Unintentional Union Hilarity

A new political activist group in Ohio held what sounds like an entertaining protest at the Statehouse yesterday. From Dispatch.com:

“Cuts alone will only exacerbate the problems Ohioans already face,” said Col Owens, senior attorney with Legal Aid of Southwest Ohio.

His remarks came at a news conference to announce the formation of One Ohio Now, a coalition of more than 30 organizations pushing for a state tax hike.

Protesting for higher taxes. Cute! The Dispatch estimates a crowd of 300, which means an average of ten representatives from each of One Ohio Now’s member groups. Or, to quote SEIU 1199, “Nearly 600 people untied today […]” Aside from the tie-free SEIU, which organizations were involved? The Dispatch story doesn’t link to a list, and there’s not one at OneOhioNow.org, but we can make some guesses.

Zach Schiller of Policy Matters Ohio, a Cleveland research group, said budget cuts not only hurt those who lose services or such benefits as health care, but they also cost jobs.

Dispatch columnist Catherine Candisky forgot the word “progressive” in the phrase “a progressive Cleveland research group.” The Buckeye Institute is a conservative think-tank, and is always identified as such. Policy Matters Ohio and The Buckeye Institute have differing opinions about the utility of government unions. They can’t both be right. Why not identify Policy Matters Ohio as a distinctly pro-union organization, Ms. Candisky?

Maybe other quotes from the story shed different light on One Ohio Now’s motives:

Bundled against the cold wind, Lolita Thomas, with Local 4501 of the Communications Workers of America, said she’s worried about additional job losses and wants state leaders to be mindful of the actions they take and how it will affect Ohioans.

A union member wants Ohioans to be taxed more to support union members. Next quote:

Barbara Shaner, associate executive director of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, said “there needs to be a discussion beyond cuts only.”

Another union member ally [Update, 01-17-2011: A commenter notes that OASBO is not a union, though a quick perusal of the group’s website lists the unions as collaborators, and their legislative priorities appear to match the NEA’s.] wants Ohioans to be taxed more to support union members. Who would have guessed!

As of October 2010, The Tax Foundation rated Ohio’s business tax climate 46th. In fiscal year 2008, Ohioans had the 18th highest state and local tax burden per capita. When One Ohio Now wails about Governor Kasich’s policies hurting “Ohioans,” replace “Ohioans” with “unions” and you’ll know all there is to know about One Ohio Now.

4 thoughts on “Unintentional Union Hilarity

  1. First, there were people from all over Ohio, including non-union, grassroots citizens. Secondly, Barbara Shaner is not part of a union, but rather represents a group which is on the other side of the table from the teachers unions during negotiations. The fact that both groups, along with many non-union member organizations, are at the table should speak to the diversity of the group, and the necessity for a serious discussion on the revenue crisis in the upcoming state budget. This discussion should lead to a decision which shares the burden of this crisis, and not put the majority of the impact on poor and working class individuals.

  2. Pingback: that hero » Union first, Students second

  3. Pingback: that hero » About Those Protestors…

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