Sherrod Smears Big Labor’s Critics as McCarthyists

Always happy to attack Big Labor’s enemies, Sherrod Brown (D-OH) did so from the Senate floor during the debate over Craig Becker’s appointment to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). After being placed during a recess, Becker has driven NLRB’s lurch to the Progressive fringe, shoring up the power of key Democratic Party donors at the expense of workers and businesses across the country.

The Progressive fringe is Sherrod Brown’s wheelhouse (he is, after all, America’s left-most senator), so here is Sherrod’s response to complaints about Becker’s work for the union bosses NLRB oversees:

Whining that conservatives call his Socialist beliefs Socialist is a well Sherrod visits often, and Becker has helped Sherrod look ridiculous yet again. Poor, moderate, sensible Becker, before his recess appointment and subsequent bureaucratic rampage, was described thus by The Hill:

He is an adamant supporter of card-check legislation — a proposal that allows unions to form more easily, supported by the White House — and has done considerable work for the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union.

Republicans pointed to Becker’s glaring conflicts of interest, and Sherrod Brown’s rebuttal was to cry foul and call names. Anyone following the NLRB for the past two years knows how that turned out.

C-SPAN 2 clip transcript:

SHERROD BROWN: If, if no arguments work, it’s time to trot ACORN out and tie Craig Becker right to ACORN, whatever ACORN is. And, it’s just, it would be amusing if they didn’t use it time, after time, after time. “He must be a bad nominee because he worked with somebody from ACORN,” or, “He worked with somebody from the Service Employees International Union,” or, “He worked with Governor Blagojevich in Illinois!” That’s, that’s the kind of guilt-by-association that I thought this institution stopped doing 55 years ago when Joe McCarthy was censured.

Cross-posted at Big Government.

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Sherrod Brown Loves Obama’s “Green” Boondoggles

Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is a doctrinaire Progressive in every respect. His fringe-left antics aren’t limited to slandering Big Labor’s enemies and pushing wildly unaffordable entitlement spending – Sherrod Brown also loves dumping taxpayer money into “green” energy.

Like Barack Obama, Sherrod Brown thinks America’s problem is too little bureaucracy and not enough power centralized in Washington, D.C. Here’s Sherrod addressing an early 2010 meeting of the Greater Ohio Policy Center:

You can see Sherrod Brown plead with President Obama to waste more money on “green” energy and wrap American manufacturers in more red tape in a video I posted earlier this year at Big Government. If only the federal government could be more like China, command-and-controlling its ignorant populace to a shiny new world!

View the source video for the above clip, from GreaterOhio on YouTube. Clip transcript follows:

SHERROD BROWN: It’s clear that we need a real national commitment; we need federal and state partnerships, but we need a national commitment on what we’re gonna do on clean energy. We’ve never had a manufacturing policy in this country – some people in the White House and both parties have said, “That’s picking winners and losers, we shouldn’t do that,” but we’re the only major industrial country in the world with no industrial policy, with no manufacturing policy. The president’s starting to take steps in that direction, I think not quickly enough but more quickly than we’ve seen in the past. I think there’s real opportunity there.

Sherrod’s Shameful Mediscare Routine

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) doesn’t have a voting record ranked as far left as Socialist Bernie Sanders by accident; Sherrod thinks a bigger central government is the answer to every problem. In this video, Senator Brown applies his trademark class warfare to the issue of Medicare, instructing a gathering of teachers’ union members to indoctrinate their family, friends, and students against cruel conservatism:

Like the first half of Sherrod’s answer to a question about whether privatization of government programs is a Wall Street conspiracy, there is so much stupid in this clip that it’s tough to begin. To his credit, Sherrod Brown is consistent! Sherrod consistently glosses over exploding federal deficits, consistently attributes the worst motives to anyone who tries to limit government’s power, and consistently brags about the wonders of failed Progressive governance.

Even with crippling tax hikes, the government programs whose praises Sherrod sings will bankrupt the nation by mid-century. Even if Medicare did amazing things for every American it served, only a fool or liar would fight reforms to a collapsing system.

This is why I ask, earnestly, my question from the end of the video: Is Sherrod Brown an idiot, or a dishonest idealogue? The brutal effects of Washington spending on America’s economy are plain to see, and unfunded entitlement liabilities total in the tens of trillions. Yet, as our fiscal canoe sloshes toward the falls, Sherrod Brown attacks with a straight face anyone who dares paddle backwards.

