Sherrod Brown Compares GOP Governors to Hitler, Stalin

Last year while governors across the Midwest worked to reform broken public union laws, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) slandered them in a speech that could have easily been written by one of the millionaire “leaders” at SEIU, NEA, or AFSCME.

During one of his stemwinders about the wondrous things unions do, Sherrod dropped a reductio ad Hitlerum on Governor Kasich (OH), Governor Walker (WI), and Governor Christie (NJ):

Bizarrely, Sherrod claims he’s not comparing Kasich, Walker, and Christie to Hitler, Stalin, and Mubarak in the middle of comparing them to Hitler, Stalin, and Mubarak. While he’s conflating overdue reforms with mass murder, Sherrod also repeats one of his favorite deceptions by pretending government unions are the same as private industry unions.

Several media outlets noted the dictatorial portion of Sherrod’s rant, and the next day he apologized for stepping in it:

“But in speaking about this, I should not have mentioned the hostility of tyrants like Hitler to unions,” Brown said. “I don’t want my mistake to distract from the critical debate in Ohio, and I apologize for it.”

Sherrod didn’t want “to distract from the critical debate” over public union reform! Even now, slamming Ohio’s Senate Bill 5 as an “attack on workers” is the cornerstone of Sherrod’s stump speech – yet he always runs out of time before debating any of the critical specifics. Big Labor’s opponents are evil because it’s evil to oppose Big Labor.

Sherrod Brown is desperate to get additional mileage out of the union bosses’ $40 million smear campaign, but remember what was actually in Ohio’s union reform bill:

  • Replace automatic step increases with merit pay for public workers.
  • Require public employees to pay 10% of their pension costs and 15% of their health insurance costs.
  • End forced payment of “fair-share” fees for public workers who don’t want to join a union.
  • End last-in, first-out firing policies, requiring considerations other than tenure when local governments must make layoffs.
  • Public workers retain the privilege of collective bargaining for wages & working conditions, but may no longer go on strike against the public.

No less the Progressive than FDR, patron saint of caring Democrats, knew public unions are an awful idea. Either Sherrod Brown is too dense to recognize government and private industry are different, or he’s been lying for years to protect his favorite interest group.

Footnote: This clip is from the same speech where Sherrod claimed public union reform violates Christian principles. Refer again to the bullet points above; those are the sort of hateful reforms that get you slandered on the Senate floor as a tyrannical heathen by Sherrod Brown.

Transcript of the C-SPAN clip follows.

Sherrod Brown: Because we, as a country, we stand for a more egalitarian workforce. We stand for worker rights. We believe workers should organize and bargain collectively, if they choose. We believe in a minimum wage. We believe in workers’ compensation. We believe in worker safety. We believe in human rights, and all of that is about the labor movement, and, you know, you can support labor rights in Guatemala, but you better damn be sure you’re supporting labor rights in Wilmington, and Columbus, and Cleveland, and, and Detroit, and Dover, Delaware, and everywhere else.

And that’s, um, that’s, those were, those were some of the words Secretary Clinton said – I’m obviously expanding on them – but, as a nation, you know, I I I I look back at history and some of the worst governments we’ve ever had, you know one of the first things they did? They went after the trade unions. Hitler didn’t want unions, Stalin didn’t want unions, Mubarak didn’t want independent unions. These, these autocrats in history don’t want independent unions. So when I see, when I see in Egypt, or if I see in, in the old Soviet Russia, or I see – history tells me about Germany – I, I, I’m not, I’m not comparing what’s happening to the workers in Madison or in Columbus to Hitler and Stalin, but I am saying that history teaches us that unions are a very positive force in society that creates a middle class and that protects our freedom.

Post to Twitter

End in Sight for ORP Fight?

If you’ve followed the recent head-butting between Governor Kasich and Ohio Republican Party (ORP) Chairman Kevin DeWine, you know Tuesday was not DeWine’s day. If you’re a Third Base Politics regular, you also know where I stand on the subject: Kevin DeWine has squandered the trust of conservative activists whose support ORP desperately needs this year, and should step down.

Following a couple of posts in January, I’ve been happy to defer to more knowledgeable observers for ORP State Central Committee coverage. The inside baseball of this dispute doesn’t interest me much, but Kevin DeWine’s actions over the past two months validate the concerns I shared in December.

Yesterday Bytor posted a list of Central Committee winners, highlighting known losses for DeWine. Today ONN’s Jim Heath tweeted a series of updates & questions about the post-election Central Committee meeting DeWine has scheduled:

Actually, the meeting will determine who leads ORP only if a vote is called. Will Kevin DeWine (who has convinced at least 1 person of his success Tuesday) include an up-or-down vote on his continued chairmanship in the agenda?

