In today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer, Reggie Fields cites as an example of the support by Ohio’s cities of Governor-elect Kasich’s desire to see a major undercutting of public sector unions’ ability to negotiate under Ohio law the City of Middletown… which is about fifteen minutes from where I live.  Here’s what the Plain Dealer claimed:

The Middletown City Council recently passed a resolution asking the Ohio General Assembly to revise the state’s collective bargaining law.

City Councilman Josh Laubach, who authored the resolution, said the city had to dip into reserves to pay police and fire costs this year and is expecting a $2.5 million increase in safety personnel in 2011 despite adding no new positions, according to the Middletown Journal.

You know what else the Plain Dealer could have learned according to the Middletown Journal?

After being bombarded by more than 300 e-mails and 200 union members and supporters, City Council voted Tuesday to table a resolution urging state officials to change laws regarding collective bargaining.

Councilman Josh Laubach, who had introduced the proposal, cast the lone vote against tabling the matter.

Not only did the resolution not pass the City of Middletown, but the rest of the City Council voted to kill the resolution.

Councilman Laubach, the twenty-seven year old guy who introduced the resolution, was the only person who didn’t vote to kill the resolution.  A rookie city councilman who ran on cutting taxes and the number of Section 8 vouchers available in the city.  In other words, a political neophyte who was elected to office with little real world experience filled with conservative ideological talking points.

In thirteen years, the City of Middletown has only had four issues ever go to binding arbitration, and what is left out of this such arbitration exists as an alternative to striking.  Kasich has yet to articulate what he’s leaving unions as a vehicle to resolve disputes with management except “bend over.”

I seriously cannot believe that the Plain Dealer could make such a fundamental error and elevate a city council resolution, one that didn’t even pass, and cite it as an example of support for Kasich’s agenda.  I think the entire thing sounds like this was an incredibly scripted act of political theater that went according to plan until the rest of the Middletown City Council refused to go along.  The coincidences in timing is just too much to ignore, although Councilman Laubach has adamantly denied that he introduced his resolution to be anti-labor or for partisan reasons. 

[UPDATE:]  The Plain Dealer updated their story around 3:30 today to note that the city tabled the resolution.  That, of course, raises the question of what relevance does it have to Kasich except to show how unpopular Kasich’s rhetoric is.