SB 5 Repeal In Ohio

I was on a conference call on repealing SB 5 recently.

SB 5 is the union-busting law promoted and signed by a former Fox News personality, Ohio Governor John Kasich. The repeal effort will be led by We Are Ohio, if you’d like to be a part of it.

Unions are holding training sessions to teach registered Ohio voters the proper process for circulating petitions. I’m going to a local AFL-CIO training session Tuesday evening.

Conservative ballot initiatives get all the attention, but these things can be used for good or evil. Former President Bush and the Republican Party put anti-marriage equality measures on state ballots in 2004. These were cynically designed to bring out a wave of voters who vehemently oppose certain people they don’t know marrying certain other people they don’t know. That was a huge victory for Republicans. I’m sure former President Bush looks back with pride on how he engineered a multistate strategy to codify discrimination into state law because the GOP couldn’t drag his sorry ass over the finish line without it. That example of bold principled conservatism lives on in the Ohio constitution, even today. It will be fun to point that out again and again as public opinion continues to shift toward marriage equality.

That’s Republicans, and while they’ve had their wins on ballot measures, don’t forget that Democrats and labor won big in 2006 with state ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage is still paying dividends for low-wage workers in Ohio.

A side benefit of the minimum wage fight in Ohio was we all got to watch (then) Senator Mike DeWine, who voted against an increase in the minimum wage 9 times in Congress, suddenly change his mind when he saw raising it polled at 80%.

DeWine lost the 2006 Senate race despite his last minute desperate conversion to populism, and Sherrod Brown won.

You never know how these things ripple.

36 replies
  1. 1
    Napoleon says:

    I’ll sign the petition. Do they plan to have offices where you can stop by and sign or do I just have to hope someone comes to my door or stops me in a parking lot?

    Good luck.

  2. 2
    Kay says:


    Cleveland is big enough where they should have “office hours” to sign, or that’s the plan. We won’t here because we’d need volunteers to staff, and we’d have to rent space.

  3. 3
    Legalize says:

    Can I assume that I can find an office in Cincy to go sign? To be clear, the repeal initiative is supposed to be on this November’s ballot?

  4. 4
    kay says:


    Yes and yes.

  5. 5
    Yutsano says:

    I just realized the big mistake Kasich made is not exempting the fire and police unions (IIRC). That just turned normal allies into natural enemies. Especially firefighters who are on two days and off four or five, depending on their contract. That’s a lotta down time to organize. Have you been looking into building some connections there Kay?

  6. 6
    Napoleon says:


    Maybe the 23 year old girl whose family lives next to me and who has a big SB5 with a slash through it on the back of her car can help me out. I personally could get several people to sign.

  7. 7
    kay says:


    That’s great. I went to a local meeting (next county over) of Democratic women, and it was all anyone talked about.

    It’s divisive within families, apparently. These are older women, at this particular (rural) meeting, so that was the big concern. How they had grown children at each other’s throats on Facebook over it. I heard story after story.

  8. 8
    MTiffany says:

    …don’t forget that Democrats and labor won big in 2006 with state ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage.

    Well if you don’t have the balls to take on Republicans over crumbling schools, underpaid teachers, and over-crowded classrooms, you might as well raise the minimum wage because that’s all most kids are ever going to earn once their ‘education’ is finished.

  9. 9
    Legalize says:

    Bingo. I know some firemen and policemen who have traditionally been rock-ribbed GOPers in the past. To a person – now that they are personally affected by Teabilly fuckery – they’re suddenly hippies marching in the streets.

    Funny how that works.

  10. 10
    kay says:


    I’ve thought about it, but here locally, police agencies have always been “on the other side”, politically, or that was my impression, because I talk to them a lot in my work.
    I did go to a rally where there were lots of off-duty cops and fireman in uniform, but that was 60 miles from here.

    I suppose I could reach out, but you fall into your assigned roles, you know? Maybe this is bitchy or ungenerous, but I’d like to see them move a little towards us first. I’m happy to have them, but do I have to bring them?

  11. 11
    kay says:


    you might as well raise the minimum wage because that’s all most kids are ever going to earn once their ‘education’ is finished.

    That’s a happy thought. I needed to hear that because here I was thinking raising the minimum wage solved everything.

    Thanks! I’ll get right on it.

  12. 12
    Amir_Khalid says:


    They’re on your side now. Isn’t that the important thing?

  13. 13
    kay says:


    I don’t know that they are, here.

  14. 14

    @kay: kay, you are awesome. Keep up the great work (and I’m not being snarky, either). Screw the haters.

  15. 15


    you might as well raise the minimum wage because that’s all most kids are ever going to earn once their ‘education’ is finished.

