Labor has already won.

Thanks to John Kasich, the pro-SB 5 campaign cannot credibly say that SB 5 contains nothing but necessary reforms for Ohio.  Thanks to John Kasich, they can’t say the opposition to SB 5 is based entirely on “lies” by union bosses.

And thanks to John Kasich, the GOP is splintering before our very eyes.  Yes, I realize we saw the leader of the House and Senate stand with Kasich.  But think about this for a moment.

Let’s say you’re a Lynn Wachmann or John Adams true believer in SB 5 type.  You know, a crazy person  who cares more about the rights of fetuses than firefighters.

How do you feel about the legislative leadership publicly inviting labor to come to the table with them and negotiate a deal on SB 5?  Do you not remember how much Lynn flipped out over Kasich’s veto on the Lake Erie water bill?!?

Let say you’re from a more moderate wing of the party (or represent a swing district in Ohio) and your arm is still in the cast from all the twisting it got to get your vote.  Say, like spineless lying weasel Frank LaRose (who had three people associated with him insist that he doesn’t support SB 5… right before he voted for it.)  How do you feel after making the tough vote for this bill.  A vote that was politically difficult for you.  A vote that may cost you your political career only to see the very people who twisted your arm attempt to avoid political harm from that same vote by negotiating a last-minute compromise.

How does the Ohio GOP and Building a Better Ohio (wait, that’s redundant) raise money on Issue 2 while opening calling for a compromise?  We need SB 5… unless we can get labor to agree to a watered-down version instead.  That’s hardly a rallying message.

Go look at the front page for the We Are Ohio campaign.  It’s a fundraising solicitation.  Simple message.  The same conservatives who claim that the Democrats and labor cannot possibly win this election being a “Party of No” ironically forgot how John Boehner became Speaker.  (In fact, his biggest problem as Speaker was to get his own caucus to stop always being the Party of No.)

For a one-day p.r. stunt, John Kasich has weakened the foundation for Issue 2, created resent in his relationship with members of his own party in the legislature, and looks like a weak leader desperate to claw back a massive overreach by an ideological and naive politician.

What’s a Republican facing re-election next year going to expect the next time the Kasich Administration asks them to take a politically tough vote for them? Pinkie swear after I make this vote if the heat gets too much for you you’ll publicly admit it was avoidable?!

John Kasich can expect several f’ yous the next time he comes calling.  Good luck with that turnpike privatization now, pal.

They can deny all they want that this has nothing to do with the fact that Issue 2 looks like it’s going to be defeated, leading to SB 5’s repeal, but nobody is buying it.  Not when the difference between the repeal side has a TWENTY-FOUR point lead.

We’ve heard all sorts of crazy rumors shaking out today.  Mostly, that Building a Better Ohio’s fundraising has been shockingly poor.  We can’t confirm because Building a Better Ohio, by legal design, has organized itself to avoid having to report as regularly and as transparently as We Are Ohio… this from the same campaign that asserts unions oppose public transparency in labor negotiations.

Even in discussing a compromise, Kasich shows how weak his own commitment to the provisions of SB 5 are. Under SB 5, such negotiations are supposed to be transparent, right?  Under SB 5, who gets the final say when labor and the management in government can’t agree on the issues?  Voters.

Not even SB 5 says voters only get their say so long as they side with Kasich.  What amazes me in this coverage is the traditional media who seem to want to fault labor for having this referendum vote.  It’s like they just realized in the past two weeks that there was this referendum issue, even though labor warned about this very public political fight the moment SB 5 was done.  Kasich said, “Bring It” until he realized too late that it was already brought.

Today’s event is more about Kasich’s faceplant on SB 5.  Or how his ham-fisted attempt to appear “reasonable” is really being seen as a weak, beaten shell of man.  It has impact well beyond SB 5.  Kasich spent considerable political capital on SB 5.

Kasich political capital And for what?  The hope that a long-shot attempt to make labor look bad with a half-hearted public attempt to invite a compromise saves SB 5? That “plan,” if you call that only works if your base believes you never really meant to compromise and the moderate segment believes you did.  Was it worth it?  Kasich clearly thinks it’s not now.

But this was hardly third-dimensional chess.  We Are Ohio put Kasich right into checkmate by saying if the bill is repealed they’ll talk.  It’s hardly an unreasonable request, especially since most Ohioans want this bill repealed.  Wily E. Coyote had better designed traps than what Kasich attempted to lay in a p.r. move today.

And you can’t look at the recalls in Wisconsin and not see that Kasich sees move here.

There’s been a lot of talk about conservatives how the Wisconsin recalls were somehow a massive labor failure.  But two Republicans were recalled a year after the GOP showed massive successes in the State on essentially nothing more than voting to curtail collective bargaining rights.  The State Senate nearly flipped on nothing more than this issue.  Recalls are rarely successful, especially when it’s based on more than a person’s political vote.