Sherrod’s mathematically outrageous and transparently political scare tactics are, like most every policy Sherrod has ever pursued, wrong for Ohio and wrong for America. Next November, Ohio should send Obamacare champion Sherrod Brown packing… along with the guy that awful legislation is named for.

With Union Reform Down, Kasich is Not Out

The landslide loss of Issue 2 this month prompted glee from Ohio leftists, whose contribution to the state in the past year has been to smear and sue conservatives at every turn. The Ohio Democratic Party, the unions, and Progressive fellow-travelers want desperately to believe their $30 million anti-reform campaign killed Governor Kasich’s entire agenda so they can resume demanding tax hikes.

Elevated discourse at the first We Are Ohio rally.

As indicated by the bigger landslide passage of the Healthcare Freedom Amendment and the failure of 78% of all new tax levies, Issue 2 numbers don’t tell the whole story. The party of limitless government is free to count their chickens… but counting is hardly the Democrats’ trademark.

Although Governor Kasich is frank about the need for public union reform, he has not blamed Ohio’s problems on public workers. Again and again, Kasich portrayed Senate Bill 5 as one piece of the puzzle – a tool to enable local officials to deal with the cuts necessary for a balanced state budget. For proof, just look at the governor’s YouTube channel: Kasich made this case during a Feburary eventa February Fox News segmenta March presseran April 700WLW appearance, and on dozens of other occasions in the past 10 months.

As I wrote back in January:

Crippling the ability of public unions to hold Ohio taxpayers hostage will not solve Ohio’s budget crisis – and, though you wouldn’t know it from listening to his detractors, Governor-elect Kasich has been clear about that. Nonetheless, it’s an important step to fiscal sanity. Faster, please… there’s plenty more to do.

Political opponents use Kasich’s landmark budget as a foil for their caring (and idiotically unaffordable) policies, but this isn’t the governor’s first budgetary rodeo. During his time in Congress, Kasich wrote a deficit-cutting bill that garnered only 30 votes and then a bipartisan plan that narrowly failed before shepherding a balanced budget as House Budget Chairman in 1997. He didn’t quit then, and we shouldn’t expect him to now – regardless of how Progressives slam Kasich’s woefully unicorn-deficient agenda.

If you’re keeping score at home, here are a few things the Ohio Democratic Party has failed to block:

  • A budget balanced without raising taxes
  • Repeal of the death tax
  • Support for and simplified regulation of shared local services
  • Reform to “multiple-prime” and “prevailing wage” laws for construction projects
  • Development of a teacher evaluation system

A loss for Ohio is a loss for Governor Kasich, and Issue 2 was certainly a loss for Ohio. With a little luck, voters will realize government unionization is inherently wrong and always expensive. With a little more, the General Assembly will continue doing their jobs in the face of opponents who get rich misinforming their members!

Cross-posted at Big Government, where you can laugh at my typing “in” in place of “is” in the next-to-last sentence.

Sherrod Stands for Bigger Government

Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is the most liberal member of the United States Senate, according to NationalJournal vote rankings. Senator Brown supports the freaks of Occupy Wall Street, opposes free trade, and was the deciding vote for Obamacare.

That vote could be… problematic, as explained by likely 2012 challenger Josh Mandel:

We must not overlook the truly significant blow that Ohioans dealt Obamacare last week, with a mix of 2.2 million Democrats, Republicans and Independents rejecting this intrusion on individual liberty and family control over health care decisions.

Indeed, you would be pressed to find a statist boondoggle Sherrod Brown doesn’t love. Check out this rant from a Q&A session Sherrod held this spring with Ohio’s largest government union:

According to Senator Brown, privatization is always driven by “greed” and always makes “the services get worse.” Hearty red meat for a government union crowd, but keep in mind this was an unscripted response. Bigger government, higher taxes, and demonizing The Rich are the only things Sherrod knows.

Sadly for Sherrod, every county in Ohio voted to amend the state constitution against Obamacare’s individual mandate – even after a $30 million Progressive smear campaign against union reform. With huge turnout for an off-year election, the citizen-driven Health Care Freedom Amendment passed by a wider margin than the union issue failed! Brown claims the amendment was “confusing,” which would be a great explanation for the opposite result.

