Tag Archives: collective bargaining

Plunderbund catches Columbus Dispatch trying to make a deal for the GOP about SB-5

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Columbus Dispatch HQ in downtown ColumbusThe great Ohio political blog Plunderbund had a great post about some stories appearing in the Columbus Dispatch recently calling for a compromise between the state GOP and labor unions in order to remove Issue 2 from the ballot. Issue 2 is the referendum over Senate Bill 5 that stripped collective bargaining from public employees. It turns out that the Dispatch was closer to the issue than they let on.
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King Kasich censors press at budget plan press conference

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Found out today that Ohio Governor John Kasich is censoring any video or photos from his budget plan release press conference on Tuesday. The arrogance of this joker is ridiculous. I guess he doesn’t want any video record of what he presents that can be used against him later. You last saw this kind of secrecy in the administration of President George W Bush and has never been done at the state level. Kasich has also fallen in a recent poll and he’s only been in office three months.

Reporters have been told they will not be allowed to broadcast sound and images from the Tuesday release of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s budget plan.

Spokeswoman Connie Wehrkamp says journalists can bring only pens, notepads and tape recorders to the afternoon briefing, where Kasich is to announce the first details of his state spending blueprint for the next two years. She says videos and photos will be prohibited and the audio may not be used for anything but checking accuracy.

Gov. Kasich Forbids Broadcast of His Budget Plan

King Kasich’s day gets worse.

In his first two months as Governor, John Kasich has scored a lower approval rating than the last three Governors, including Bob Taft, at this point in their terms. Most telling in this first poll are the independents, who at this point, are decidedly against the Governor – disapproving 52% to 30%. Kasich receives even worse marks for his handling of the economy, picking up the approval of just 38% of those polled.

Buyer’s Remorse: New Poll Shows Voters Abandoning Kasich

Former Ohio teacher Cliff Hite votes to strip collective bargaining from teachers

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In politics some things go beyond just simple votes. A politician has to answer to their constituents, donors, and even the party they belong to. On Wednesday March 2nd, the political bill came due for Ohio State Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay). He owed a debt to the GOP and they got him to turn his back on his former colleagues in the public schools by voting for Senate Bill 5 that strips collective bargaining from public employees.

Hite was appointed to the 1st Senate District seat on February 1st.

On March 2nd he was suddenly appointed to the Insurance, Commerce and Labor committee that then voted to pass Senate Bill 5, which severely restricts collective bargaining for public employees, to the full Senate for a vote. Ironically the bill would affect public school teachers, Hite’s former profession. He also voted for final passage of the bill.

Before becoming elected as the representative for the 76th Ohio House District, Cliff was a teacher and coach for nearly 30 years. Originally beginning his career in Danville, Kentucky, after earning a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from The University of Kentucky, Cliff made his way back to his hometown of Findlay, Ohio where he retired from teaching and coaching at Findlay High School. During his coaching tenure, Cliff won eight league championships, coached three National Football League players, coached 22 First Team All-State football players and was selected Coach of the Year six times. Cliff remains the winningest head football coach at both Bryan and Findlay high schools.

About Clifford K. Hite

In fact in the 2010 election when he won reelection to the Ohio House he was endorsed by the Ohio Education Association.

I hope the pay back for the appointment was worth it. It was a steep price to take away the rights of union members and add jail time for striking. I’m sure he has all his Teacher pension paperwork in order so it didn’t matter to him turning his back on his former colleagues.

Walker Remorse – Union people who voted GOP have second thoughts

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In a recent post I asked how many union people in Wisconsin and Ohio voted against their interests and helped elect the cheap labor conservatives now trying to take away their collective bargaining rights. Looks like in Wisconsin we now know it was at least 17 points worth to the Democratic side.

The difference between how folks would vote now and how they voted in November can almost all be attributed to shifts within union households. Voters who are not part of union households have barely shifted at all- they report having voted for Walker by 7 points last fall and they still say they would vote for Walker by a 4 point margin. But in households where there is a union member voters now say they’d go for Barrett by a 31 point margin, up quite a bit from the 14 point advantage they report having given him in November.

It’s actually Republicans, more so than Democrats or independents, whose shifting away from Walker would allow Barrett to win a rematch if there was one today. Only 3% of the Republicans we surveyed said they voted for Barrett last fall but now 10% say they would if they could do it over again.

A big part of Scott Walker’s victory in November- and Ron Johnson’s as well- was Democratic voters sitting at home. Our final pre election poll in Wisconsin found that likely voters had supported Barack Obama by only 3 points in 2008, in contrast to his actual 14 point victory in the state. Those sleeping dogs aren’t lying any more though and when you combine the reinvigoration of the base with GOP union households trending back toward the Democrats, Walker seems to have severely hurt his party’s chances of building on their gains from 2010 next year.

