Friday, April 29, 2011

Soak the Rich: Patriotic Millionaires

When it comes to debt, the United States government is in deep. How can we afford the vast welfare state that makes America great? Senator Sherrod Brown and President Barack Obama have this bold idea...

The projected 2011 budget deficit is $1.62 trillion – with a T – if you believe the extremist anti-government crusaders in the White House Office of Management and Budget:

The Heritage Foundation’s 2011 Budget Chart Book has plenty more charts filled with “numbers” and “math” and every kind of capitalist propaganda. Dedicated Progressives should ignore the lot of it… but you knew that already!

A group we can trust is Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength. They are good millionaires, as proven by their lobbying for increased taxes. Unfortunately, since we’ve got a $1,620,000,000,000 hole in fiscal 2011 alone, the chubby-cats on the Patriotic Millionaires bandwagon won’t make much difference.

Consider this: in 2009, 7.8 million American households had a net worth of $1,000,000 or more. That’s a much broader target than the folks making a million in a single year, and it’s guaranteed to include families outside President Obama’s arbitrary definition of “wealthy.” Most are Americans who have worked and saved for decades and already pay thousands in federal income tax each year. Still, we could take a cool $100,000 from every millionaire household… and it would cover less than half this year’s deficit.

This won’t do. Not only would it produce too little revenue, 7.8 million households equals too many voters for Senator Brown and President Obama to alienate. That’s why a serious soaking of the rich requires serious fat-cats – like the CEOs taking home tens of millions a year and the S&P 500 corporations who employ them. We’ll get started next week!

Meanwhile, one thing about the Patriotic Millionaires hoopla confuses me. If you’re desperate to give the government more money, why not just do it? The United States Treasury has an online form for donations to reduce the public debt. If the Patriotic Millionaires stand by this proud message:


...then seriously, gang. Go wild.

Cross-posted at that hero.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Public Union Tail Wags Dog

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have no convincing arguments, but Ohio’s public unions also have no shortage of defenders. Let’s review…

In short, the self-styled champions of Ohio’s middle class who demand powerful public unions are the unions themselves and the political groups reliant on union cash. They are professional class-warriors who increase the cost of government for a living, blaming "the rich" for Ohio’s structural imbalance between revenue and spending.

They lack even a shadow of credibility.

Ohio Average Employment and Wages, 2009

Data (view source worksheet) from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and US Department of Labor.

Politicians excel at creating mechanisms whereby a privileged few are shielded from fiscal reality by an even more privileged fewer. Public unions are a textbook case of this, and no amount of posturing from the unions or their allies in the Ohio Democratic Party should obscure that fact. Union bosses capitalize on a market for demonizing markets, and get rich by prying money from the working people they claim to represent.

Make no mistake: the full alphabet soup of unions and their comrades want to raise Ohio’s taxes. That’s the “moderate” alternative to the sort of spending cuts Governor Kasich and the General Assembly have suggested. If you’re a union boss pulling down six figures – or a union member covered by Jurassic tenure protections – a tax increase would be a good deal. If you’re anyone else, the even more stifled business environment that would result should worry you far more than the unions’ hollow class warfare routine.

Cross-posted at that hero.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ken Blackwell appears to be inching closer to a Senate run

In the past week, we have seen more evidence that former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is seriously considering a run for the GOP nomination to take on Senator Sherrod Brown.

A few weeks ago, we reported on Blackwell's good performance in a couple of polls, winning both of them. And Ken also fared best in head-to-head matchups against Brown.
If the election for U.S. Senate was held today, and the only candidates running were Ken Blackwell and Sherrod Brown, for whom would you vote?

Blackwell 32.2%
Brown 45.0%
Undecided 22.8%

The results against Brown are not encouraging, but Sherrod can't be too comfortable sitting at 45%, either.