My impression is that Team Kasich sought candidates who shared the governor’s belief DeWine should be replaced, as opposed to candidates who would support a specific replacement. I would be surprised if Governor Kasich endorsed anyone between now and April 13th.

This gets back to inside baseball: I don’t know enough to comment on the good, bad, or ugly attributes of any potential candidates. I do know that instead of discreetly resolving his issues with Kasich and Speaker Batchelder, Kevin DeWine turned a dispute into a debacle – after pouring big bucks into electing his cousin Mike DeWine and his pal Jon Husted, dishonestly appropriating the Tea Party brand in the process.

The fact that DeWine is calling a meeting does indeed suggest he’s confident of his position. The fact that the meeting is the same day as the post-primary campaign finance filing deadline tells a different story! Given recent history, Committee members will want to know: how much donor money did DeWine spend defending himself, and how much of that went to disgraced consultant Brett Buerck?

Smoldering in the background is DeWine’s implausible claim to have disqualified several Kasich-backed Central Committee candidates with a last-minute rule change. If DeWine attempts to block elected Committee members from being placed, this whole mess could get a whole lot messier.

Regardless of whether you think DeWine should stay or go, a vote of the new ORP State Central Committee is the only way for this fight to end. Friday the 13th can’t come soon enough.

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.

Post to Twitter

What to Watch For In Ohio Tomorrow

My state is considered a vital GOP pickup this fall, as no Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio. Our midterm election’s results send mixed signals: a $40 million Big Labor smear campaign convinced Ohioans to overturn public union reform, but we also voted 66 – 34% to block Obamacare.

Consistent with the whipsaw nature of this primary, polling mid-February suggested Ohio may be a lock for Rick Santorum. Quinnipiac registered a 7-point Santorum advantage in separate polls of likely voters completed 02/12 and 02/26. On 02/15, Rasmussen polling showed Santorum with a staggering 18-point lead, and the University of Cincinnati’s Ohio Poll conducted 02/16 to 02/26 indicated Saontorum was up by 11.

Heading into the February 22 Arizona debate, Santorum looked to be the last heir to the “not Romney” throne. Could he maintain enough momentum to roll Mitt Romney on Super Tuesday, despite Romney’s gold-plated ground game?

The debate was Santorum’s chance to shine, but he didn’t weather attacks from Romney and Ron Paul as well as he could have. I’ve been enthusiastic about zero candidates since Rick Perry dropped out; the Arizona debate finally convinced me to vote for Mitt Romney. How many other Ohio conservatives had a similar reaction to the snippy, discouraging tussle between Romney and Santorum?

In many cases, it won’t matter: Rick Santorum’s name will not be on the ballot in 3 of 16 Congressional districts tomorrow. Add to this news that Santorum failed to submit a full slate of delegates for 6 additional districts, and even a victory for Santorum in Ohio would be followed by an asterisk.

An NBC/Marist poll conducted yesterday shows a statistical dead heat. The in-inevitable Romney may yet win Ohio, in spite of himself and his campaign’s dicey consulting choices. Francesca Chambers at Red Alert Politics suggests Sen. Portman has buoyed Romney’s ailing Ohio operation in the past week. It doesn’t hurt to have enough cash to account for 80% of the total TV ad spend in Super Tuesday contests, either!

Ohio’s employment picture is brightening, but economic issues remain a huge concern here. Will Ohio Republicans take a chance on the author of Romneycare, or the guy barraged with questions about birth control? Whoever wins Super Tuesday and the eventual nomination, November in Ohio should be a contest between uniquely American ideals and Obama’s ideal America.

Other races to watch:

  • Expect Josh Mandel – who is endorsed by Sen. DeMint and has already raised millions for November – to be the hands-down nominee for Sherrod Brown’s U.S. Senate seat.
  • Ohio GOP State Central Committee races have been heated. The party’s ugly power struggle continues, with Chairman Kevin DeWine’s ability to work with Governor Kasich and others up for debate. If Kasich supporters win a majority of Committee seats and DeWine remains in charge, kinks in the Ohio GOP’s inner workings could damage general election campaigns.

Don’t doubt Barack Obama can be beaten in Ohio. While Kasich’s approval ratings tick into positive territory, Obama remains underwater. The idea of papering over problems with “stimulus” spending may have overstayed its welcome. And remember, Obama for America must contend with the awful record of Sen. Brown, who flaunts Obama’s worst traits like a crazed Progressive peacock.

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics and Columbus Tea Party.

Post to Twitter