Though I’m hardly the expert on protesting or political lobbying, it stands to reason that your goal is to look as “mainstream” and “broad-based” as possible when you’re agitating for something. With that in mind, who’s really behind the opposition to Governor Kasich’s stated goal of bridging Ohio’s budget deficit without raising taxes?
The contact person at OneOhioNow.org was kind enough to send a list of OneOhio Now’s endorsers, as of Jan. 16th. I hadn’t heard of many of the groups listed, so let’s see what they’re all about using the power of The Webs!
- Advocates for Budget Legislation Equality: Part of “Organize! Ohio,” a group of Cleveland community organizers
- AFSCME Council 8: Public employee union. Local branch of the the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which is part of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
- America Votes – Ohio: Ohio branch of a national Progressive lobbying group
- Center for Working Class Studies – Youngstown State University
- Children’s Defense Fund – Ohio
- Cleveland Jobs with Justice: “…a coalition of labor, community and faith organizations…”
- Cleveland Tenants Organization
- Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio
- Columbus Jobs with Justice: “…a coalition of labor, community and faith organizations…”
- Communications Workers of America: Union. Part of the AFL-CIO.
- Community Partners for Affordable Accessible Health Care
- The Empowerment Center of Greater Cleveland: Cleveland community organizers
- Environmental Health Watch: Cleveland environmental group
- Georgetown Federation of Teachers: Public employee union. Local branch of the American Federation of Teachers. Part of the AFL-CIO.
- The Hunger Network in Ohio: Columbus faith-based charity and lobbying group.
- Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio: Cincinnati legal aid and lobbying for low-income Ohioans
- Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative: Community organizers
- Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless: Cleveland group lobbying for – among other things – government-subsidized housing, government-funded health care, and expanded hate crimes legislation
- Ohio AFL-CIO: State branch of the union – “The Ohio AFL-CIO represents 1,600 local unions across the state from 48 different international unions.”
- Ohio Association of School Business Officials: Columbus member services & lobbying group listing partnerships with various education unions; state affiliate of ASBO
- Ohio CDC Association: Columbus community organizer… organizers
- Ohio Center for Progressive Leadership: Cincinnati Progressive leadership-development group; state branch of national CPL
- Ohio Conference on Fair Trade: Columbus “coalition of faith, labor, environmental, agricultural, community and social justice organizations and individuals”
- Ohio Civil Service Employees Association: Public employee union. AFSCME Local 11 – AFL-CIO affiliate.
- Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding: “Currently the Coalition is working with ten other statewide education organizations to draft and promote a comprehensive constitutional amendment that would create a high quality public education system throughout Ohio with funding predicated on student needs.”
- Ohio Federation of Teachers: Public employee union. State branch of the American Federation of Teachers.
- Ohio Poverty Law Center: Columbus legal aid & lobbying group
- Ohio Public Transit Association: Public transportation employee organization and lobbying group
- Ohio School Boards Association: “OSBA leads the way to educational excellence by serving Ohio’s public school board members and the diverse districts they represent through superior service and creative solutions.”
- Ohio Youth Voices: Works with high school students to improve education in Ohio; 2008 agenda (the latest version posted) lists some good suggestions sprinkled into a Progressive wish-list – more state funding for K-12, more college subsidies, multicultural fluff curriculum
- Policy Matters Ohio: Progressive think-tank with offices in Cleveland and Columbus – “Our mission is to create a more fair, prosperous, sustainable and inclusive Ohio, through research, media work and policy advocacy. Ohio faces enormous challenges from the global recession, three decades of deindustrialization, rising inequality, and global warming.”
- ProgressOhio: Progressive think-tank
- SEIU 1199: Union. Regional affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.
- UFCW Local 1059: Union. Affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers.
- UHCAN Ohio: State affiliate of the Universal Health Care Action Network, a socialized health care lobbying group
35 member groups, and 8 of them are unions. The others are a mix of Progressive think-tanks, Progressive lobbying groups, Progressive community organizers, and center-left charities. I kind of wish there was something interesting to say about this, but there’s not; if it walks like a leftist and talks like a leftist, who should be surprised that its member list is tilted way to the left?
The problem is not that the member groups of OneOhio Now are bad. The problem is that they’re wrong – wrong about higher taxes being the solution to Ohio’s problems, and wrong to demand taxpayer funds for everything. Of the charities listed above, how much more good could be achieved if they devoted their lobbying energies elsewhere? Of the unions, how much dues money is wasted expanding the union bosses’ power?
More on that later…