    So those jobs won’t still be there and someone won’t still be doing them? We can always get an illegal to do it I suppose and for less…

    oh wait, we do.

  16. 16
    artem1s says:


    the cops are pretty peeved about the ‘idiot’ quote to begin with and now the state legislature is trying to force bar and restaurant owners to allow any wacko with a gun to conceal/carry in a business that serves alcohol. fun times here in the Buckeye state OK Corral.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    the attacking of the police and firefighters was the mistake of KKKasich.

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MTiffany: Right. Because the obvious thing to do in a post like this where the FPer is obviously involved in efforts to fix some of what is wrong with the country is to attack her for not working on other things that are wrong with the country. Why don’t you go out and fix the schools since Kay is working on something else right now? It may not have been your intention, but that comment makes you look like a world class asshole.

  19. 19
    kay says:


    Firefighters are particularly good at protests, at it turns out. They sort of know drama and showmanship, in a way that perhaps we didn’t know :)

  20. 20
    Paul in KY says:

    @kay: I don’t know if you ever watched ‘Reno 911’, but one of the reocurring themes in the show was how cool the firefighters were & everything they did turned out right & the sheriffs hated the firefighters & vice versa.

  21. 21
    JCT says:

    @kay: They also have the advantage in that everyone likes firefighters while many folks are less than pleased with LEOs due to prior uh, interactions.

    In NYC, firefighters are nearly mythic. And I have to admit I like our local guys a ton.

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    Good luck with this, Kay and others. Keep us posted. Important work, and we’ll be watching, even if most of the “professional” media does not.

    All that nice organizing, just before a presidential election too.

    OT, but the NY Times just sent out this email alert:

    New York Times/CBS News Poll Finds Few Favorites as Republican Fight for President Gels

    1) This is not alert-worthy.

    2) Maybe it’s a small sign potential Republican voters are tiring of the clown car politics.

    Problem is they will still have the clown car House and Senate members, no matter how successful a “rebranding” they might pull off on the presidential candidate level.;emc=na

  23. 23
    NaveenM says:

    What GOPers around the country are hoping is that they take “bold” action, ramming these laws down people’s throats, and then wait for these things to become the new normal. Then opposition subsides because people don’t remember a time when things were better, or don’t know how things got so bad.

    And as white people become increasingly downward-mobile, the elite will always have the non-white population to blame for that downward mobility. And working-class white people in places like Ohio will buy it. That’s what former-Lehman-Brothers-managing-director-turned-governor John Kasich is expecting. And based on the past three decades, there’s no reason for him or other members of the conservative elite to expect otherwise.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    kay says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I haven’t watched. I know there’s this aura around firefighters, but I have to say, the whole bullhorn, huge flag, marching in uniform is very visually effective.

    The rally I went to had a (probably perfectly nice) folk singer doing union ballads with her guitar, but no one was too excited until the fireman started with the bullhorn.

  26. 26
    Joel says:


    best of luck.

  27. 27
    MTiffany says:

    @kay: Sorry, didn’t mean ‘you’ personally. Replace ‘you’ with ‘Democrats.’

  28. 28
    kay says:


    You’re fine. Of course it could have been “you” generically (that’s a construction I use all the time here, so should recognize).

    I overreacted and jumped on you, so I apologize.

  29. 29
    Paul in KY says:

    @kay: I’d have liked to have been there. Gob bless you & all the other people fighting for the working men & women.

  30. 30

    Good for you Kay, maybe we’ll get to see if Ohioans are majority cretins or not.

  31. 31

    […] In OHIO, News About How You Can Become Involved 21 Apr 2011 Author: rikyrah I found this at Balloon Juice: SB 5 Repeal In Ohio by KayI was on a conference call on repealing SB 5 recently.SB 5 is the […]

  32. 32
    Emerald says:

    Any chance of getting a referendum on the ballot to allow the recall of Ohio’s governor?

    Frankly, I think Kasich needs to be removed before 2012. The Rs stole a presidential election in Ohio once before, and not so long ago. You know they’ll try it again.

  33. 33
    alwhite says:

    not sure if you saw the results in Wisconsin. The unions and liberal groups put a lot of money into the campaign against the Walker puppet for supreme court justice. I donated money. How did all that anti-walker, pro-union, pro-people anger and activity work out for us?

    Yeah, Ill do what I can for this effort (recent job change cost me 10% of my income – what else is new) but please don’t tell me we are winning. Please don’t insult me by pretending we are.

  34. 34
    gwangung says:

    @alwhite: Annnnnndddddd…how did you get that from

    You never know how these things ripple.

  35. 35
    debbie says:

    This is going to be great fun to watch, especially when Kasich starts whining about how not cool all this is.

  36. 36

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