This morning the press was called over to Riffe for a big, staged, Kasich event in which he tried to paint the unions as unwilling to compromise or bargain.
Kasich’s people set up big tables with name cards as though they were seriously ready for a meeting with union leaders that had been planned for months.
Kasich knew the unions weren’t going to show up. The whole event was nothing but a big theater production and everyone, including the press, knew this going in.
Still, the press did show up and, to be fair, they asked some good questions. Marc Kovac has videos of the whole thing up at Ohio Capital Blog. But I wanted to focus on one thing Kasich said in particular.
As soon as he gets the mic, Kasich says of the unions “I think frankly that they are pretty divided.”
Which is pretty damn funny considering he was talking a table full of empty chairs (photo from StopSB5inOhio)
The unions certainly weren’t divided in their response this morning.
And they their response hasn’t been divided either. According to the latest press release by We Are Ohio, they expect “total repeal prior to future discussions is needed due to the lack of trust resulting from the numerous political tricks these leaders played to pass Senate Bill 5.”
Joe Vardon of the Dispatch picked up on one of the other elements of Kasich’s big show this morning: that police and fire placards were “noticeably absent” from the empty table.
I just talked to Jim Gilbert, President of FOP Lodge #9 here in Columbus, and he reiterated his support for the repeal effort and called their claims bullshit, which is very similar to what he wrote online earlier today:
Let me be very clear … Law Enforcement, namely the FOP and firefighters are in this fight together with all public employees! The media stunt today having and having the Columbus Dispatch pathetically report “unions may be divided” is total crap!!! NO TO SB5/Issue 2…period!!!
Here’s the Kovac video of Kasich’s claim: