Earlier today, I received a call from Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern. He told me on Monday Columbus Dispatch reporter Joe Vardon who reported on the “SB 5 compromise” story on Tuesday called him to ask him to respond to rumors that Kasich had reached out to Redfern at the Ohio Democratic Party about reaching a deal on Senate Bill 5.
M.E.: “And after you regained consciousness from laughing all the air out of your lungs, what did you tell him.”
An animated Redfern said it was categorically untrue that anyone had reached out to the Ohio Democratic Party to reach a deal, and if any would have approached him… well, let’s just say they’d get the Dick Cheney Wal Mart greeter treatment:
The next day the Dispatch reported the same story with the Ohio AFL-CIO replacing ODP. That’s how ridiculous this whole “SB 5 compromise” story has gotten.
Governor John Kasich has created a whole new industry in Ohio: Republican consultants specializing in failed attempts to get labor to reach a deal on SB 5 before voters get a chance to cast a ballot on Issue 2.
In reaction to the overwhelming response of last night’s story about Mike Curtin and Kurt Steiner and their role behind the Dispatch’s phony SB 5 “compromise” meme, we’ve heard from multiple sources that they weren’t the only ones. Former House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson and Chan Cochran have also reportedly reached out to Ohio’s labor union with trial balloons about reaching a last-minute compromise on Senate Bill 5 to avoid the need for a vote on Issue 2.
The ham handed way these attempts have been done is tragically laughable and shows just how desperate some are to make sure the people don’t get a vote on Issue 2 to repeal SB 5.
Chan Cochran is a former Rhodes press secretary and runs a public policy public relations consultancy company. He obviously took it on the chin economically when the Ohio Democrats stormed the statewide offices in 2006. In other words, there’s a reason these consultants are frantically trying to get a deal to avoid Issue #2… and it’s their pocketbook.
You see, there is absolutely no evidence, none, that any of these attempts to get a compromise is coming from Governor Kasich’s Administration. Instead, what we have is not unlike the situation in 2006 when the GOP legislative leadership told then gubernatorial candidate that they would pass a weaker legislative version of his TEL amendment if he would pull the TEL amendment off the ballot because the GOP legislators were getting blasted for the massive cuts to libraries and local governments Blackwell’s amendment would cause.
It’s political self-preservation time in GOP lobbyist land. After just spending four years in the wilderness economically, some of these folks believe that a campaign and vote on Issue 2 could set the GOP back for years. And when GOP political dominance in Ohio is a major assumption of your business plan, you’ll do crazy things to protect it. Like make unauthorized clandestine attempts to get labor to settle with John Kasich when “We Are Ohio” is sitting on a solid lead in the polls three months out.
When the people who making a living off of politics start taking matters in their own hands, this is a sign that Republicans have lost faith in the Building a Better Ohio to save Senate Bill 5 and avoid lasting damage to the Ohio Republican brand.
John Kasich ruined the Ohio GOP political in eight months as well as it took Bob Taft eight years, folks. Amazing.