I missed this editorial in the normally conservative Canton Repository from a few days back. The Repository is one of the Ohio newspapers that endorsed Kasich. Here’s what they had to say on Tuesday:
Extreme bill invites extreme reaction
The last-minute changes are reason enough for both the committee and the full House to delay their votes. Here’s another reason: If the bill continues to look like union-busting instead of a response to Ohio’s budget troubles — by forbidding strikes by all Ohio public employees, for example — then look out for a backlash in November that could well put us back at square one.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll indicated that a strong majority of Ohioans surveyed (54 percent to 35 percent) oppose limits on “collective bargaining rights.” The more extreme the changes, and the less relevant they seem to balancing state and local budgets, the fewer Ohioans will support keeping the law.
Let’s tackle the real budget-busting issues here. Among them are pensions and the accumulated sick days and vacation days that can be cashed out at retirement at an employee’s highest wage.
Otherwise, if a repeal passes, then Ohio will have this many collective-bargaining reforms in place:
John Kasich and his fellow Republicans at the Statehouse have gone too far. They have a worthy idea, bringing improved balance to collective bargaining with public employees. The current process lacks sufficient flexibility for public officials, especially in trying financial times. Many of the provisions in legislation headed to the governor’s desk are smart and necessary. Unfortunately, Republicans couldn’t resist partisan excess, the House, in particular, adding elements that amount to kicking adversaries when they are down.
As the debate has evolved since February, it has become more apparent that non-safety workers should retain the right to strike, as part of achieving the correct balance, in light of restrictions unions would face. Yet the process hasn’t been kind to such deliberation, Republicans racing to meet an April deadline, ensuring that a ballot issue doesn’t intrude on the presidential election next year. All of it reflects an obvious problem from the start, the big hurry. Now add a collection of partisan cheap shots. Republicans had a chance to do the measured thing. They couldn’t contain themselves.
Everything about SB 5 was political in nature. We tried telling the media that. From how it was launched, to how passed, what was included in it, and the timetable it was under for passage, SB 5 was nothing more than a pure ideological political document. And yet, some in the media foolishly considered it to be “about the budget.” But now they can see.
With John Kasich waving SB 5 as a flag of victory and declaring he had “stripped” labor of power to his donors, finally, people realize that John Kasich wasn’t concerned about giving cities “tools” they needed. He just needed to remove the tools of his political opposition to ever challenge him or his party. That’s all this bill was ever about: let’s try to either neuter or bankrupt labor before 2012.
Except we’re not alone in that understanding anymore, Governor. Our numbers have grown. We’ll remember in November. We’ll get the job done.