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!

 

 
  • That was one hell of a dressing down! Not many critical thinkers over at Big Gubmint, eh? Just a bunch of sycophants.

  • Sloopyvue@yahoo.com

    Ouch! They took that one on the chin! Vote No on 2!!!

  • Anastasjoy

    Excuse me, but … Andrew Breitbart is calling someone “corrupt”? Seriously?

  • Anonymous

    The dip wads learned to lie from the best – John Kasich.  Now he is telling the faithful pirates that most of the money he gets from selling the turnpike will be spent in Northern Ohio – NOT LIKELY, Kasich! 
     
    I wonder if anyone has made a rubber Halloween mask of Kasich to scare little children. 
     
    These guys are all criminals and they all belong staked to the floor of the deepest dungeon cesspool in Ohio.
     
    By the way, have I told you that I don’t like Kasich?

  • For one, you are quoting lines from the big government piece that AREN’T THERE.  Fail 1 

    —Calling him pro-union mis-characterizes his work.

    Keefe flat out says in the video that they have an agenda, and it clearly is the same agenda as the unions.  Fail 2!

    —The calendar!

    Keefe’s opening paragraph refers to Kasich and changes in collective bargaining law.  He was clearly writing his piece in response to what would become SB5.  Fail 3!

  • Rescueinc1

    What an idiot! He is trying to get a grip on the Elitists “TIT” for a free ride like Jai Chabria! The Republicans, lead by Kasich, have an agenda that further separates the working poor from their rich socialites! Sick of disparity and attacks on my friends, family, and neighbors! It’s a HELL NO on issue 2 here! Keep up the factual reporting! Love this site…NO on issue 2!

  • eraser1998

    What is annoying is that they’re harping on Keefe’s statement that they wouldn’t publish a study that came out with results contrary to what the people funding it wanted, but they’re completely omitting his statement that they won’t manipulate the data to make it out to what the people funding it want…

    Do they REALLY think its any different at conservative think-tanks? They’ll only publish studies that support their conclusions – and at least for some of them, the studies they do publish are based on solid data.  American Enterprise Institute is NOT one of them based on how they’ve manipulated data in this 43% garbage study.
     

  • Google’s cached screenshot still shows the clearly false statement in
    the biggovernment.com post, 3BP’s cut and paste is still in the cached
    webpage, and theendtimesarehere.com’s cut and paste is still live.  That would be your first fail.

    Your second point has some merit – He is a professor voluntarily
    affiliated with a policy institute that, like all policy institutes, has
    an agenda, and EPI is decidedly pro-labor. Characterizing Keefe as pro-labor requires a jump in logic, but it’s a small one. It’s also true that labeling him as ‘pro-labor’ is an attempt to call his scientific objectivity into question. All in all not the cleanest tactic, but probably not out-of-bounds either.

    Your third point relies on your first point – The current version of the
    story does not accuse We Are Ohio and Keefe of collusion, so the
    calendar objection is now moot. The dishonest scrubbing of the website
    (view the correction regarding  “Team Wendy” in today’s post about BBO
    fundraising as an example of how websites with integrity handle their
    mistakes) may have made you misunderstand the objections posted here,
    unless you are fully aware of the deception and are just trying to
    further it.

    The smoking gun you now have is someone saying that if you pay for a
    study, you own it. You can’t buy the results you want, but if you don’t
    want to share the results when you get them, that’s your prerogative. If
    you think that every study that AEI or Heritage has been paid to do has
    seen the light of day, I’ve got a Kenyan birth certificate to sell
    you…

  • Google’s cached screenshot still shows the clearly false statement in
    the biggovernment.com post, 3BP’s cut and paste is still in the cached
    webpage, and theendtimesarehere.com’s cut and paste is still live.  That would be your first fail.

    Your second point has some merit – He is a professor voluntarily
    affiliated with a policy institute that, like all policy institutes, has
    an agenda, and EPI is decidedly pro-labor. Characterizing Keefe as pro-labor requires a jump in logic, but it’s a small one. It’s also true that labeling him as ‘pro-labor’ is an attempt to call his scientific objectivity into question. All in all not the cleanest tactic, but probably not out-of-bounds either.

    Your third point relies on your first point – The current version of the
    story does not accuse We Are Ohio and Keefe of collusion, so the
    calendar objection is now moot. The dishonest scrubbing of the website
    (view the correction regarding  “Team Wendy” in today’s post about BBO
    fundraising as an example of how websites with integrity handle their
    mistakes) may have made you misunderstand the objections posted here,
    unless you are fully aware of the deception and are just trying to
    further it.