And in the same matchup against Brown, Tiberi and Mandel fared much worse than Blackwell, getting 20.8% and 21.4%, respectively.
Then, last week, we shared an email that we received from Senator Jim DeMint's PAC, that indicates that the well-funded, tea-party backed group would definitely be aiming to replace Sherrod Brown with a conservative candidate during this cycle.
I'm confident that a courageous, constitutional conservative can defeat Sherrod Brown, and I'm confident we will have one to support in this race. But we need to start banking resources now to defeat him.

Ohio is a swing state so winning won't be easy or cheap. Voters in the Buckeye State need to know what Sherrod Brown has been doing in Washington. They need to know that he routinely votes for more government at the expense of their jobs and their freedoms.
Last week, Roll Call told us that Ken Blackwell has already contacted DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund, and also the NRSC, about a 2012 race against Brown.
Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) has reached out to both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) operation to talk about a bid against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) as part of his continued interest in the race.

Encouraged by recent polls that show him leading the GOP field, Blackwell told Roll Call this week that he is still actively considering a bid against Brown — but it will be several weeks until he makes any kind of formal announcement about his intentions.
First, the SCF. There is no doubt in my mind that Ken Blackwell is a conservative that DeMint would endorse. He's correct on all of the right issues. He's unwaveringly pro-life. He's not just pro-2nd amendment, he's on the NRA Board. He's an unquestionable fiscal conservative, recently pushing for a balanced budget amendment.

The same can also be said of Josh Mandel, however, as I have discussed before. The SCF does make endorsements in primaries for open seats. But if it's between Mandel and Blackwell, I think they may hold off for a while. Endorsing one would mean campaigning against and using their resources against another solid conservative, a position I don't think they want to be in.

As far as the NRSC goes, I'd be surprised to see them endorse someone in the primary. They ended up with a lot of egg on their face after endorsing Charlie Crist, angering a lot of their base. They won't do that again anytime soon (I hope).

The third group in the mix is going to be the biggest hurdle for Ken Blackwell, and that's Ohio's GOP establishment. I'm telling you right now, they will be behind Josh Mandel. The relationship between the ORP and Ken Blackwell is cool, at best.
Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine told the Columbus Dispatch party leaders would be willing to discuss a Senate bid with Blackwell, but he questioned whether Blackwell could overcome his 2006 drubbing in the governor's race.

"This will be a tough election cycle, and he needs to show how 2012 will not be 2006," DeWine told the Dispatch.
Blackwell has responded to DeWine, and tweeted that indeed, 2012 is not 2006. He also reminds DeWine that he has already supported another candidate who lost big in 2006, namely, DeWine's own 2nd cousin, Mike DeWine. Mike DeWine is the very Senator who lost his seat to Sherrod Brown, getting drubbed at the polls just like Blackwell did.

If you aren't familiar with what Blackwell is referring to, Dave Yost entered the race for Attorney General long before Mike DeWine did. Once DeWine did enter the race, Yost mysteriously decided to run for Auditor instead. The ORP then gave their full endorsement to Yost and DeWine, even though there were still other candidates in the two races. Although they deny it, this was clearly orchestrated by the ORP. The fact that the two DeWines are related made it even more fishy. In the end, the GOP swept every statewide race, so perhaps all's well that ends well.

I've expressed the same concerns about Blackwell's loss in 2006, but he makes a good point. With lots of bad news out of Iraq, that was a wave election for Democrats. They took over the Senate and the House that year, plus won every statewide office except for Auditor. Blackwell also had another handicap with former GOP Governor Bob Taft hung around his neck, who finished his term with popularity somewhere in the 20s.

If Mike DeWine could come back from that loss to win statewide, why can't Ken Blackwell? He has certainly won statewide before. And if the ORP could get behind Mike DeWine after his 2006 pounding, why couldn't they get behind Ken Blackwell as well?