Now, what the conservatives (and a lazy media) fail to acknowledge is that the Republican Party tried to do recall three Democratic State Senators in swing districts.  They targeted them for leaving the State to deny the Senate the quorum able to pass Walker’s anti-collective bargaining platform. 

How’d they do?  0-3.  They weren’t even close.  The Republicans said they would make the Senators who fled the State pay, labeled them essentially traitors to the State and their constituents.  Voters yawned and overwhelmingly voted to keep them in office.  Labor didn’t spend millions in Wisconsin in a vacuum.  There was another side equally spending millions.

Let’s also keep something else in perspective.  Opposition to SB 5 is still growing according to the most recent Quinnipiac Poll.  There’s no way Kasich did this unless Building a Better Ohio saw some horrible poll numbers for them.  Maybe a focus group expressed frustration with the Republicans refusal to try to reach a bipartisan compromise or something.  You would have expected, if you were a Republican, that the temperature would have cooled off by now.  Clearly, it hasn’t.

But this is like catching a guy in your home stealing your television.  With your gun in your hand and the click of the hammer pulled back, the thief looks up at you stunned he was caught.  He then offers you $50 for the television and then acts like you’re the prick if you don’t accept his offer.

Kasich thought he could become politically more powerful if he could just burn down the house of labor.  He used all his political capital as a new Governor as kindling.  Only problem is that he burned down his own house instead.  These mistakes sometimes happen to people who have more than one home.

  • Keep ’em coming, Modern….parts 4, 5 ,6…you’re making my day…Jim, Columbus

  • 1.3 million people signed the petition, and he wants to negotiate with ten of us? Eff that. We should show up to his little meeting en masse. See if he wants to negotiate then. 

  • not to be grammar police, but the your in “your the prick” should be you’re. Otherwise, great article! 

  • Anonymous


  • buckeyegirl

    Thanks for the great articles! Can’t decide which is my favorite sentence: “Not even SB 5 says voters only get their say so long as they side with Kasich.” or “These mistakes sometimes happen to people who have more than one home.” 

  • Anonymous

    Every time I see the presser video Kasich looks like he really doesn’t want to be there, like he is a little boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar

  • Anonymous

    LOVE this series of articles. Just one thing, I wouldn’t refer to Frank LaRose as “spineless”…he was a Special Forces soldier who served in combat. So he definitely doesn’t deserve to be called spineless.  Lying before  his crucial SB5 vote? sure. Obviously a rookie politician who thought he could be a rising star if he voted against his own supporters. Hope he learned from that.

     He marched in Labor Day parades last year before the election, even got the endorsement from a couple labor unions, my own included. Ironically so many government employees are veterans (due mainly to hiring preference points) and he is out here defending screwing them over. 

    But yeah, he’s not a chicken hawk weenie like most TEA party people, probably a nice person in real life too.

  • Anonymous

    I clearly meant political spineless.

  • Plunderbund is kicking so much ass tonight/today.

  • Annekarina

    Ah yes.  Reminds me of a song.   More recent.  ColdPlay. Hmm…Yes…”Vivi La Vida” !

    Be careful of those feet you step on, on your way up.  You got to pass ’em on your way down.

  • Daria

    Thank you, Plunderbund, for the amazing coverage of the events of SB5. Sometimes the good guys do win, as Kasich is learning in publicly humiliating ways. 

  • ThatDeborahGirl

    Oh lord, not the “nice guy” defense. I’ve learned that when white folks tell you someone is a “good guy” that’s the person you should be looking at next to kick you in the teeth. It’s hard to trust the judgment of a people who don’t understand the difference between a guy like Kasich and a guy like Strickland – and who would vote for either because they’re supposedly “nice guys” instead of jduging them by what they say and do.

    I guess I’m supposed to be over the fact that so many white folks turned on Strickland and voted for Kasich merely becaue they were pissed at Obama for not being the “magic negro” who solved all of America’s problems, but I’m not over it at all. I’ve been admonished by poster’s here that it’s “counterproductive” or “useless” to place blame; we should just be happy that we’re banding together now to fix it. But it seems to me that white folks are always willing to turn a blind eye to this kind of criticism and these comments are just meant to sweep this little bit of history under the rug: We’ve seen the light now, hallelujah!

    And I’ve shut up about it for a while now, but I see this “nice guy” bs as part and parcel of the racist BS that got us here in the first place. Let a guy have a white face and a good back story and suddenly white folks are scrambling to make him a hero. Give that same guy a black face and he’s nothing but an uppity you-know-what.

    So, I’m gonna say it because it needs to be said: we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place if so many people weren’t bigots. And a lot of peole who are SO pissed with Kasich now, voted for him. This needs to be said and white folks NEED to be reminded (just like black folks need to be reminded what happens when they don’t turn out to vote at all) what happens  when we vote by race and by who’s a “good guy”.