    The smoking gun you now have is someone saying that if you pay for a
    study, you own it. You can’t buy the results you want, but if you don’t
    want to share the results when you get them, that’s your prerogative. If
    you think that every study that AEI or Heritage has been paid to do has
    seen the light of day, I’ve got a Kenyan birth certificate to sell
    you…

  • That isnt the line I’m referring to, bonobo.  Nowhere in the BG post is the line ”
    We Are Ohio’s entire campaign relies on a corrupt researcher”.

    In fact, nowhere in the BG post does the word “corrupt” appear.

    Yet, the PB post quotes the BG post as saying that.  It DOES say that on 3BP.  But he isn’t attributing the quote to 3BP.  He’s attributing it to Breitbart and BG.  Thus, his quotation is flat-out inaccurate.

    And nothing was scrubbed from the BG post.  You say “the current version of thestory does not accuse We Are Ohio and Keefe of collusion.”  The line you are referring to about possible collusion is still there, so I;m not sure what you are referring to there.

    Further, we are Ohio is nothing but the unions behind them.  Given Keefe’s obvious agenda, it is plausible that he wrote his “study” at the request of labor in response to happenings in Ohio.  And its clear he was directly responding to impending changes in CB law in Ohio, because he talks about it in his opening paragraph.

    At the very least, Keefe is obviously biased in favor of unions, and is eager to write “studies” that specifically provide conclusions that are favorable to the union arguments.

    EPI claims to be objective, and We Are Ohio treats them as if they are.  But Keefe has revealed them to be anything but objective.

  • Anonymous

    1 – Good catch on the title.  We were originally quoting a post from an obscure blog that few people would have heard of to the Breitbart link and overlooked changing the title.  The title has been corrected.  Thank you.

    2 – EPI does indeed have an “agenda” or mission and it is clearly spelled out on their website: 
    The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a non-profit, non-partisan think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden discussions about economic policy to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers. EPI believes every working person deserves a good job with fair pay, affordable health care, and retirement security.  To achieve this goal, EPI conducts research and analysis on the economic status of working America.  EPI proposes public policies that protect and improve the economic conditions of low- and middle-income workers and assesses policies with respect to how they affect those workers.

    I will concede that unions believe that “every working person deserves a good job with fair pay, affordable health care, and retirement security” and many of the other noble goals.  With this as your evidence, I think your claim that EPI and unions share similar goals is probably very strong.  Again, thank you for pointing this out.  

    3 – I sincerely doubt that Keefe’s 4 sentence opening paragraph took much time to write:

    “This paper investigates whether Ohio public employees are overpaid at the expense of Ohio taxpayers. The research is timely. Newly sworn-in Gov. John Kasich believes that public employees are overcompensated relative to private sector workers. He is promoting public employee pay cuts, changes in collective bargaining laws, major benefits reductions, and the elimination of interest arbitration for police and fire unions as key to reducing the Ohio’s budget deficit.”

    It is remarkable how closely this language resembles the opening to Keefe’s report about New Jersey published seven months earlier:

    “The research in this paper investigates whether New Jersey public employees are overpaid at the expense of New Jersey taxpayers. This research is timely. The governor and the editorial board of the New Jersey Star-Ledger, the state’s largest newspaper, claim that public workers earn substantially higher salaries than average workers in the private sector, and the gap in benefits is even wider. Consequently, they are promoting public employee pay freezes, benefits reductions, and major revisions to the rules of collective bargaining as the antidote to the overpayment blight.”

    As such, we’ll dispute your claim that Keefe wrote this in clear reference to Senate Bill 5, unless you can somehow prove that Jeffrey Keefe also has superior psychic ability, or that New Jersey coincidentally had a Senate Bill 5 too, and you were referring to THAT SB5 in your comments.

    Additionally, we notice you did not dispute the key facts surrounding the calendar, namely your erroneous claim that We Are Ohio commissioned the report.  Thank you for that rare display of honesty.

    Thank you on final time for reading Plunderbund and providing insightful comments.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    They showed their true colors when they “misled” the taxpayers with Ms Quinn’s 
    so called yes vote.  Kasich showed his true colors when he called the cop a idiot.
    Fabor touted that Mercer county has  no unions in it– well part of his territory is Preble County and guess what  they do have union members there ( they belong to my union)
    To bad the truth hasnt got legs –it would kick their shins.

  • Anonymous

    I like it when people from the “other side” post here for two reasons, I like to hear their opinions presented respectfully, not like the BABO posters who (but for a handful) sound like they really hate police, fire fighters and especially teachers!

    The other reason is they get some wisdom reading and scrutinizing these PB posts and maybe soften their stance a bit. 

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