Skip to comments.Ohio guards its rights
Posted on 11/09/2011 8:11:10 AM PST by pickrell
In the elections last night, Ohio voters decisively turned back "Ohio Senate Bill 5", which would have limited the power of the public service unions, and forced union members to pay a significant part of their own health care insurance premiums.
Granted it was not as much of a share as the Ohio taxpayer had to fork out for their own coverage, but compared to what the union members had been paying... it was an outrage.
The issue was settled by State Issue 2, which was a referendum on the Senate bill.
The unions can now celebrate a key win, given to them by two-thirds of Ohio voters. The flip side is that a stinging rebuke was handed to Governor John Kasich, in his attempts to reduce the exodus of Ohio jobs and businesses, and to those who backed his ideas about controlling costs.
This victory was made possible by a flurry of television ads, featuring individual policemen and firefighters warning that their ability as first responders to function effectively and to save lives, hinged on the power of the unions to "protect staffing levels. Such power is too important to be left to state bureaucrats."
The implication that was intended to be left was that those callous state government people will try to field fewer and fewer police and firemen, and that only the unions can maintain safe levels. And they found spokesmen for the commercials who could deliver that line with a straight, heroic face.
It was an effective campaign, and an ever-fickle Ohio electorate, originally well in favor of the bill, slid instead into the opposition camp. Clever campaign ads always pit the relative purses of each side against the other- in this case being 4 to 1 spending advantage by the unions.
In the final analysis, the power to control staffing levels, and hiring policy, both for the first line responders and their support staff, was not installed exclusively in those officials whose job it has been to do specifically that, and who are directly answerable to the Ohio voter every couple of years. With last night's victory, it again returns the true power instead to union bosses, who are answerable to no one.
The union dues collection department can again maintain indirectly, that if you wish to work a public service job in Ohio, you first hold your hat in hand and go see the union bosses.
Ohioans have long complained about the ever increasing costs of state government. And as Ohio voters, they were directly enabled to hold state officials responsible, through the election cycle, for inefficiency in government. It was a right due them as citizens, and a final check on the abuse of power. It was understandable, then, that until Kasich and a few hardy souls on the Republican side were put in power, that no state bureaucracy dared to actually do their jobs and stand up to the unions.
In a puzzling turn, then, last night voters effectively stripped themselves of this right, their only veto power, and have handed the real power to set personnel levels back to unaccountable bosses in closed rooms, who maintain a grip on how much more the tax base can be squeezed, each time.
The union bosses, of course, don't see it that way, and instead simply are fighting to retain their share of the pie.
And it is pretty good pie, right up until you suddenly realize that upper crust gets eaten also.
The only alternative now will be for Ohio, unless it wishes to emulate Greece, to bring balance back to the state budget by eliminating jobs and costs in the police and fire services. This has been the policy of the unions all along- to retain and guard the higher-paying, dues-payers, at the cost of shedding the newer and less connected hires.
The problem is that if the unions had changed policy and began openly advocating to the public what they had in mind privately, they might have gotten creamed. Instead their straw men in government, will again conveniently collect the blame for reductions in responder levels, while the unions can make a show of shaking their heads and tsk tsking about, "There they go again. See? If we hadn't won, it'd have been much worse!" Why not- the strategy has worked on a national level for several years.
Is it a Pyrric victory for the Unions, since Greece is an overt example playing out on the world stage, of the inevitable outcome and consequences of vested interests carefully keeping their own oxes from being gored, at the expense of everyone else?
Is it a mistake to assume that superior tactics always win out over rational strategy, once the front lines begin approaching home? Can you fool two-thirds of the people all of the time?
In the short term- No, no... and yes- until a collapse.
In the short term, folks willing to keep themselves warm can slowly strip the remaining boards from the inside of the barn, and pile them on the fire.
The problem is that as the boards are stripped away, the breeze increases, and boards must then be stripped off at an ever-increasing rate, just to maintain everyone's comfort. Until at some point the swaying of the barn, (having been long warned of by many of the critters inside,) increases to the point where even the bosses realize that the low hanging boards are now all gone, along with the stability they maintained. And that they will have to increasingly try to borrow wood from nearby barns.
Looking out through missing walls, increasing numbers of the barn's inhabitants can no longer deny and avoid seeing the also-stripped walls of barns nearby. And of frightened inhabitants peering out from inside those neighboring barns, and also wondering what they did wrong to find themselves in this position.
For the wind is increasing and the winter is upon us. Dangerous lines of pleaders are snaking out from each of the other plundered barns, and are snaking their way towards our barn. Who borrows from whom?
Yet the answer for many is not to consider the hard work and sacrifice of rebuilding the barn as it nears collapse.
It is instead to secure for themselves the choicest positions in the cosy middle of the herd.
The rest can fend for themselves. After all they should have formed their own unions, and grabbed what they could.
The future holds for Ohio the near certainty, now that realistic changes have lost to slick campaigning, as to what groups will get thrown into the snowstorm, and which other groups continue to enjoy their warmth, right up until the building collapses on top of them, shortly thereafter.
Like the Greeks, it will be hard to say who won.
Anybody know the Greek word for "No One"?
The commies outspent the repub group $24M to $7.6M.
All right the union pigs won. Let’s keep blindly supporting law enforcement conservatives! The law enforcement educated by the Left. The law enforcement that wants to lie to you and scare you through TV commercials about staffing cuts. Go ahead and support their unions you fools. Support these bullies who put in 20 years and retire at 40 with benefits you can only dream about. Support the bullies who shut down lemonade stands. Im so disgusted with this entire country
They won a skirmish, but they’re losing the war. Watch Europe. Pretty soon, there’s no money left in the public treasury for the liberals to loot. Their dependents still want their free stuff. Then, the bill comes due. I think we should really publicize these victories. The devil always comes calling to collect his bill. We just need to make sure that he presents the bill to the Democrats.
There are those, despite their spirited displays of patriotism, who will vote their state and their nation to ruin if it meant more money in THEIR pocket.
Ohio Senate Bill 5 will be now repealed because of the off year election turn out,
let the public sector lay offs begin.
Idiots all of them that voted yes.I am going to point out as soon as I hear anyone complain about the rise in fees and taxes....”what did you think was going to happen when SB5 was voted down?”
A “Yes” vote was the KEEP SB5. We lost.
I now realize that my city government does not work for me, they want to enslave me. The other voters gleefully succombed.....
Flat out, 180-degree lie. What will happen now is LAYOFFS -- very highly-paid goon employees, but FEWER OF THEM because that's all the budgets will cover -- which, on my planet anyway, means REDUCED staffing levels.
Of course, the union goons will simply respond, "That's not our fault. You should have raised taxes yet again."
Yes I know what can I say mind and hands were not cooperating.
Absolutely will happen.I figure anyone with less than 10 years in probably will be gone at the state level.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.