Monday, June 14, 2010

A lot of give. A lot of take.

Unions gave a lot of cash to Ted Strickland in the last campaign finance report. In fact, nearly half of his entire take came from Party's, PACs and Unions.

Well, it's time for the Governor to use his office to give back.

Richard Murray spent 13 years as the head of an organization dedicated to helping trade unions get construction contracts.

Now, as Gov. Ted Strickland's pick to head the Ohio School Facilities Commission, Murray is helping unions more directly.

Last month, he unilaterally declared that only union workers will be used on a $37.1 million project to improve the campus shared by the Ohio School for the Deaf and the Ohio State School for the Blind in Columbus.


The agreement allows the state to also work directly with the unions, which Murray said offered him a higher level of comfort.

The safety argument is "a slap in the face to the majority of the construction companies that aren't union," said Mary Tebeau, president of the central Ohio chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors. The group represents nonunion companies.

"It's an excuse to give a nearly $40 million contract to union contractors, at the expense of the majority of workers in Ohio."


The School Facilities Commission board hired Murray on Gov. Ted Strickland's recommendation in September. From 1996 until then, Murray led the Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust, whose "primary mission is helping laborers' local unions and the contractors with whom they work acquire projects and jobs," according to the commission's website.

Strickland supporters may make the argument that this isn't Strickland's decision. But it became Strickland's decision when he recommended Murray. Turning a blind eye to the Governor's choice is willfully ignoring reality.

So now, once again, Strickland is abusing his office for political gain.

Anyone surprised?

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