Think class warfare will convince Ohio to retain America’s most liberal Senator, a freshman who rode into Washington on a 2006 Democrat wave in the Buckeye State? Not if I have anything to say about it.

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Cross-posted at Big Government.

Union “Progress” Could Mean Ohio’s Bankruptcy

Ohio’s government unions claim to represent simple, positive principles. Good jobs. Workers’ rights. Progress. The reforms in Issue 2 were voted down because union bosses warned dramatically, expensively, and dishonestly how dark Ohio would be with elected officials controlling local governments. If voters realized union power leads to higher taxes, they may not have been as quick to torpedo reform.

The agitators at the top of the union pyramid can now justify for awhile longer “earning” six figures by taking it directly from public employees’ paychecks. However, the scare tactics that worked for Issue 2 weren’t so effective when local voters considered higher tax levies. This means the gravy train will leave the rails a bit faster than expected – but the unions have a solution!

Months before Governor Kasich balanced an estimated $8 billion deficit without raising taxes, unions were demanding we cough up more money to fund their unsustainable benefits and backwards policies. Unions rallied for higher taxes despite a state and local taxation trend that looks like this:

Somewhere along the way Ohio’s “safety net” wound up around our necks, which isn’t especially comfortable for those of us unwilling or unable to flee. It’s hard to argue Ohio’s taxes should be higher, so the unions and fellow Progressives focus on attacking Governor Kasich:

  1. It’s Kasich’s fault for discarding the Strickland school funding model! (Never mind that most districts are in the red, not just a handful on the margins.)
  2. It’s Kasich’s fault for cutting local spending in the state budget! (Ignore those Strickland-era forecasts that prove local deficits have been on the horizon for years.)

In both cases the alternative is cloaked in Obamaesque euphemism about needing a “balanced approach,” if an alternative is mentioned at all. There’s not enough state money because of evil Republicans and racist mathematics, and Ohio’s union bosses need us to refill the tank. Until we do, they’ll force local governments to slash jobs and services, with the occasional face-saving concession for the sake of the Progressive cause. Over the next few months I’ll highlight districts forced into layoffs by untenable union contracts!

This is the system we have. Thanks to the Ohioans who let a cynical union campaign cloud their judgment, this is the system we’re stuck with for the foreseeable future. Ohio can still pull out of this tax-and-spend tailspin, but local and national unions won’t make it easy!

Cross-posted at Big Government.

Issue 2 Post-Mortem, Ohio Pre-Mortem

Though the Wisconsin union circus produced widespread union-reform fatigue, you might be wondering what went wrong with Issue 2 in Ohio. As an Ohio conservative who happened to start researching government unions a few months before the General Assembly tackled reform, here’s my educated guess!

Executive summary: The unions spent several boatloads on dishonest class warfare, and Ohio voters failed to see through it.

First, some theories I don’t subscribe to. With the future of Issue 2 looking bleak leading up to yesterday, there have been rumblings that Governor Kasich and/or the Ohio Republican Party backed away from Issue 2 for fear of getting egg on their faces. I’ve seen no indication this is true.

A fairer guess is that including police and firefighters doomed Senate Bill 5; I hesitate to jump to this conclusion, if for no other reason than I advised excluding police and firefighters. It’s worth noting that police and firefighters figured heavily into the union smear campaign, but the bill’s reforms would have been assailed by unions of all stripes regardless of who was affected.

Perhaps the worst explanation – popular with that special brand of Ohioan whose motto is, “I’m a lifelong Republican, but” – insists Senate Bill 5 was an overreach. Ohio’s existing government union law isn’t a little broken; it’s completely broken. Republicans attempted to reform the Democrats’ 1983 bill in a single shot rather than spend the next 3 years fighting with unions. Blaming Issue 2’s defeat on this calculation misses the bigger picture.

What does the bigger picture look like?

Out-of-state union donations, grossly understated by Ohio media, far exceeded the “Yes on 2” campaign’s entire budget. The Ohio Education Association (OEA), a despicable band of hypocrites whose average pay in 2010 was more than $95,000, took an extra $54 from every member to kill Senate Bill 5. OEA alone dumped more than $5.8 million into “We Are Ohio.”

