Seriously, if you still subscribe to the Columbus Dispatch, cancel your subscription. And then tell your friends and family member to do so as well. And when they ask them why you can point out the things I’m about to mention was in Sunday’s edition. Both, amazingly, involved Joe Hallett.
The first was a story about the economy in Ohio. Instead of presenting the economy as I had last week, the Dispatch continued with the “doom and gloom.” The only problem is, I don’t know where they got their numbers because they couldn’t be from where they claimed.
In July, the state ended its "horrible lengthy streak" of 172 consecutive months of job growth below the national average, according to George Zeller, a longtime Ohio economic-research analyst.
Only the Dispatch would write a story supposedly comparing the economy under Governor Strickland and his predecessors, but fail to point out that it was under Strickland that Ohio broke its fourteen-year long streak of below national average job growth. Which of course makes this next claim hard to believe:
Take jobs, widely viewed as the most-important indicator. Ohio gained 4,500 total jobs last year, the state’s first annual increase since 2005.
I checked the chart that accompanied the article. The Dispatch claims that their source for this is the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics by comparing the December 2009 to the preliminary December 2010 numbers. I mean, how did Ohio grow only 4,500 jobs if it ended its fourteen-year long streak in July of below national average jobs growth?
Well, the Dispatch is using the basis of employment as calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Current Employment Statistics” (CES), and not the broader measure known as the “Local Area Unemployment Statistics” (LAUS). According to the LAUS, over 73,000 more Ohioans are employed today than they were a year ago. The Dispatch just didn’t present the full picture.
On top of that, Hallet then penned an op-ed column that argued that the Ohio Democratic Party should abandoned its labor roots:
Limiting the power of public-employee unions is necessary, Kasich and other Republicans believe, to curb the salaries and pensions of government employees as part of the sweeping reforms needed to give Ohioans a government they are willing to afford. In the long run, some political observers believe, the Democratic Party would be better off if it were forced to wean itself from dependency on the unions.
Hallett then goes on to quote what a Democratic political pundit said about the party nationally as if to say the same applied to Ohio’s party. The Ohio Democratic Party already is a centrist party. We wouldn’t have won in 2006 if otherwise. In fact, one of the biggest sources of frustration with grassroots activists in the party is that the party is so centric. And yet, Hallett insists it should “move to the center” and abandon its pro-union roots.
Except, Hallett left out one key fact about the public union debate:
According to the recent Quinnipiac Poll, the Democratic Party’s position is one shared by a majority of Ohioans. Kasich’s position is only shared by a third. There’s a reason Governor Kasich never talked about eliminating or restricting the right of public employees to collectively bargain until after the campaign: his own polling must have shown how politically unpopular it is.
Joe Hallett just advocated that the Ohio Democratic Party abandon their position on the issue that a majority of Ohioans agree with them on in favor of a position the current Democratic position has a seventeen point advantage on!
As this poll shows, abandoned the right of collective bargaining isn’t a move to the center, but to the far right which only has a support of one-third of the electorate.
I think I like our chances sticking with the position supported by 51% of registered voters, thank you very much.