Do over?

Governor Kasich wants balance? How bout major corporations pay their taxes.

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Ohio Governor John Kasich, a cheap labor conservative, said in a recent newspaper article that he wasn’t anti-union even as his buddies in the Ohio legislature consider a bill to strip public employees of their right to collective bargaining. He says he wants balance. Hey John, how about getting corporations in the state to pay their damn taxes. Instead of forcing working people to take up the funding slack get your business peeps to pay their fair share.

“I’m not anti-union,” Kasich said. “I think unions are an important part of the American fabric, but what we’re doing here is basically to start sticking up for taxpayers and private-sector workers who have made enormous sacrifices over the last decade.”

Kasich said that the collective-bargaining overhaul “is one piece of an overall reform agenda” to be largely revealed in his two-year state budget on March 15. The budget is designed “to stabilize the state so that we can have economic growth, job creation and entrepreneurship,” he said.

Kasich: ‘I’m not anti-union’

Of course he uses the go to GOP talking point by failing to acknowledge that state workers ARE taxpayers too. You know who hasn’t made any sacrifices over the last decade? Big business.

Indeed, as politicians are asking ordinary Americans to sacrifice their education, their health, their labor rights, and their wellbeing to tackle budget deficits, some of the world’s richest multinational corporations are getting away with shirking their responsibility and paying nothing. ThinkProgress has assembled a short but far from comprehensive list of these tax dodgers — corporations which have rigged the tax system to their advantage so they can reap huge profits and avoid paying taxes:

– BANK OF AMERICA: In 2009, Bank of America didn’t pay a single penny in federal income taxes, exploiting the tax code so as to avoid paying its fair share. “Oh, yeah, this happens all the time,” said Robert Willens, a tax accounting expert interviewed by McClatchy. “If you go out and try to make money and you don’t do it, why should the government pay you for your losses?” asked Bob McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice. The same year, the mega-bank’s top executives received pay “ranging from $6 million to nearly $30 million.”

– BOEING: Despite receiving billions of dollars from the federal government every single year in taxpayer subsidies from the U.S. government, Boeing didn’t “pay a dime of U.S. federal corporate income taxes” between 2008 and 2010.

– CITIGROUP: Citigroup’s deferred income taxes for the third quarter of 2010 amounted to a grand total of $0.00. At the same time, Citigroup has continued to pay its staff lavishly. “John Havens, the head of Citigroup’s investment bank, is expected to be the bank’s highest paid executive for the second year in a row, with a compensation package worth $9.5 million.”

– EXXON-MOBIL: The oil giant uses offshore subsidiaries in the Caribbean to avoid paying taxes in the United States. Although Exxon-Mobil paid $15 billion in taxes in 2009, not a penny of those taxes went to the American Treasury. This was the same year that the company overtook Wal-Mart in the Fortune 500. Meanwhile the total compensation of Exxon-Mobil’s CEO the same year was over $29,000,000.

– GENERAL ELECTRIC: In 2009, General Electric — the world’s largest corporation — filed more than 7,000 tax returns and still paid nothing to U.S. government. They managed to do this by a tax code that essentially subsidizes companies for losing profits and allows them to set up tax havens overseas. That same year GE CEO Jeffery Immelt — who recently scored a spot on a White House economic advisory board — “earned total compensation of $9.89 million.” In 2002, Immelt displayed his lack of economic patriotism, saying, “When I am talking to GE managers, I talk China, China, China, China, China….I am a nut on China. Outsourcing from China is going to grow to 5 billion.”

– WELLS FARGO: Despite being the fourth largest bank in the country, Wells Fargo was able to escape paying federal taxes by writing all of its losses off after its acquisition of Wachovia. Yet in 2009 the chief executive of Wells Fargo also saw his compensation “more than double” as he earned “a salary of $5.6 million paid in cash and stock and stock awards of more than $13 million.”

REPORT: You Have More Money In Your Wallet Than Bank Of America Pays In Federal Taxes

It is also curious that in the Dispatch article Kasich claims:

While he occasionally talks with his GOP counterparts, Kasich said “there is no coordinated effort here” to kill public-employee unions, which provide political and financial support overwhelmingly to Democrats.

But in the next paragraph says:

Kasich said he frequently talks with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and called him last week after Walker was duped by a blogger into believing he was talking by phone with billionaire David H. Koch, who, along with his brother, Charles, are benefactors to GOP campaigns and causes.

You mean to tell me that he would not talk “shop” with Walker at all?? Please. Breaking the public worker unions have been on the GOP agenda since the Reagan era and our recent election gave them the foot in the door to try it.