I wrote about how Mike Huckabee from Fox News is parachuting into Ohio to push Kasich’s union-busting law, and there was a great point raised in the comments:
How hard up is Kasich that he is calling in a celeb from Fox? Do you see any Ohio GOP heavies campaigning for this? Like…um…the last 2 Republican governors, Taft or Voinovich?
Good question. Where are the Ohio Republicans? Voinovich and Taft are missing, but, more importantly, sitting Republican members of the Ohio Congressional gang seem to be AWOL in the war on workers.
Here’s Sherrod Brown:
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown told members of the Fraternal Order of Police union that a “pretty small group of radicals” is attacking the collective bargaining abilities of public employees in Ohio and other parts of the country. Brown, speaking Monday morning at the FOP’s annual statewide meeting at the Memorial Civic Center, said that his senatorial office cannot be involved in the fight against Ohio Senate Bill 5. But he offered his personal support to help repeal the law through a referendum issue expected to be on a statewide ballot in the November election.
“What astounds me is the hostility I see in this state” for public employees, including state workers, teachers, police and firefighters,” said Brown.
Brown is right, of course, his office can’t be directly involved, No On Two is a non-partisan state issue, but he has an opinion and he offered his personal support.
And here’s Marcy Kaptur:
“In Ohio, we’re painfully aware of Wall Street abuses,” Kaptur said. “Right now, we’re standing up to the anti-worker agenda of a governor who came from Wall Street via Lehman Brothers.” She said, “Ohioans should fight back against Wall Street greed by defeating State Issue 2, which would limit the rights of teachers, firefighters, and police officers to participate in discussions with employers about wages and benefits in their respective professions through normal collective bargaining.”
I called Congressman Latta’s office and I was told it’s a state issue and they don’t know where he is on it. I called Senator Portman’s office and I was told it’s a state issue and they don’t know where he is on it.
Well, sure it’s a state issue, and the We Are Ohio folks have been very careful to keep it non-partisan, but it’s a huge issue in Ohio, and that’s where Latta and Portman have to go to get elected. Ohio. The state. Where we have state issues.
I know they can’t campaign for Governor Kasich’s anti-union law, although they certainly campaigned for Governor Kasich, but one would think they’d have an opinion on the multi-state conservative effort to destroy unions.
More tangibly, Republican efforts to decrease the influence of unions — while potentially worthwhile to their electoral prospects in the long-term — could contribute to a backlash in the near-term, making union members even more likely to vote Democratic and even more likely to turn out. If, for instance, the share of union households voting for Democrats was not 60 percent but closer to 70 percent, Republicans would have difficulty winning presidential elections for a couple of cycles until the number of union voters diminished further.
Could the (apparent) hesitancy to weigh in on this by Ohio Republican congressional leaders have anything to do with the fact that a lot of union households vote GOP?
I don’t remember all this polite reluctance to weigh in on a non-partisan state issue in 2004, when GOP leaders put a state issue on my ballot to amend the state constitution, ban same-sex marriage, codify bigotry in Ohio and drag former President Bush over the finish line.