Ken says he will make an official announcement in May. Kevin Coughlin has also filed paperwork to enter the race, but realistically, this race would be between Blackwell and Mandel. The bad news is that that is one tough choice for an Ohio conservative to make. The good news is, that no matter who wins, our challenger to Sherrod Brown would definitely be somebody we can get excited about.

Follow Bytor on Twitter

Monday, April 25, 2011

Soak the Rich? I'm IN!

Earlier this month, fellow Miami alum Paul Ryan and his Path to Prosperity budget wrecked conservatism as I know it. Ryan wants to make America more competitive by renovating the welfare state and reducing taxes! This is a bad idea, because everyone knows America’s greatness is rooted in entitlement programs and progressive taxes on The Rich.

As every leftist reaction to Congressman Ryan’s plan proves, class warfare is a central component of today’s illiberal “liberalism,” and government redistribution a vital plank in the Democratic Party platform. If you’re poor, the government should decide what you deserve and see that you get it. If you’re rich, the government should decide what you need – and see that you don’t get more. Consider Senator Sherrod Brown’s whinging after voting for some measly spending cuts:

But as we take our next steps in reducing the deficit we must look at the entire budget and not just the small slice devoted to spending on programs like education and workforce development. And we must reject the proposal put forth by House Republicans that would cut Medicare to give extra tax cuts to millionaires.

It’d be one thing if Ohio’s shamefully stupid Democrat senator said things like this regularly, but he’s got company from a somewhat more powerful liberal named Barack:

There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. And I don’t think there’s anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. That’s not a vision of the America I know.

Mary Katharine Ham and David Burge (with later help from Bill Whittle) demolished the illusion that higher taxes on the rich will keep the nation’s entitlement programs humming, but math doesn’t deter Sherrod & Barry. Reuters columnist James Pethokoukis (among many, many others) trashed the president’s budget “framework,” and The Wall Street Journal explained again that it’s impossible to fund the welfare state by hiking taxes on the wealthy. No matter. If the welfare state cannot be beaten, it must be joined!

Were I still a capitalist swine, I’d say the Democrats who live by promising endless goodies will have to find the cash somewhere; either they’re too clueless to realize The Rich can’t cover the tab, or they’re lying through their teeth. Fortunately, my senator and president have cleared the dark fog of mathematics from my eyes: let’s find some fat-cats to soak!

This post marks the start of a series. To assist Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama in their re-election campaigns, I’ll be listing selfish companies and individuals who should be “encouraged” to better support America’s entitlement spending. With luck, this will be as effective as the help I offered Bob Etheridge in 2010!

Cross-posted at that hero.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kaptur and Fudge going on "hunger strike" over 1% spending cuts

Evidence that Democrats don't give a crap about the massive debt crisis this county has, part #324.

Remember the deal to cut $38 billion in spending from the FY 2011 budget? A cut of about 1% of total federal spending? Well, some of the spending hogs in Congress still think cutting even 1% is too much, including my representative, Marcy Kaptur, and Cleveland Congresswoman Marcia Fudge.
Former Dayton congressman and U.N. World Food Program Ambassador Tony Hall has been fasting since March 28 to protest proposed House of Representatives budget cuts that he says would disproportionately harm the poor.

Twenty-eight Democratic members of Congress, including Marcia Fudge of Warrensville Heights and Marcy Kaptur of Toledo, have agreed to join Hall in fasting for a day between now and Easter.

“I’m proud to stand with my colleagues here today, joining in this fast,” said Marcy Kaptur. “I fasted yesterday. I’m very proud of my colleagues.”

Unbelievable. What has to happen before people like this realize that we can't keep writing checks for TRILLIONS that we don't have? Maybe when our credit gets downgraded, they will see the light!

Oh wait...

Follow Bytor on Twitter

Chris Redfern's latest attack is just plane stupid

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman and Buckeye State Pirate Chris Redfern has opened his mouth again. And as usual, it had nothing to do with helping Ohioans or improving the state, just another pathetic attempt to twist the governor's every waking move into some lame political attack.