Did the unions spend $30 million exposing an ill-advised portion of Senate Bill 5, or pushing some compelling argument about the need for powerful public unions? Hah! The unions spent more than $800,000 collecting signatures for the referendum; bragging that this constituted “grassroots” support was the most honest aspect of their campaign.

“We Are Ohio” claimed passing Issue 2 would mean fewer firefighters and nurses, leaving Ohio houses to burn and patients to perish. They released a radio ad saying Issue 2 would “take us back to the days of Jim Crow,” misrepresenting at every turn the effort to limit union power as an attack on Ohio’s middle class. They lied that Republican politicians exploited a “loophole” in the bill, though elected officials have never been subject to collective bargaining. They insisted local budgets were dandy before Kasich’s election.

Even without spending unprecedented amounts to mislead Ohio’s electorate, unions are built for fighting reform; union bosses become millionaires on the strength of their class warfare. In my opinion, Issue 2 came down to two questions:

  1. How many Ohio government employees see through the Progressive narrative shoved down their throats courtesy of their mandatory dues?
  2. How many Ohio taxpayers with friends & family in public work think for themselves when told Governor Kasich is out to steal workers’ benefits and punch their babies?

OEA & Co. don’t have to lumber into a defensive stance when their stranglehold is threatened. They just keep doing what they do every day – painting themselves as victims and taxpayers as villains. Yesterday it worked, to the detriment of everyone except the union bosses.

Sadly, a majority of Ohio voters were guilted into ignoring fiscal reality. In return for killing Issue 2, Ohio can expect:

  • More tax hikes than would have been necessary with Senate Bill 5
  • More layoffs of teachers, firefighters, and police than would have been necessary with Senate Bill 5
  • More service cuts than would have been necessary with Senate Bill 5
  • None of Senate Bill 5’s drop-dead obvious reforms to benefits & automatic pay hikes
  • More lost House seats as employers and citizens flee

Those who voted No on Issue 2 have guaranteed the results they were told their votes would prevent. This is bad news for anyone who doesn’t get rich from the government union racket, especially the thousands of young public workers whose jobs will be sacrificed on the altar of union demands.

Cross-posted from Big Government.

Help Ohio Fight Union Bosses and Obamacare!

From 2000-2010, Ohio lost 595,200 private industry jobs, faring better than only Michigan and California. In 2010 the state had the 7th-highest tax burden and 47th-best business climate. Although Governor Kasich has been working since January to get Ohio back on track, the forces of statism are deeply entrenched.

As public record proves, many of these folks get rich portraying big government as a moral imperative:

You have a chance right now to help a Midwestern swing state escape leftist control! Two Ohio ballot measures up for a vote on Tuesday deserve the full support of conservatives nationwide.

Issue 3 represents an unprecedented citizen-driven effort; its passage would amend the state constitution to block Obamacare’s individual mandate in Ohio. Conventional wisdom is that Issue 3 will pass, but efforts to kill Issue 2 may claim Issue 3 as collateral damage. If conservative Ohioans stay home Tuesday, union propaganda could prevent a repudiation of Obamacare.

Issue 2 has been the focus of a $30 million smear campaign, with an alphabet soup of unions framing government union reform as an “attack on The Middle Class.” There are many reasons to support Issue 2, but the best is also the simplest: Issue 2 restores a little power from union bosses to taxpayers.

Ohio’s status quo ensures that unions – instead of our elected officials – set the rules of public employment. Public wages are garnished for union propaganda and professional agitators’ pockets, while taxpayers are demonized over any effort to restrain spending. Their own employees describe Ohio union bosses as “rife with hypocrisy,” but $30 million buries a whole lot of dirt!

Far from theoretical, Ohio’s need for reform is rooted in fiscal urgency. Based on forecasts prior to Kasich’s election, 260 Ohio school districts will have deficits amounting to more than $500 per resident by 2015. Passing Issue 2 would ensure fewer layoffs, fewer tax hikes, fewer service cuts… as well as fewer six-figure union salaries. Any questions as to why AFL-CIO, NEA, AFSCME, and SEIU are dumping millions into a state ballot issue?

Like the broken law Issue 2 amends, I’ve been part of Ohio since 1983. Will you help me do good where decades of bureaucracy have done so much harm? Will you encourage Ohioans to free themselves from President Obama’s terrible policies and dishonest financiers?

