COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The state's new collective bargaining law was defeated Tuesday after an expensive union-backed campaign that pitted firefighters, police officers and teachers against the Republican establishment.
In a political blow to GOP Gov. John Kasich, voters handily rejected the law, which would have limited the bargaining abilities of 350,000 unionized public workers. With more than a quarter of the votes counted late Tuesday, 63 percent of votes were to reject the law.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said victory for unions was achieved among Democrats and Republicans in urban and rural counties.
"Ohio sent a message to every politician out there: Go in and make war on your employees rather than make jobs with your employees, and you do so at your own peril," he said.
In a statement posted online, Republican governor John Kasich said that while he "would have preferred a different outcome tonight," he respects the decision of the voters of Ohio. Here's more from Kasich:
Despite tonight’s outcome, it doesn’t change the fact that Ohio's ability to create a jobs-friendly climate is impacted by local governments' ability to reduce their costs. Just as Ohio had to get its fiscal house in order—and make tough choices to do it—local governments must as well. Ohio must find innovative ways to help local governments provide good services and good value. According to the US Census, local government taxes increased 42 percent between 1999 and 2009, almost twice the rate of inflation. That’s an astonishing increase when, during the same period, Ohio lost more jobs than any other state except California and Michigan, population growth was flat, school test scores didn’t improve and personal income suffered. We can do better and we will.
For more on the issue, read John McCormack's take here.
Ohio voters go to the polls tomorrow to vote on approving a recently passed public sector labor law, and a new survey from Public Policy Polling finds that 59 percent of those voters are against the law. Senate bill 5, passed by the Ohio legislature and signed by Republican governor John Kasich, requires public employees contribute to their health insurance and pension plans as well as limiting collective bargaining for those employees.
Those on the left are wont to complain that government employees are under assualt these days because GOP politicians are going after public sector unions and generous deals they've leveraged through collective bargaining. The standard defense of civil service workers is, yes, they might have good benefits and more job stability but these things are necessary because public sector workers earn significantly less than private sector counterparts.
The Hill reports that the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), an AFL-CIO affiliated union, is out with a new ad campaign urging Congress to pass a provision of the president's jobs bill being brought to the Senate floor this week. The provision allots $35 billion to the states to allow "400,000 teachers and first responders to keep their jobs and get their jobs back," according to Harry Reid, although the majority leader admitted yesterday some of that money wouldn't go to creating or keeping jobs.
Watch the video below, which tells viewers to urge their senators to "vote to fix public safety":
A new survey of 1,000 registered voters has found that 60 percent of respondents say state employees should contribute more to their pension fund, and 60 percent also say they are against raising taxes to pay for state budget shortfalls. The poll was conducted by veteran Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen on behalf of the Manhattan Institute. Schoen writes more about his poll's findings in the Wall Street Journal:
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said today that unions are not deterred at all by their failure to overturn Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's law curbing public employee unions' power through recent state supreme court and state senate elections.
The New York Times had an eye-opening story about abuses in state-run homes for the elderly and disabled in New York this weekend. In particular, the article highlights how unions are aggressively defending those workers accused of very serious crimes:
Over at the Washington Post, Greg Sargent blogs that the Cato Institute is claiming that a new advertisement by Crossroads GPS, a conservative non-profit founded by Karl Rove, “distorts” the libertarian think tank’s data. The ad comes in response to the Wisconsin public-sector union battle and references a report authored by Cato’s Chris Edwards from March of 2010.
Crossroads GPS, the policy arm of the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads PAC that was instrumental in the 2010 election, has just started running a national ad attacking the link between public sector unions and Democrats. You can bet this is just an opening salvo in what will be a significant debate during next year's election:
A smart friend writes: "As a federal contractor, I'm prohibited from contributing to candidates or parties in federal elections. Am I breaking the law by funding Democrats via public sector unions when I pay my taxes?"
A New York Times/CBS News poll never lets you down. Today’s survey features a skewed sample (36 percent Democratic, 26 percent Republican), tricky questions, and an emphasis on results likely to thrill liberals and Democrats.