Issue 2 supporters are getting more desperate every day, but instead of limiting their attacks on public employees and unions, they are now attacking the author of an independent report that shows that Ohio’s public-sector and private-sector employees receive comparable amounts in compensation.  Naturally, Issue 2 supporters hate this data and would like to do nothing more than to refute its accuracy.  Since they have been unable to discredit the calculations, they are resorting to smear tactics against the author, Dr. Jeffery Keene, and We Are Ohio in a Hail-Mary attempt at scuttling the research.

We referenced Dr. Keene’s research in our post, 43% = Lie, noting that his study was the target of a report commissioned by the Ohio Business Roundtable (OBR) that has been the focal point of John Kasich’s campaign efforts against public workers over the last month.  Dr. Keefe concisely defended his own methodology and dismantled the report commissioned by the OBR.  No one has been able to respond to Keefe’s airtight rebuttal, so they must now accuse him and “the unions” of conspiring to commit a fraud on the Ohio public.

That’s right.  When they can’t dispute the facts, they simply resort to smear tactics.  Issue 2 supporters are claiming that We Are Ohio paid researcher Jeffrey Keefe to produce a report that provided the figures they wanted.

Here’s what they are saying:

From Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government:

 Ohio Union Group Relies on Questionable ‘Researcher’ for Voter Information [title corrected, see comments below]

We have highlighted the lies told by We Are Ohio over and over.  Now, it appears that there is strong evidence to suggest that they may have paid EPI to have Jeffrey Keefe write a study specifically to come to a conclusion that We Are Ohio asked for.

We Are Ohio’s entire campaign has been built on lying to Ohio voters about reasonable collective bargaining reforms. Now it is revealed that they have based their entire campaign on the shady questionable work of an obviously corrupt biased “researcher”. 

From the Great Ohio Perspective blog:

What’s more, when the study was released back in July, the spokesperson for We Are Ohio was planning on using the study as a way to show Ohioans “the truth.”  And she’s been touting it ever since.

Sorry to break it to you, Ms. Fazekas, but the truth isn’t something you can buy.

Certainly, everyone should be upset to see that Democrats and unions will stoop to such shameful levels, but conservative Ohioans should be furious.  Unions have courted their vote, and touted the handful of “conservatives” who support their cause, but utterly falsified information to achieve those endorsements.

Those like Mr. Keefe and the unions funding him have done nothing short of a disservice to the voting public of Ohio.  Ohio voters deserve better and should take serious issue with this news.

The originator of this manufactured story is the same radical right-wing blogger and amateur filmmaker, Chris Hartsock, who tried to smear Ed Schultz and Columbus firefighter Jack Reall, but instead gave us the video of Shannon Jones demonstrating her ignorance about her own creation.

The title of Hartsock’s confusing and slanderous post about Keefe on Breitbart’s Big Journalism?

Pro-Union Professor, Economic Policy Institute Appear to Collude: ‘If It’s Something You Don’t Want Published, We’ll Kill It’

We can narrow their main flaws down to two obvious errors.

  1. Jeffrey Keefe’s report studies the compensation of ALL public employees, not just union employees.  Calling him pro-union mis-characterizes his work.
  2. The calendar.

Jeffrey Keefe’s report, Are Ohio Public Employees Over-compensated?, was published on February 10, 2011, a mere 9 days after Senate Bill 5 was introduced without warning.  It is clearly absurd to believe that Ohio’s unions could organize and commission a study in 9 days, and an even more ridiculous premise that such a study could be research and published in 9 days.  And Issue 2 supporters believe that both of those were accomplished in the NINE DAY time span between Senate Bill 5’s introduction and the publication of Keefe’s report?

But they aren’t claiming “the unions” did it, they are stating that We Are Ohio facilitated and paid for this study.  We Are Ohio, the group that was formed to coordinate the efforts in fighting Senate Bill 5/Issue 2.

And therein lies the problem.

We Are Ohio did not yet exist on February 10.

We Are Ohio was officially created on March 18, 2011.  Unless Ohio’s Issue 2 opponents are funding a time-traveling DeLorean (likely the GOP’s next claim), there is no possible way that We Are Ohio could have had one shred of involvement in the creation of Keefe’s report.

But wait – there’s more!

For sake of argument, since that was too easy, let’s presume that the DeLorean does exist, and We Are Ohio spokesperson Melissa Fazekas was able to contact Keefe in the past to “buy” this report for Ohio.  Would you believe that we can even refute that?

Read Keefe’s report all the way through to the end and you can read his detailed explanation of the data sets he used and the methodology of the report.  Sure, it may be boring, but it isn’t original.  Keefe didn’t create this process in 2011 nor did he create it exclusively for Ohio.  In fact, Keefe has used this process for SEVEN other studies, for SEVEN additional states, starting with New Jersey, a study he published on July 30, 2010.

Ok, so to summarize.  Issue 2 supporters believe that We Are Ohio spokesperson Melissa Fazekas time-traveled in a DeLorean back to early 2010, with money from Ohio’s public employees, to contact a Rutgers University professor and hire him to develop a methodology to compare public and private employee compensation for use in a study for the state of New Jersey in June 2010, and again for the state of Michigan, both before applying the numbers in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.

And that, readers, is the story behind the Issue 2 supporters’ baseless accusations against Dr. Jeffrey Keefe and We Are Ohio.  It’s one thing to attack the opposition with fictional stories, but it’s incomprehensibly shameful that they now are trying to destroy the career of an innocent researcher for providing factual data PRIOR to our in-state battle over collective bargaining.

The facts keep failing them, so they keep turning to lies.  Over and over again.

 

Vote NO on Issue 2!

 

 

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