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.
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.
Although I am proud of the efforts in Wisconsin and here in Ohio to prevent the cheap labor conservatives from ending collective bargaining for public employees, I can’t help but wonder how many of those protesting voted for the people who are now wanting to cut their benefits.
Union members don’t all vote in one block even though Union leadership may support or endorse certain candidates.
Union voters responded; they just didn’t have quite the same level of response to the whole Democratic ticket. Lee Fisher got 55 percent of the union vote to Rob Portman’s 43 percent – and Portman heads to Washington. Meanwhile, Ted Strickland’s share of union support: 62 percent, to John Kasich’s 37 percent…. and that race is still too close to call. If Strickland does hold on to the governor’s mansion, he may have union voters to thank.
Exit Polls: Ohio voting patterns
It would be interesting to see how many of that 40% or so who voted GOP in 2010 were in the Statehouse this past week complaining about Kaisch’s attempt to end their collective bargaining. And it’s not like it was out of the blue. Kaisch pointed out he wanted to break public employee unions during the 2010 campaign.
One of these days I hope all people realize that if you vote against your best interests then you get what you deserve.