After months of verbally bashing each other, the chief executive officer of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber and the chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party have called a truce. And while Tom Humphries and David Betras want us to believe they’ve done this for the sake of the community, the fact remains that neither has the killer instinct.
Thus the question: Was there a winner in the clash over Senate Bill 5, the Republican push to turn back the clock on Ohio’s collective bargaining law for public employees? Given that Betras had demanded that the chamber’s board oust Humphries because of his support for SB 5, the CEO was the victor. After all, he still has his high-paying job, and while a few business leaders pulled out of the organization, the majority stayed put.
But Betras can find comfort in the fact that the people of Ohio will have a chance to vote on the collective bargaining reform bill that was rammed through the General Assembly by the GOP majority and signed into law by Republican Gov. John Kasich. If he is able to deliver Mahoning County votes in a big way, he will find that losing to the chamber’s CEO is a lot easier to swallow.
But for now, despite Congressman Tim Ryan’s attempt to declare the truce a win-win for the Mahoning Valley, it is not hard to imagine one of the parties chuckling to himself.
So, why did Betras agree to throw in the towel? Because like any good lawyer, he knew he had lost.