Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Ohio Voters Have Spoken; It’s “NO!” on Issue 2

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Tonight, Ohio voted on Issue 2, which was whether or not Senate Bill 5 should be upheld.  By a 61-39% margin, Ohio’s voters have spoken — and the word is “No.”

Don’t know what Senate Bill 5 was?  Well, in essence it struck down collective bargaining for everyone in the state of Ohio, including firefighters, nurses, teachers, policemen, and snowplow drivers.   And while most people believe public employees should pay more for their health care coverage or not get raises during a terrible economic climate, most don’t want to go so far as eliminating all forms of collective bargaining, as it’s a classic Republican overreach.

That’s why many people wanted it overturned, and voted accordingly.  Because SB 5 went too far.

Here’s a link to the Huffington Post article:

Ohioans overturned a divisive anti-union law on Tuesday, delivering a significant defeat to Republican Gov. John Kasich and a victory to labor unions.

Ohio voters rejected Issue 2, a ballot referendum on Senate Bill 5, a measure that restricts collective bargaining rights for more than 360,000 public employees, among other provisions. Opposition to the legislation inspired large protests from residents around the state this year.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was quoted in this same article as saying:

“One message rang loud and clear tonight in Ohio and across the country: those who spend their time scapegoating workers and pushing a partisan agenda will only strengthen the resolve of working people,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “From the very beginning, it’s been clear that Gov. Kasich, and indeed many politicians, were pushing an agenda that was about politics, not about solving our nation’s problems or creating jobs.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich (R), who worked hard to keep Senate Bill 5 on the books, was quoted as saying that he needs to “take a deep breath,” though his concession speech was gracious.  From the same HuffPo article:

“The people have spoken clearly. You don’t ignore the public. Look, I also have an obligation to lead. I’ve been leading since the day I took this office, and I’ll continue to do that. But part of leading is listening and hearing what people have to say to you.”

(An aside:  hear that, Gov.  Scott Walker (R-WI)?  Heed Kasich’s message and you might be retained; no matter what, you will be recalled.)

Someone the HuffPo article describes as “a spokesman for the International Association of Firefighters, who was not authorized to speak on the record,” had this to say:

“Kasich ran on a platform of growth, and his first thing is to give tax breaks to the rich, increase the pay of his staff significantly — while at the same time, he’s trying to cut the firefighters and police and teachers and nurses. It’s an overreach,” he said. “They went a little too far, and what’s happening here in Ohio is another step in what happened in Wisconsin.”

So that’s it; the people of Ohio have spoken.  Senate Bill 5 has been defeated.

May the happy dance commence.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 9, 2011 at 12:30 am

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