Tuesday, April 28, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Spotlight on Ohio vote on union-limiting law

By
From page A10 | November 06, 2011 |

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A ballot battle in Ohio that pits the union rights of public workers against Republican efforts to shrink government and limit organized labor’s reach culminates Tuesday in a vote with political consequences from statehouses to the White House.

A question called Issue 2 asks voters to accept or reject a voluminous rewrite of Ohio’s collective bargaining law that Republican Gov. John Kasich signed in March, less than three months after his party regained power in the closely divided swing state that could again decide the outcome of the 2012 presidential election.

Thousands descended on the Statehouse in protest of the legislation known as Senate Bill 5, prompting state officials at one point to lock the doors out of concern for lawmakers’ safety.

The legislation affects more than 350,000 police, firefighters, teachers, nurses and other government workers. It sets mandatory health care and pension minimums for unionized government employees, bans public worker strikes, scraps binding arbitration and prohibits basing promotions solely on seniority.

By including police and firefighters, Ohio’s bill went further than Wisconsin’s, which was the first in a series of union-limiting measures plugged by Republican governors this year as they faced deep budget holes and a conservative tea party movement fed up with government excess. Democratic governors, including New York’s Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy, have also faced down their public employee unions in attempts to rein in costs.

That’s why labor badly needs a win in Ohio, said Lee Adler, who teaches labor issues at Cornell University’s New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

“If the governor of Ohio is able to hold the line on the legislation that was passed, then it would be a very significant setback for public sector workers and public sector unions in the U.S.,” he said. “Likewise, if the other result happens, then it would certainly provide a considerable amount of hope that, with the proper kind of mobilization and the proper kind of targeting, some of the retrenchment that has been directed at public sector workers can be combated.”

Victory could also galvanize support and build energy within the Democratic-leaning labor movement ahead of the 2012 presidential election, a potential boon for President Barack Obama’s re-election effort.

We Are Ohio, the labor-backed coalition fighting the law, had raised more than $24 million as of mid-October — more than Obama, John McCain and 18 other presidential contenders raised in combined Ohio contributions during the 2008 presidential election, according to Federal Election Commission data.

Building a Better Ohio, the business-fueled proponent campaign, has raised $8 million. Outside conservative groups including FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity and the Virginia-based Alliance for America’s Future are also rallying support for the law. Their spending hasn’t been documented.

“This will eclipse any statewide candidate election in the history of the state, in terms of spending,” said Jason Mauk, a spokesman for Building a Better Ohio. “It’s an unprecedented campaign.”

Ohio voters favored repeal 57 percent to 32 percent, an Oct. 25 Quinnipiac University poll showed. But Mauk said the law’s backers are still cautiously optimistic they can win, and will continue through the weekend to carry the bill’s tea party-friendly message to voters.

“People are tired of government spending more than it makes, more than it collects, and they’re frustrated by the debt and deficit problem in Washington,” Mauk said. “Voters clearly sent a message of concern (in 2010) and they’re demanding that government get its house in order, and that’s the platform John Kasich ran on. This is an effort to try to eliminate government excess and get spending under control.”

Polls show Kasich is ranked among America’s least popular governors, thanks in part to his fight against the unions. The former congressman, investment banker and Fox News commentator has traveled the state to rally voters to keep the law and appeared in pro-Issue 2 commercials paid for by Make Ohio Great, a project of the Republican Governors Association.

Voters are eager to help defeat the law because they felt disenfranchised by the process, said Melissa Fazekas, a spokeswoman for the opposition.

The bill was introduced, debated in the Legislature, passed and signed by Kasich in two months. Republican legislative leaders say they heard dozens of hours of testimony and Democrats proposed no amendments to the bill during deliberations.

After it passed, the law’s opponents easily gathered 1.3 million signatures for their ballot effort and now boast a legion of more than 17,000 volunteers of all political stripes.

“I’ve never been involved in something quite like this,” Fazekas said. “I’ve just never seen people so engaged and enthusiastic. I’ve seen situations before where people were willing to sign petitions, but on this issue people were literally grabbing petition booklets out of our hands and taking them out and circulating them.”

Adler said public schools and the post office are the last two big government entities not controlled by corporations, and so are primary targets of union-limiting efforts.

He said “everybody A to Z” will be watching the vote’s outcome because of the state’s long history as a political bellwether: “Ohio tells a story about America every time it votes.”

————

By Julie Carr Smyth

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Yolo Basin Foundation celebrates 25 years

By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Teens embrace public art through Pence Gallery program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Robotics team members reflect on their big win

By Kellen Browning | From Page: A1

 
City’s eco-classes will explore water, wildlife, pests, composting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

Many hands make light work

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Baltimore smolders after violent night

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Davis police make vehicle theft arrest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Corinthian Colleges closes all 28 remaining campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Capay Organic hosts Cinco de Mayo party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Yolo County Bar Association honors Magna Carta, probation chief

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Sierra Club leaders will meet April 30

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Pedro party, lunch benefit Yolo Hospice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Author — injured arm in sling — will sign her new book

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Chicken manure compost class planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Party celebrates release of Lescroart’s new novel

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Curious about calculus? Try Barcellos’ new book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Master Gardeners teach workshops throughout county

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Faithful Partner Fund established for K-9 officers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Holmes’ Green Team wins state award

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Vacaville contractor convicted of fraud

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Blueberries, apricots arrive at Sutter market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
New UCD art lecture series named for Thiebauds

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Pinball show features lots of free play

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Asian garden open for tours this weekend

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Forum

She knows their business

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Waking up to the awful truth

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
David Brooks: Love and merit

By David Brooks | From Page: A6

Davis’ active transportation plan is right on target

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Dog’s freedom isn’t worth it

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Vaccine bill is vital for our health

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Thanks for camera’s return

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Huge first frame lifts DHS to big baseball win

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Devil girls run it up on Grant

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD golfers move into first at Big West Championship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Another big inning does in Devil softballers

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1

 
AAA roundup: Cardinals break out big bats in Davis Little League win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Get a positive vibe Wednesday from Tha Dirt Feelin’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Momentum Dance Company plans spring concert

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Sacramento Youth Symphony holding open auditions

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

 
Winters Theatre Company performs on the Big Day of Giving

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

‘Contempt of Court’ next up at Winters Theatre Company

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
There’s no place like home in DMTC’s ‘Wizard of Oz’

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Have breakfast in Oz on May 16

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Black Sea Hotel to perform in Village Homes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

DMTC’s young performers present a steam-punk ‘Snow White’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7