining law, the state Republican Party and its tea party allies are targeting the new federal health care reform law.
If all goes according to plan, the two sides will clash in the November general election. It would be a preview of the 2012 presidential contest in which Ohio will be a battleground state.
The forces lining up against the Republican initiative to strip away collective bargaining rights from more than 300,000 public employees will portray the law as anti-union and the first step in the GOP Gov. John Kasich’s plan to make Ohio a right-to-work state.
The opponents of the new national health-care law will cast it as Democratic President Barack Obama’s drive toward socialism and focus on provisions that they say establish death panels.
Voters in Ohio will have to separate fact from fiction on both issues, but the key to success will depend on turnout.
Based on last November’s election in which the GOP swept all the statewide races starting with governor, Republicans have the advantage.
But Democrats and union members, who sat on their hands five months ago, are energized as a result of the GOP stripping away their collective bargaining rights.
One thing’s for sure: There will be a lot a money spent between now and the November election, with ideologues from around the country funneling millions on this important battle for the hearts and minds of Ohioans.