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.

Ohio Right to Work: Not This Year

This week the Ohio Attorney General approved ballot language for a Right-to-Work amendment to the Ohio constitution. I agree with fellow Third Base Politics writer Bytor, who covered the issue a couple months ago: a Right-to-Work amendment in November 2012 is a terrible idea.

The Senate Bill 5 campaign proved Ohio voters remain too receptive to union rhetoric. Trying to rehash the same arguments during a presidential campaign already focused on Progressive class warfare would be a nightmare.

Summer 2010 - Banners from OEA staffers on strike

Class: During a 2010 strike, Ohio Education Association staff hung a banner telling the OEA boss to kill himself.

The ridiculousness of public unions prompted me to start writing and researching with a purpose beyond, “here’s what annoys me today, and I know my friends wouldn’t want to hear this rant.” I wish I were more effective at making the case for union reform! If you could find another sap who spent more free time than I did over the past year arguing for the need to reform Ohio’s government union law, I would be amazed. On this subject, Ohio conservatives have a lot of work left to do.

Big Labor’s pockets are deep, and any attempt at union reform means attacking the strength of people who get rich pushing class warfare for a living.

LaborUnionReport, in a terrific summary of Right-to-Work, had this to say about the proposed amendment to Ohio’s constitution:

This brings us back to Ohio.Ron Paul supporter and Tea Party consultant Chris Littleton is spearheading an effort to put Right-to-Work on Ohio’s November ballot. If successful in getting enough signatures to have the initiative placed on the ballot, Littleton and his compadres will likely do nothing more than ensure an Obama victory in Ohio.

With unions collecting more than $8 billion per year in union dues, no amount of money Littleton can raise will be enough to outspend the unions on the issue Right-to-Work—as evidenced by the recent fight over SB5 (Issue 2) in November.

In fact, union bosses and Democrats are likely hoping for Littleton to get enough signatures to put Right-to-Work on the ballot. [Don’t be too surprised if unions, either directly or indirectly through third-party operatives, quietly encourage people to sign the petitions.] Once Right-to-Work is on the ballot, unions can turn Ohio into World War IV (again).

Regardless of the amount of money Littleton and his associates may make from putting Right-to-Work on Ohio’s ballot, his efforts put the rest of the nation at risk of seeing Barack Obama win Ohio and, as a result, likely re-election. This is something that, hopefully, even Littleton’s presidential pick, Ron Paul, would see the practical ramifications of avoiding if it meant putting Obama back in the White House for four more years.

  • Even though Ron Paul has been cagey on stating he would not run as a third-party candidate, his son, Rand Paul, has stated that it would be impractical, knowing that it would ensure an Obama victory. Hopefully, his Ohio supporters are as practical in that regard when it comes to placing Right-to-Work on November’s Ohio ballot.

As the saying goes: “Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” Or, in the case of Ohio, another way to put this is: Forego the battle for now, if it helps you win the war later.

With the nation nearing $16 trillion in debt and owing $117 trillion in unfunded liabilities, despite the legislature in Indiana winning Right to Work, putting a Right-to-Work initiative in Ohio is not worth the risk. Not now. Not this year.

I’ve got no beef with Chris Littleton. The 1851 Center and the Ohio Liberty Council do good work, as brilliantly demonstrated by the success of the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment last November. I don’t expect many people to care about my opinion, but I will not be signing a petition to get Right-to-Work on the 2012 ballot.

Before telling me what a spineless pushover I am, take a few minutes to review my work for Senate Bill 5.

Ohio Workers Keep Losing Thanks to Big Labor’s Win

In Wisconsin, Governor Walker’s public union reforms are pummeling the Big Labor narrative by saving taxpayer dollars and teachers’ jobs. Meanwhile, the professional class-warriors who get rich pushing “solidarity” force districts into layoffs by refusing to revisit unaffordable contracts.

After similar reforms failed in Ohio thanks to a smear campaign exceeding $30 million, Ohio’s public workers are enjoying the sort of union victory that’s often accompanied by a pink slip.

A month ago I shared stories from around the state of firings caused by the same union bosses who screeched against Governor Kasich’s “attack on workers.” To the surprise of neither of my website’s readers, this avoidable trend continues.

Voters who opposed reform have caused the very problems Big Labor insisted reform would create:

Marion Police say they are committed to answering the city’s 9-1-1 calls but come the [sic] January 1st, callers could see delays in response times.

That’s because the [sic] 15 officers are being cut from the department.  Another position is expected to be eliminated in 2012.

Emphasis mine. Delayed response times were one of the many unexplained evils that would have allegedly resulted from making public employees a little more accountable to the public.