The Dayton Daily News came out with a silly hit piece about Kasich's increased use of the state planes.
Gov. John Kasich’s entourage for a 144-mile trip from Columbus to Cleveland last month was so large his office used two state-owned planes to transport the group, costing taxpayers $2,199.50.

In his first 81 days in office, the Republican Kasich used the Hawker-Beechcraft King Air planes for 16 in-state trips and four out-of-state treks at a total cost of $31,400. By comparison, former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland spent $31,849 on plane travel during his first 13 months in office.
Never missing an opportunity to put his diarrhea of the mouth on display, get a load of what Redfern says about the two planes owned by the state for its governors to use to travel around Ohio: The governor should stop using the planes to travel around Ohio.
“I think we ought to sell the damn planes,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said. “The governor loves privatization. He ought to drive down to Port Columbus Airport and fly coach like the rest of us.”

Ridiculous. The plane is there for the governor to do his job. Ohio is a large state. No matter who the governor is or what party they belong to, that's exactly what the planes are there for. For the governor to use in pursuit of the state's business.

Brian Tucker of Crain's Cleveland Business agrees.
The only people who care about this are those who intend to criticize Gov. Kasich for one reason or another. Frankly, I'm impressed with how much he has traveled the state for a variety of reasons. A governor should be visible to the people he governs, and if that means taking the state plane because of schedule demands — well, isn't that why we have them?

We should expect the news media — in their critical watchdog role — to blister the governor if he was jetting around the state for personal reasons, but that doesn't appear to be the case. But to write this story, and then let the state Democratic Party chair say something as useless and partisan as "He ought to drive down to Port Columbus Airport and fly coach like the rest of us" is nothing more than transparent political sniping.
Not only is it the stupid political hackery that we're used to from Redfern, it would actually cost the state more money if we followed his suggestion.

So it cost $2200 to fly the governor and a number of his staff to Cleveland. The DDN piece mentions that for this particual trip, the group was large enough that they used two planes. Since each plane can carry 10 passengers, lets conservatively assume that there were 10 people in the group total.

That comes out to $220 per person, round trip. That's a bargain, folks. Go do a search on a round trip commercial flight from Columbus to, er...Cleveland. They start at $800. And for all the traveling that a governor has to do, Redfern would have him sitting around in commercial airports for hours, several times a month? Yeah, that's an efficient use of the governor's time, not to mention his staff!

Finally, would Redfern have us believe that during Ted Strickland's entire 4 year term, he never traveled with the governor on the state plane? I don't have the actual data on this, but I would be shocked if Chris never did.

Tucker concludes his piece with this comparison between the two governors, and their attention to Northeast Ohio.
I only wish Ted Strickland would have used the planes a bit more and been in Northeast Ohio the way his successor has been. And, while I'm in the wishful mood, can't people stop trying to make political points in useless ways?

Irrespective of party, Ohio's governors should be visible to the electorate. They need to be talking to the people across this state, learning firsthand about the particular challenges facing them. We have state-owned planes to make productive use of any governor's time.

I hope they all follow Gov Kasich's lead in the future.
Ya know, judging by their underperformance in Cuyahoga County last November, I bet Ted Strickland and Chris Redfern secretly wish they had used those planes to visit Northeast Ohio more often, too.

Follow Bytor on Twitter

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lee Fisher still can't get a job. Anywhere. UPDATE: Hired!

Poor Lee Fisher.

After being destroyed by Rob Portman in November by 18 points, Lee has still been looking for a new job. First he wanted to be the Dean of the Law School at Cleveland State University. They didn't want him.

Next, he wanted the job of CEO of the Cleveland Public Schools.
Fisher was Ohio's lieutenant governor until he and Gov. Ted Strickland failed to win re-election in November. He recently was a finalist for dean of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, but CSU picked Craig Boise, a member of the law school faculty at DePaul University and a former Cleveland attorney.

