Ohio’s favorite reactionary crank from Mt. Lookout is twisting his toe into the starting blocks to try to enact a so-called ‘right-to-work’ law.
When state Rep. Thomas E. Brinkman, Jr. isn’t gamely designing to regulate the reproductive lives of Ohio women, he likes to hack for the anti-labor interests that have been trying to undermine and destroy unions since they first fought their way into existence.
In a letter to colleagues Wednesday, Brinkman asked for co-sponsors to private sector ‘right-to-work’ legislation he said he would soon be introducing.
He noted that neighboring states Michigan and Indiana have already served this hemlock to organized labor.
“And it is long overdue in Ohio,” Brinkman wrote. “This important bill will help make Ohio businesses more competitive and prosperous by eliminating forced union dues and memberships. No one should be forced to pay a union to get or keep a job.”
The conservative Franklin Center’s bullhorn Watchdog.org was kind enough in August to provide us some insight into the warped conservative thinking Brinkman is putting into this effort.
Apparently, Republicans in the legislature are content to let Ohio Gov. John Kasich ride out his non-committal “not on my agenda” and “no need to pick fights” attitude toward a ‘right-to-work’ law while he seeks our nation’s highest executive office.
The impatient Brinkman is now officially harshing Campaign Kasich’s mellow. From Watchdog:
“Since (2011), Michigan has become a right-to-work state,” Brinkman said. “So has Wisconsin and I know there’s been activity in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky. The landscape has changed in a positive way for a right-to-work bill. We have neighboring states that are doing it so I feel pretty good about it.” …
Brinkman doesn’t deny Kasich’s opposition is an issue, but compares that to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s position on a right-to-work bill.
“Snyder, up until less than 16 days before it passed, said it wasn’t on his agenda,” Brinkman said. “The switcheroo in Michigan was phenomenal. Changes happen quickly.”
I have to agree with Brinkman about his suspicion Kasich could quickly pull a Snyder-eque “switcheroo” on the issue. “Not on my agenda,” is as wormlike a political position as it gets.
Nevertheless, Matt Mayer, president of voodoo economics think tank Opportunity Ohio, thinks no bill is going to get out of committee.
“With Kasich getting stronger in the polls nationally, (legislators) don’t want to get crosswise to the guy who could become president, or vice president,” he said. “They’re thinking, ‘If I cross him, I know the way he works.’”
“The way he works…” Are you talking about retribution? Revenge? The hunched and cold shoulder? How very Presidential.
But with ‘right-to-work’ Scott Walker dropping out of the race, according to the Columbus Dispatch, “middle America appears wide open for John Kasich.”
Rah-rah-sis-boom-bah is, I believe, the Dispatch‘s intended subtext.
I must’ve watched a different CNN debate. Kasich took several significant steps backward during that one, and has seen a similar result now in the polls. I didn’t see a man of presidential or even vice-presidential stock in Kasich on that stage. I saw a shuffling, mouth-twitching, frustrated afterthought.
Unfortunately, whenever he’s freed from the burden of having to appear like some kind of decent human being, that shuffling, mouth-twitching afterthought could turn his frustration onto us with the old “switcheroo” on right-to-work.
With all those national microphones in Kasich’s face, it sure would be nice if he were pressed on it.
D.C. DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He is the Associate Editor of The Athens NEWS in Athens, Ohio. DeWitt can be found on Facebook and Twitter @DC_DeWitt.