Ohio is about to tear itself apart. No matter which side wins the impending war over State Issue 2, the state will suffer deep and long-lasting wounds that will threaten its already fragile economy. At a minimum, labor-management relations will be set back years.The referendum to keep or reject Ohio Senate Bill 5, the collective-bargaining-reform effort, will become a historic study in a avoidable tragedy.That is why, while there still is time, the wiser and cooler heads in the opposing camps owe this state a serious effort to determine if compromise is possible. State law allows a campaign committee to withdraw an issue already qualified for the ballot, until 70 days before the election. This year, the deadline is Aug. 30.
No mention of compromise during the full year of conservative and media demonization of state workers and public and private-sector unions. No worries then about Ohio “tearing itself apart”. Strangely, now that it looks like Kasich’s law may go down to defeat, Kasich-promoting media outlets are all about compromise.
Everyone predicted labor-management relations would be set back years. Everyone knew the union-busting law was part of a national conservative strategy intended to silence labor’s political voice. Everyone knew the law had little or nothing to do with this state, or the people of this state. All they had to do was read it. All of these are facts that could have been reported honestly. Instead we got he said/she said garbage intended to protect Republicans and promote a conservative agenda.
Here’s the Cleveland contingent of Kasich’s media promoters, belatedly realizing that most of the people in this state don’t actually believe that cops, firemen and teachers are their mortal enemies, and begging Republicans to come up with a better strategy to sell this dog:
The repeal effort will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot as State Issue 2. Both public and private polls show a sizable majority in favor of repeal. But the lead isn’t yet insurmountable. Supporters of SB 5 have a message that will close the gap. Nevertheless, some astute Republicans here privately concede that their odds of prevailing are diminishing. In fact, some Kasich loyalists already are downplaying how a defeat on Issue 2 would impact the governor’s political standing — a telltale sign that they fear the worst.
My heart bleeds for Kasich’s media promoters, who have done their level best to protect their chosen Governor, but it’s a little late to rescue him. All they had to do was tell the truth. They enabled this lunacy.
Working on this is, for me, as much about beating national and state media figures who relentlessly promoted this coordinated campaign against middle class workers as it is about beating Kasich, the GOP and the Chamber of Commerce. I hope like hell they all go down together.