Fisher could not be reached for comment but said in his application that he wants to spend the rest of his working life in education.

"Our city, our state, and our nation simply cannot succeed in the hyper-competitive global economy without a strong, accountable, and innovative urban public school system," he wrote.
Alas, Lee couldn't get that gig either.
A committee considering applicants to be the next chief executive of Cleveland schools has narrowed the list to nine, and former Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher did not make the cut.

The screening panel passed on Fisher, a Democrat,
and on Roderick Chu, who stepped down as chancellor of the state's higher-education system in 2006.
I wonder what caused the school board to reject Lee Fisher as a candidate for teaching our young children.

Could it be his difficulty with counting?
Yesterday, Lee Fisher tweeted the following...

50+ volunteers in Northland?

I see two volunteers.
And word from parade attendees is that both were wearing Ted Strickland shirts.

But even THAT isn't the worst part.

The two volunteers holding the banner apparently were so discouraged that they decided to finish things up early. Here they are folding up the Fisher banner while the parade is still going on!
Yes, that could certainly be a disqualifier. But, don't they know Lee Fisher is a movie star!?

Maybe Lee should have shown off his endorsements from fake presidents while he was Ted Strickland's, er... "Jobs Czar".
Martin Sheen, fake President, sent out a fundraising appeal today for Lee Fisher.

Sorta sweet, eh?

But there were two paragraphs that left me shaking my head. And laughing.

[click to enlarge]

Sheen's Dad worked for NCR. Yes, THAT NCR.

The same one that tucked tail and ran thanks to, in part, the "government tax structure" in Ohio versus Georgia.
Never mind. Not such a good idea. Maybe he should've entertained the board during his interview with his mad dancing skills. Everyone is glued to Dancing with the Stars these days, right?


Lee Fisher. Being rejected by his fellow Ohioans over and over again since 1994.

Maybe he should log onto Ohio's Jobs website and take a look.

UPDATE: Michael K. McIntyre of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has informed me that Lee finally landed somewhere.
Former Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher has signed on as CEO of CEOs for Cities, a national organization aimed at facilitating economic development in urban areas.


CEOs for cities was founded in 2001 by Paul Grogan, president of the Boston Foundation. Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Virginia Commonwealth University President Eugene Trani and Charles Ratner, board chairman of Forest City Enterprises are co-chairs of the organization.

Fisher said he's thrilled to join the Chicago-based organization because it is focused on helping cities to thrive and to improve opportunity, talent and leadership.

So there you go. I'm betting that we haven't had our last opportunity to vote against Lee. I wonder if he followed my advice on doing the dance. Yeah, that's what did it.

Follow Bytor on Twitter

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why SB5 is needed: Apples and oranges

For weeks, I've been making the point that collective bargaining privileges, (they aren't rights), for public-employee unions are completely different than for private-sector workers.

Why? Because unlike private-sector businesses, public employers (elected officials) have no skin in the game. It isn't their money they're dealing with. It's the public's money. The taxpayers.

They don't have to worry about making a profit, or worry about competition, or worry about making sure their business survives.  In the name of labor peace, or for the purpose of being reelected, public employers all too often make agreements that are not in the taxpayers' best interests.  They aren't coming to an agreement with the unions on a level playing field.  The unions have the advantage over the taxpayers, and they know it.

You also get instances where the elected officials are just plain incompetent, and end up agreeing to contracts that the taxpayers cannot afford. After all, being elected to a position of power requires far less talent and experience than getting to a position of such power in a private company. We only need to look at the current bumbling fool in the White House to realize that.

On Sunday, the Columbus Dispatch echoed these points brilliantly.
By narrowing the scope of what can be bargained and establishing limits on provisions such as sick leave and health care, Senate Bill 5 limits the ability of politicians to give away the store.
The problem lies in the nature of public-sector collective bargaining.

