If you see a report on the news of Governor Kasich sitting in almost empty room complaining and blustering about the Unions not showing up to work out a compromise to get state issue 2 off the ballot – it was all great theater – a lie but great theater. He refused to talk back in February when SB-5 was forced through. Contrary to his bluster it looks like the Republicans are divided not the unions.
Here is a clip from the Capital Blog of the Kasich photo-op Friday (8/19/11):
Like I noted earlier it was great theater – all lies but great theater. The “We Are Ohio” coalition sent the Governor a letter and issued a press release that said:
“We’re glad that Governor Kasich and the other politicians who passed SB 5 are finally admitting this is a flawed bill,” said Melissa Fazekas, spokeswoman for We Are Ohio. “Just like the bill was flawed this approach to a compromise is flawed as well. Our message is clear. These same politicians who passed this law could repeal it and not thwart the will of the people. They should either repeal the entire bill or support our efforts and encourage a no vote on Issue 2.”
The thing is the Governor and Republicans didn’t want to compromise back during debate on the bill. They forced the bill through without any input from the unions.
Back on February 28th on Bill Cunningham’s radio show on WLW:
Kasich: Bill, Bill, let me explain to you. I’m not going to let you put me in a position to say I don’t listen. I’ve listened. I’ve heard. I’ve made a decision, Bill … We spent a lot of time in Ohio, talk, talk, talk, talk, talking.
Cunningham: The Governor is done talking. you’re walking.
He walked away in February and forced SB-5 through and he could, if he was serious on a compromise, have the legislature repeal it now.
Problem is that while the leadership sees the train wreck coming in November, some Republicans are digging in. In Northwest Ohio, which except for Toledo, is red as red can get, State Rep. Sprague and State Senator Cliff Hite support the law as is.
Republicans passed the bill over the heated objections of unionized public employees and Democrats, and so the hot issue keeps getting hotter.
Now Kasich and top Republican lawmakers — not including Sprague and Hite — are offering to weaken the law.
Sprague said Republicans should stick to their guns. He is confident voters will decide to keep the collective bargaining limits.
“The people are very smart,” he said Thursday. “I think it should come to a vote of the people.”
Sprague said he meant no disrespect to Kasich.
“It’s good the governor is willing to sit down with labor leaders and work out a compromise,” Sprague said. “But I don’t see how that’s going to happen.”
The hard fact is, an expense for the taxpayer is income for public employee unions, Sprague said. Likewise, taxpayer savings would come out of the pockets of unionized employees.
“I don’t see any way you’re going to make public employee unions like this legislation, because ultimately they’re going to give up a lot of control and income they now have,” Sprague said.
Hite on Thursday also expressed confidence voters will choose to keep the limits on public employee unions. He also doubts whether Kasich will be able to work out a deal to get the repeal question off the ballot.
But earlier Thursday, he expressed support for such an effort.
“If we can be less divided on an issue and come up with an idea more people will support, I’m all for it,” Hite said.
Hite, who was appointed to the state senate this year, is a former high school football coach and teacher and in his last election as a state representative he was endorsed by the state teacher’s union.
What all this means is that the repeal is not a done deal. The Republicans will pull out all the stops and flood the state with corporate cash to drown out the voice of those of us who want the law repealed.
Vote NO on State Issue 2 on November 8th.