Back in the Spring, after Kasich had signed SB5, and after the rallies had ended, I think a lot of people had the same thought I did: are we going to be able to keep up this momentum and energy and engagement until November?
Last night, with a little over three weeks to go until election day, I got some clear evidence that we seem to be doing just that.
National FOP President Chuck Canterbury arrived in Ohio last night to kick off a 5 day tour of our state to help rally support for the defeat of Issue 2. And I had a few minutes to sit down with him at FOP lodge 9 before he spoke to local law enforcement officers and he had a lot to say about Ohio and beyond.
President Canterbury discussed the many other states, like Michigan and New Jersey, who are having their own big issues with law enforcement and public safety officer rights, and the safety issues this presents to the officers and to the public. But he made it quite clear that his focus, and the focus of the National FOP, in 2011 is Ohio.
“Ohio is THE Battleground state,” Said President Canterbury. “Ohio is our Top Priority.”
Canterbury made it clear that Ohio is ground zero in the battle against workers’ rights and he will be bringing FOP resources from around the county to Ohio to help defeat Issue 2. He will spend the next 5 days in Ohio promoting this message and getting law enforcement officers around the state fired up and ready to take down John Kasich’s signature legislative achievement.
I also noticed something else while I was waiting in the lobby of FOP lodge 9 for President Canterbury. As hundreds of Central Ohio law enforcement officers arrived to hear Canterbury speak, dozens of them stopped in the office asking for anti-Issue 2 yard signs. It turns out they had actually run out of the TEN THOUSAND SIGNS that had originally been ordered and were forced to order more.
Police officers aren’t exactly known for their political activism. They aren’t the kind of people who typically paste political bumper stickers on their cars or put signs in their yards. But this is exactly what is happening in Ohio now in response to Issue 2.
Many of these men and women are long time Republican voters. Many of them voted for Kasich. And now, as we approach election day in November, these officers, amazed at the deceitful, disrespectful and deceptive political propaganda Issue 2’s defenders are using to flood the airwaves and mailboxes, appear just as motivated as they were in the spring.
The fight is not over yet.
We still have weeks of hard work ahead of us if we intend to defeat this shameful, brazen attack on Ohio’s workers by Kasich and his cronies. As we all get geared up and ready for the final stretch in the fight to repeal Issue 2, I think Ohio’s law enforcement officers – with the help of the National FOP – can serve as a example for all of us on how we can – and will – do just that.