In private-sector labor negotiations, the two sides have adversarial interests that balance each other: Unions want the highest wages and best benefits possible, and management wants the highest profit possible. Unions need the company to profit and thrive; the company needs a competent, loyal and motivated work force. Each needs to accommodate the other.

In public-sector negotiations, unions similarly want the highest wages and benefits possible. Management wants ... to be reelected. Government doesn't have to make a profit, and it faces no danger of its customers turning to a competitor.
Further, they illustrate the ability of the unions to corrupt the process.
The ability of unions to pool members' donations to make political contributions, as well as to organize members as a campaign force, gives them influence over their bosses that no private-sector union ever dreamed of.

In 1975, the leader of a New York City council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) expressed it memorably: "We have the ability, in a sense, to elect our own boss."
Indeed, today's system in Ohio is a massive money laundering scheme in which the Democratic Party uses the unions to funnel huge amounts of taxpayer dollars into their own campaign accounts. The unions keep taking dues from their members to give to Democrats, while the Democrats keep rewarding them by ensuring that the laws are skewed to give the unions their power.

Go read the entire article, and then send it to your friends.  People need to be educated on this issue.  These are the facts of the debate, but the unions and Democrats will soon start airing commercials with non-sequiturs like "SB5 is an attack on the middle class".  They don't want people to learn the real facts of the issue, so that they can make an informed decision.  Their entire campaign will be based on emotion, and the notion that curbing some of these privileges will destroy people, even though SB5 will still leave them with privileges their private sector neighbors don't have.

Bytor on Twitter

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kasich wants to put state jobs website into overdrive

The governor wants to increase use of a valuable tool we have in Ohio to help people find jobs.

The state has a unique relationship with, but Governor Kasich doesn't think enough has been done to make jobseekers and employers aware of this tool.
The "tool" in this case is an employment clearinghouse website,, which is the fruit of a partnership between state government and that is entering its fourth year.

Ohio's relationship with employment search engine is made possible through a $2.5 million payment per year from the state to Monster using federal funds. In return, all employers in Ohio can post job openings and review all resumes in Monster's database at no cost.

Kasich said that only about 2,000 of Ohio's 200,000 employers have signed up to be members of the site...
So, yesterday, Kasich started a campaign to increase awareness about the site, including a relationship between the Federation of Independent Businesses in an attempt to get more Ohio small businesses using the site.
"This idea that you build it and they'll come is nonsense," Kasich said. "The situation here is, Ohio has the most unique relationship with Monster in the country. ... It was good that the state created this relationship, but the state has done nothing at all to promote this relationship."
Kasich's administration is changing that. Again, this administration immediately started working on a "jobs" agenda. The work they've done recently with Monster since taking office is no exception.
Lee Ramsayer, a senior vice president with Monster Government Solutions based in Washington who was at yesterday's event, said his company's relationship with Ohio is unique in the U.S.

He also said Monster's interaction with Ohio and the Kasich administration "in the last three months has probably equaled that of the last three years."
How long before Ted Strickland's people come out and start calling him a liar?

Bytor on Twitter

Ohio AFSCME - Solidarity for Suckers

I thought it might be interesting to make a chart depicting pay to American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) employees, as I did last week for the Ohio Education Association (OEA). Forgive me for noticing something of a trend in these union payroll… trends.

AFSCME members report to elected officials, are paid with tax dollars, and pay union dues for protection from the taxpayer (view Excel source). Most of the questions I asked about OEA compensation apply here as well: If Ohio’s public union members hang by a thread, why do union bosses take so much for themselves? If overpaid private industry entrepreneurs and investors are the root of Ohio’s fiscal troubles, why shouldn’t Ohio taxpayers be concerned about six-figure union salaries?

Ohio Average Pay, 2009

  • Private industry worker: $40,128
  • Government worker: $45,246 ($5,000 more than private industry)
  • AFSCME Council 8 employee: $57, 269 ($17,000 more than private industry)
  • AFSCME Local 11 employee: $67,625 ($27,000 more than private industry)
  • AFSCME Local 4 employee: $83,485 ($43,000 more than private industry)

Keep in mind, these characters pay themselves with money taken from the government workers they represent… and they don’t produce anything but tired class warfare propaganda.