    So, I’d like to quantify the spinelessness and wishy-washyness that led to this fiasco in the first place. Especially now that we’ve seen what happens when we let someone “nice guy” their way into office.

    Placing a gun in someone’s hand doesn’t make them a hero. He came home, had a job to do and caved to the pressure to protect the people he said he would – no guns necessary.

    Seems to me, voting against his supporters’ best interest to boost his own political career is the very definition of spineless.

  • Madison County

    How about the way that We Are Ohio spokeswoman Melissa Fazekas stood and delivered in front of cameras with several reporters asking questions from all sides?  The contrast in visuals of the two press conferences was striking.

  • N. F.

    There are larger considerations at work in the GOP nothing but Right Wing world.  The GOP, et al. cannot afford either the dollar cost or the political cost of a full blown fight over SB-5

    It will be too expensive and draw down cash resources in times of lower contributions.  They want that cash to use against Obama , so avoiding that spending on an SB-5 fight now will enrich their efforts against Obama.

    Politically, they can’t afford to energize the Democrat base and forge a coalition aligned against the the GOP that might have a residual effect in the ’12 presidential election.

    Losing the SB-5 fight and strengthening the antipathy toward d the GOP right wing would be a financial and political disaster.  People- voters, might realize that ridding the system of these morons is a good idea.   The worst scenario is an expensive fight to keep SB-5 and a loss at the polls.  

    Of course the big questions are – will the anti-SB-5 groups hang tough or cave to save themselves the cash and stick together for the ’12 campaigns to take back Ohio and the U.S. Congress and keep the White House?

  • ummeli

    My modest proposal:Unions drop referendum on SB 5, agree to allow legislature to enact bill setting employees’ share health care at 15%, and a fixed pension contribution.

    In exchange the GOP repeals SB 5, and enshrines collective bargaining, including the right to collect fair share fees, into the state constitution.I won’t hold my breath.

  • ummeli

    My modest proposal:Unions drop referendum on SB 5, agree to allow legislature to enact bill setting employees’ share health care at 15%, and a fixed pension contribution.

    In exchange the GOP repeals SB 5, and enshrines collective bargaining, including the right to collect fair share fees, into the state constitution.I won’t hold my breath.

  • Modern Esquire

    Look I’m not belittling the guy’s military service, but just because you wore the uniform doesn’t make you immune from criticism or accusations that you’re politically a coward who toes the party line.  Ask President Kerry.

  • “Ask President Kerry”

    Man, that was good. 

  • Awesome, thanks as always. Glad someone reports the real news. We have to keep up the pressure. Fine with me that the rotten, greedy Prince John placed himself  into this corner.  He’s been listening to RW lies and liars way too much. He’s wrong and his party is wrong.

    Looks like he’s under our bus now. Time to run him and his friends over on the way to restoring the American Dream.

    Please beware of R’s bearing gifts. All they do is work for rich people, ONLY.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  I agree that you should keep them coming.  As much as it pains me to listen to Kasich’s voice, I find that I must go back and find those YouTube moments to remind myself that he cannot be trusted.

    By the way, I’ve noticed that some of the links to past articles at the Dispatch have suddenly disappeared (check out the link to the Dispatch for Plunderbund’s post of September 27, 2010). 

  • Annekarina

    He wouldn’t survive in a Vince Flynn novel either.  Flynn doesn’t like politicians and doesn’t make his heros politicians.  Ok ok that’s fiction….

  • Annekarina

    He wouldn’t survive in a Vince Flynn novel either.  Flynn doesn’t like politicians and doesn’t make his heros politicians.  Ok ok that’s fiction….

  • Annekarina

    Huh?  Jordon placed guns in his wife and his hands.  Does that make him a hero?

  • Annekarina

    Huh?  Jordon placed guns in his wife and his hands.  Does that make him a hero?

  • Anonymous

    I got ya, understood.  I agree, politically he is a rookie who was looking to get ahead by kissing some A. 

  • Anonymous

    Sorry I see that is exactly what you meant. Disregard my other comment. Carry on, keep it coming.  I heart P B.

  • Ouch. Lol. 

  • ThatDeborahGirl

    You did see that title of all these is “Repeal then Deal”.  Conservatives have no remaining “good faith” captial. No amount of carrot on a stick should amount to the liberals or labor making first concessions.

  • Pjsneemta

    For anyone who ever gets to a table to negotiate anything–pay attention here.  Know your tipping points.

    And if you’re a progressive, learn how political arrogance puts fuel on your opposition’s fire and thus burns down your own house.  Be wise, unlike Gov. John.  wah, wah, wah, wah.  (And definitely don’t go unscripted into a media session–my eleventh grade students know better.)

  • Leslie

    The ones with their hands in the cookie jar are the government unions, and the cookie jar is the taxpayer-base.

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