Citizens of the Buckeye State, vote Yes on Issue 2 and Yes on Issue 3. Everyone else, please help counter union lies on your social media network of choice!

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics and RedState.

Yes on Issue 2 for Teachers, No for Unions (Part 3)

When they aren’t taking $54 from every member for an anti-reform smear campaign, Ohio Education Association (OEA) bosses pass the time by fighting with their employees. Is it weird that Ohio’s largest government union hawks expensive “solidarity” to teachers, while its managers can’t event get along with its staff?

"Bad Faith + Bad Management = Consequences" ...not if union bosses have anything to say about it!

In the past two years alone, OEA has seen a “No Confidence” vote against the union’s executive director and a $3.75 million settlement with union retirees whose health benefits the union pulled out from under them. OEA employees have described union bosses as “rife with hypocrisy,” “no better than the scabs,” “every bit as bad as the worst boards of education across the state,” and “hell-bent” on forcing a strike.

Do these sound like descriptors you would expect for people who take millions from public employees to fight for workers’ rights? Without Issue 2, OEA bosses have more power than our elected officials when it comes to the local services our tax dollars fund. Is it any wonder school districts across the state projected huge deficits back when Ted Strickland was governor, due largely to outrageous OEA demands?

Socialism enthusiasts, non-mathematicians, and taxpayer haters on Twitter have used the hashtag #StandUpOH to cloak their anti-reform campaign in populist terms. On November 8, Ohio taxpayers need to stand up for sensible government union reform; Lord knows the unions are on their feet demanding more from us!

  • Issue 2 ends automatic step increases and requires merit pay for public workers.
  • Issue 2 requires all government employees to pay 10% of their pension costs and 15% of their health insurance costs.
  • Issue 2 ends forced payment of “fair-share” fees for government workers who don’t want to join a union.
  • Issue 2 puts a stop to last-in, first-out firing policies, requiring considerations other than tenure when making layoffs.
  • Issue 2 does not affect bargaining over wages or working conditions

Ohioans, vote Yes on Issue 2! Conservatives nationwide, help spread the facts over the next few days!

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Cross-posted at RedState.

Unions Don’t Care About Taxpayers

Back when the professional staff of the Ohio Education Association (OEA) had an official blog, this endearing quote from Socialist author Jack London was featured in the right column of every page:

“Esau was a traitor to himself: Judas Iscariot was a traitor to his God; Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his country; a strikebreaker is a traitor to his God, his country, his wife, his family and his class.”

Did you know the rough-and-tumble business of taking six figures from teachers to demonize school boards and extort taxpayers was like the 19th-century Canadian tundra? Yeah, neither did I.

But then, maybe we shouldn’t hold OEA staff accountable for the things published on their website. After all, they also said this:

PSU will maintain this blog, as well as its “Friends of the Professional Staff Union” Facebook page as means of communicating with OEA members and union brothers and sisters, so check back often for new pictures and updates!

I started sharing quotes from the site, and suddenly their socialism-loving, forced-dues-demanding, OEA-boss-attacking words became unfit for public consumption. Here’s one of many reasons why:

During the past few months, the EMT [ed: Executive Management Team] has applied this anti-union attitude in a number of smaller ways that indicate a lack of respect for staff. This group of officers and managers has used their claim of “fiduciary obligation” to attack the core union principle of seniority! Specifically, the actions of the EMT indicate that seniority does not matter in the major arena of vacancies and transfers! What core contract principle will be next? Sick Leave? Health Insurance? Salaries?

Basing management decisions on business needs and merit? Inconceivable! OEA bosses, who talk about fiscal responsibility only as it relates to money already siphoned from public workers’ paychecks into union coffers, don’t get along well with OEA staff. No surprise there.

Would you want your School Board and/or the Administration to be able to treat you and your contract this way—just by claiming they have to protect the interest of taxpayers? We think not!

And there it is: the simple, ugly truth. OEA doesn’t care about taxpayers, because taxpayers aren’t covered by a union contract. Thanks to Ohio’s broken government union laws, every handout a politician gives the unions is automatically assumed to be included in the next contract. Whatever We Are Ohio tells you, Issue 2 provides sensible reforms to the power of government unions who want only one thing: more.

On November 8, vote Yes on Issue 2!

Cross-posted at RedState.