Posts by: Jason

Issue 2 – A True Story

On November 5, 2012 By

Jason here. This is my first post in almost a year. It is an entirely true story.

I had a talk with a co-worker this morning. He wasn’t really happy with his choices in his local U.S. House race, and I couldn’t really blame him. I said, “well, that’s why it’s so important to vote for Issue 2.” He just kind of looked at me.

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When I posted about the primary in Columbus, in which a veritable Who’s Who of local Democrats are going after a district designed as a liberal quarantine by the GOP, the immediate reaction of many was “Why aren’t you posting about Marcy Kaptur vs. Dennis Kucinich?”

Well… there are plenty of places to read about the “animated,” “increasingly tense,” “increasingly bitter” “war” between two candidates who have typically been allies. People have been vocal about whom they support. In short, I thought posting about the 3rd [...]

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We are now less than two weeks out from primary day here in Ohio, and with incumbents Obama and Sherrod Brown running in the top-ticket races, there’s been little drama for Dems to participate in.

Unless you live in Columbus.*

I’m actually kind of amazed that this blockbuster battle has generated so little heat and so little light. For Pete’s sake, this is a Democratic primary in which an African American woman who has been elected multiple times to city council for the largest city in Ohio, in a district with a sizable African-American population, could come in fourth.

We [...]

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In today’s Dispatch, under the intentionally inflammatory headline “Unions Get Revenge…” we get a hint of next year’s anti-union rhetoric:

“But amidst all of the concessions and hat-in-hand rhetoric, there was a hint of defiance. Kasich, who opened by congratulating the labor coalition, said local governments should not expect a state bailout to manage their costs.
‘There is no bailout because frankly, there‚Äôs no money,’ Kasich said.”

 

Kasich’s year-long attack against public employees was two-pronged: Make them vulnerable, and strip away their defenses. Last night, not only did [...]

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With reports coming out that the House version of SB 5 does nothing to fix the parts of the bill that opponents dislike, and in fact adds some clearly political restrictions on how unions can collect money that could potentially make it even less popular among Senate members, one might wonder what they’re thinking. Modern, in his piece linked to above, offers the opinion that eliminating voluntary payroll deductions for union PACs is a “nuclear” issue, and that the referendum vote will be easier for SB 5 opponents with this version than with the last version.

I disagree.

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This week, Sen. Tim Grendell (R-Tea Party), finally got one of his pet grandstanding ideas passed: banning the use of stimulus dollars to pay for signs identifying the use of stimulus dollars. Does it matter that the signs have already been made? No. Does it matter that GOP critics have often complained about a lack of transparency in ARRA spending? No. Does it matter that Kasich was inaugurated on a Monday and state workers had put his name on the freeway welcome signs by Friday? Does it matter that this has nothing to do with creating jobs [...]

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Meanwhile, in D.C….

On March 22, 2011 By

We’ve been focused on events in Columbus lately, because honestly, that’s where the news has been. That doesn’t mean the Ohio delegation in Washington should think we’ve lost interest. You might ask, well, what have they been up to? Did a Republican really call Tea Party Conservatives “knuckle draggers?” Did somebody really push for expanding nuclear power on the very day the earthquake struck Japan? Did Jean Schmidt show the briefest flash of sanity? Can you really find one main point and two supporting links for each and every one of them? Well…

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As the House takes up a version of SB 5, it might be worthwhile to think about the number of “conversion stories” we’re hearing from union members, and to give those stories some context.

According to 2010 exit polls, 26% of the votes cast in Ohio were by voters in union households. Many have assumed labor to be overwhelmingly in support of Democrats, but at the level of individual voters, that’s not really been the case. Among union household voters, at least 45% voted for Rob Portman, and at least 31% voted for Kasich. So let’s do a [...]

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Kevin Bacon is a freshman Senator from a district of moderate ticket-splitters. Senate District 3 voted for Obama in 2008 and Strickland in 2010, even as they replaced a term-limited Republican (David Goodman) with Bacon to represent them in the Ohio Senate. It’s a swing district, and Bacon won it in part by beating out his opponent for some key endorsements from labor. In fact, of the 19 endorsements listed on his campaign page, four are from union-affiliated groups.

I was curious, so I emailed the unions that endorsed candidate Bacon, and asked them: if they knew then what [...]

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As we’ve been reporting recently, Ohio posted an impressive streak of reduced unemployment month-after-month over the last year of Strickland’s tenure. It’s important to show that Ohio’s recovery began before Kasich had any influence over the state’s economy – primarily because the myth of poor performance is being used to justify a radical anti-public agenda, but also because it is an utter certainty that he will try to take credit for any subsequent good news (see permit approvals, comic book heroes, etc.).

But some out there will reasonably complain that the recession and recovery have been global [...]

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The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting SB 5 to be possibly the most anti-faculty labor law… ever.

Inserted into the last minute Omnibus Amendment was language specifically dealing with higher education that, like much of the last-minute page dump, was unexpected and only fully processed after passage. Full time faculty have had their current duties redefined as managerial, and are therefore ineligible for any collective bargaining unless they give up what are typically seen as basic faculty rights. Part time faculty and graduate student employees would now recognized as potential bargaining units (something they’ve been fighting for), [...]

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