In Lorain, millions in cuts plus millions borrowed from the state aren’t enough:

The cuts would be in addition to laying off 18 teachers and nine teachers’ aides, which was approved Wednesday night by board members and would save $1.5 million. The layoffs take effect Jan. 23.

In Wapakoneta, home of Neil Armstrong, the teachers’ union is preparing to strike over a pay freeze and increased benefit costs, although administrators and non-union staff have already taken a pay freeze:

The district, like many, has faced difficult financial times. It had $1.2 million of deficit spending last fiscal year and is projected to spend $1.6 million more than its annual revenue this year.

Shelli Jackson, the union’s “Labor Relations Consultant,” was paid $111,811 in member dues last year. An Ohio Education Association-orchestrated strike against a struggling district would be one small notch in her class warfare belt, and one giant kick in the pants for taxpayers.

The Gallia County Schools union has also threatened to strike if they’re asked to pay anything towards their insurance:

Gallia County Schools Superintendent Charla Evans told the board has made several offers they believe to be fair. She said the school system is spending more than it is taking in. The teachers and support staff have rejected both offers.

In Hancock County, the Van Buren Education Association threatened a strike when their school board voted to impose a final offer with inadequate raises:

That offer included a two-year contract that freezes teacher salaries this year, with a 1.12 percent raise in the 2012-13 school year.

Teachers who are on the single health care plan are also required to pay more toward benefits.

Threatening to strike when asked to pay slightly more towards insurance is a common public union tactic because it works. For Exhibit A in the National Education Association’s top-down mastery of class warfare, refer again to the results of the Ohio union reform campaign.

Exit survey: How un-frozen has your salary been over the past few years? When is the last time you heard a public employer suggest a pay cut? What do you expect will happen to teachers without seniority when local unions squeeze school boards into contracts they cannot afford?

Cross-posted at Big Government.

Union Bosses Win, Ohio Workers Get Fired

One month ago Ohio voted with its heart against reforms portrayed as an attack on public workers. Ohio, DC, and New York union bosses spent more than $30 million drenching the airwaves in images of sad firefighters, sad police officers, and evil Republicans, convincing voters to overlook a broken status quo.

A month later, how are local governments celebrating the union victory on Issue 2?

Middletown is laying off 9 firefighters, despite the city’s police and fire budgets both increasing by nearly 1/3 in the past decade. In Hamilton, a $5.9 million death tax haul will delay the inevitable:

Inflation coupled with new technology costs and the significant rises in health care costs have contributed to the rise in safety services budgets […]

The Hamilton fire union contract contains a minimum staffing clause, which means overtime if people are out sick or on vacation. When staffing dipped to 106 between 2008 and 2010, overtime was a significant factor in the fire budget increase, city officials have said.

Emphasis mine. Cleveland City School District is eliminating preschool, high school busing, and 75 security positions:

With labor costs making up the majority of school budgets, the district has sought to make up much of that ground through negotiations with unions representing Cleveland school employees. Negotiations with the teachers union have continued since March, with the district seeking significant pay concessions.

Westerville City School District is firing 62 support staff, cutting busing, and eliminating all sports:

Officials from the teachers union have said the plan also would cut about 175 teaching positions.

The proposed cuts follow a Nov. 8 levy defeat in which 61 percent of voters rejected a combined income-tax and property-tax request.

In Lancaster, where income- and property-tax issues also failed:

One of Lancaster’s three city firehouses was closed last month after the mayor laid off 13 firefighters to help balance the budget. The 68 firefighters remaining have predicted response times will increase in the city of about 37,000, but they could not say by how much.

In Trumbull County:

The state Controlling Board has approved an advance payment of more than $1.9 million to help the Liberty Township school district pay its bills.

The reforms in Issue 2 would’ve helped localities control health & pension costs, ended last-in-first-out layoffs, instituted merit pay, and equipped elected leaders with some flexibility at the expense of union bosses. Good thing we avoided that miserable fate!

The unions made this bed, and Ohio voters were gullible enough to climb into it. Or, as Obama confidante and millionaire AFL-CIO kingpin Richard Trumka boasted after the election:

Go in and make war on your employees rather than make jobs with your employees, and you do so at your own peril.

True to form, Trumka insists the problem is Governor Kasich’s refusal to embrace failed “stimulus” spending. Pay no attention to the dishonest class-warriors siphoning millions from government workers behind the curtain.

The sun will keep rising in the east, and union apologists will continue blaming local budget troubles on reduced state spending. It’s true that Governor Kasich cut spending to cover a deficit estimated at $8 billion when Governor Strickland left office. It’s also true that the Progressive solution is Obamanomics at the state level: out-of-control unions, bigger government, and higher taxes to pay for both.

Which has worked brilliantly to date.

