We Are Ohio’s “Facts”

We Are Ohio insists Issue 2 – in addition to being unnecessary – is “unsafe, unfair, and hurts us all.” I’ve thoroughly covered the hypocrisy of a D.C. union front pretending to have Ohioans’ interests at heart… is there anything trustworthy about the group’s talking points?

Unlike their other arguments, We Are Ohio’s complaint that Senate Bill 5 is unnecessary cites academic research. Amid the other fabrications on We Are Ohio’s “The TRUTH about Issue 2″ page, you’ll find this:

MYTH: Public employees are overpaid, and their salaries need to be brought in line with the private sector.
TRUTH: A recent Rutgers University study found Ohio public employees earn 6 percent less on a yearly basis than their peers in the private sector. They earn 3.5% less on an hourly basis.

Contrary to the Rutgers study, two researchers at the American Enterprise Institute reported that Ohio government workers receive an average premium of 43% more than private industry employees when factors including job security are considered. But this is much more than a case of dueling think-tanks.

As reported at Third Base Politics and GOHP Blog, info about Rutgers professor and study author Jeffrey Keefe released yesterday at Big Journalism brings We Are Ohio’s only “factual” support into question.

Yet during the phone call, Keefe had emphasized how it is “important to do business with policy institutes rather than academics,” laughingly noting that “[a]cademics believe in publish or perish … no matter what the outcome is.” He reassured us that “Policy institutes have an policy agenda … The thing about EPI is when they publish something, it’s highly reliable and credible, but if it’s contrary to what you want, and what they want, they just, they pay for it, and they kill it.”

Out of all the researchers at all the universities in the country, why did We Are Ohio go to Jeffrey Keefe? Because he, like the Economic Policy Institute, has an agenda, and he’s not afraid to “kill” research that won’t support it. If you didn’t know EPI is a far-left advocacy group, you can thank Ohio media outlets for that. From a glowing piece about EPI in a 2007 issue of lefty rag The Nation:

For many years, the Economic Policy Institute has filled a lonely role in Washington politics–the premier left-liberal think tank standing up to the dominant conservative orthodoxy.

With the source of the unions’ only tangible evidence exposed as an unprincipled partisan whose publisher is a recognized left-wing organization, what have the union bosses behind We Are Ohio got going for them? Refer to the campaign’s continuous stream of lies and hyperbole, and there’s your answer. Vote Yes on Issue 2!

 Cross-posted at Third Base Politics and RedState.

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