Cross-posted at Big Government and Third Base Politics.

According to Sherrod, Union Reform is Unchristian

Sherrod Brown (D-OH) isn’t merely the most extreme Progressive in the U.S. Senate, he’s also a religious scholar. Week in and week out, Sherrod preaches the Gospel of Progressivism: Greater love hath no man than he who gives generously from his neighbor’s purse.

Sherrod delivered a stirring speech on the Senate floor during the smear campaign against public union reform in Ohio:

In order to meet the week’s quota, Sherrod was obligated to say government union reform goes “against workers on behalf of the richest people in our country.” Too invested to stop at his usual class warfare, Sherrod had the audacity to attack Governor Kasich, Governor Walker, and Governor Christie for failing to meet what he claims as a Catholic standard.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Sherrod’s sermon about “fairness, and equality, and egalitarianism” has nothing to do with any of these things – and everything to do with union power.

This clip only gets more outrageous with additional context: Sherrod Brown is an ardent supporter of government-funded abortion. Paraphrasing Sherrod, I’m not gonna judge his faith – but I’m appalled at my senator’s willingness to cite Catholic literature for a partisan attack on conservatives. A certain carpenter would have something to say about the blameless guy throwing the first stone.

I don’t recall adherence to the AFL-CIO line as part of my Methodist confirmation. My maternal grandparents’ Lutheran church has never mentioned unsustainable government spending as a moral obligation (though in fairness I’ve only been there for Christmas Eve services).

Help me out, Catholic readers: Does Sherrod have a point, or is this just another low in a career of union pandering?

Transcript of the above C-SPAN 2 clip:

SHERROD BROWN: The Bible talks a lot about poverty, and a lot about fairness, and equality, and egalitarianism, if you will, and for them to go against workers on behalf of the richest people in our country – and that’s really what they’re doing in the governor’s office in Columbus, in Madison, in, in Trenton and other places. It runs counter, at least to my faith; I’m not gonna judge their faith, they can – they worship what god they worship, and they read what scripture they read – but, when you look at what, what my faith means, and whether – I’m, I’m, as I say, I’m a Lutheran, I’m not a Catholic, but you look at Leo the 13th and, and, and what he said about what Catholicism means for workers and fairness, uh, you know it’s, it’s, it’s uh, point, match, whatever – point, set, match.

Cross-posted from 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.

Pre-Kasich Deficit Forecasts: The $2000 Club

In the union universe where We Are Ohio represents mainstream voters, there are two types of people: those who support limitless power for government union bosses, and evil fat-cats eager to throw Ohio schoolchildren off a cliff. Advocates of smaller government are shunned as racist yokels while the useless hipsters of Occupy Wall Street are heroes for standing up to the man.

Governor Kasich, elected last fall to get Ohio back on track after years of mismanagement, is the perfect recipient for union blame when it comes to local budget problems. He even worked for Lehman Brothers! The breathless protest signs write themselves.

However, reality in Ohio (as everywhere else) is cruel to the Progressive mindset. Check out the cost per citizen of these school districts’ projected 2015 deficits… based on forecasts submitted October 2010:

Cuyahoga Heights Local School District $3,388
Canal Winchester Local School District $3,139
Mogadore Local School District $2,708
Ottawa Hills Local School District $2,569
Pickerington Local School District $2,369
Spencerville Local School District $2,132
Olentangy Local School District $2,121
Lordstown Local School District $2,110
Licking Heights Local School District $2,021

Shortfalls projected in October 2010 weren’t limited to this list; out of just over 600 districts, 59 warned of deficits amounting to $1,000 or more for every resident. 260 districts estimated 2015 deficits amounting to $500 or more per resident. See the forecasts for your county here.

Also contrary to union talking points, local tax hikes were a regular feature of the status quo ante. This fall there are 1,081 local tax issues across the state. Last year there were 1,131. In 2006, there were 1,115. If We Are Ohio could be troubled to acknowledge public record, they would surely insist unions have nothing to do with tax increases. Pesky detail: increasing the cost of government is the stated purpose of government unions.

To draw attention away from their decades-long influence on skyrocketing government expenses, Ohio unions smear sensible reform (to which Democrats submitted zero amendments) as an “attack” on middle class workers (who unions do not represent). Before you vote on Issue 2, get the facts – and keep in mind that union bosses make a killing by setting public employees against the public.

Without Senate Bill 5, your elected school board wouldn’t have many options for dealing with budget problems: taxes would have to go up, teachers would be laid off, and services would be cut. With the reforms in Issue 2, taxpayers will regain a little leverage over union bosses who are happy to force layoffs while posturing about “solidarity.”

On Tuesday, November 8, vote Yes on Issue 2!