2010 AFSCME Local 4 (Ohio Association of Public School Employees) Top 10

  • Joseph Rugola, Executive Director: $243,712.00
  • Gary Martin, Associate Director: $202,712.00
  • Charles Roginski, Regional Director: $161,885.00
  • Tom Drabick, Director of Legal Dept: $154,584.00
  • Randy Weston, Dir of Pol Action: $142,261.00
  • Lloyd Rains, Regional Director: $137,328.00
  • Steve Myers, Regional Director: $132,742.00
  • Anthony Vernell, Regional Director: $128,239.00
  • Harold Palmer, Regional Director: $127,831.00
  • Clyde Mauk, Regional Director: $125,855.00

2010 AFSCME Council 8 Top 10


As of publication the Department of Labor doesn’t list the 2010 report for AFSCME Local 11, which is why that trend line ends at 2009 on the chart.

For organizations solely dedicated to their members’ well-being, Ohio’s AFSCME affiliates throw money at most every leftist cause in the state. Council 8, Local 11, and Local 4 have given more than $4.5 million to Ohio Democrats since 2001. Progressive think-tanks are frequent recipients of member dues, too – in the past five years, $124,000 went to Policy Matters Ohio and $10,000 to Progress Ohio.

No one should be convinced by AFSCME’s claim to the moral high ground; least of all the public employees who keep their racket in the black.

Cross-posted at that hero.

Friday, April 15, 2011

DeMint sets his sights on Ohio

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint is chairman of the Senate Conservatives Fund. His PAC was enormously successful last cycle in propelling 5 genuine conservatives to victory in the US Senate.

Most noteable of them, in my opinion, is Marco Rubio from Florida. In the previous cycle, Florida's Senate race was for an open seat. The Republican establishment quickly threw its support behind FL Governor Charlie Crist. But early in the contest, SCF endorsed and supported Rubio, who was the former Speaker of the Florida House.

Early on, Crist crushed Rubio in the primary polls. But DeMint's endorsement brought attention and more importantly, donations to Rubio from around the country (including from yours truly). We all know the end result. Rubio ended up beating Crist in fundraising and eventually beating him for the GOP nomination and general election as well.

I, and all of SCF's donors and members, received an exciting email today. DeMint is targeting Sherrod Brown. He's bringing nationwide attention to this swing state with the most liberal Senator.
You may have heard of Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the most liberal Senator. He recently made national headlines when he compared those of us who oppose unchecked union power to Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

Now, Sherrod Brown is attacking those of us who oppose raising the debt limit without passage of the Balanced Budget Amendment. He said we "want to govern by ideology."

Our nation's debt is over $14 trillion and skyrocketing, but Sherrod Brown believes it's extreme to demand Congress balance its budget. What he fails to recognize is that stopping the debt is not a matter of ideology, it's a matter of national survival.
In my opinion, Josh Mandel is almost certain to be the GOP nominee, for several reasons.
  • It appears that he will be the first into the race. This will give him momentum.
  • Between Mandel and possible primary opponent Ken Blackwell, the Ohio Republican Party would almost certainly endorse Mandel. Blackwell is popular with Ohio's conservative base, but not the establishment. The ORP endorsement in a primary is a huge advantage.
  • Other popular GOPers that have been mentioned, like Jim Jordan, now appear not to be entering the race.
  • With his youth, energy and military service going for him, he has a level of excitement going for him now, that other potential candidates, like Mary Taylor or Kevin Coughlin, just can't match

Josh is conservative enough to earn SCF's full endorsement. With the news yesterday that he has hired the same fundraiser that DeMint uses, and this news update from DeMint's PAC coming just a day later, I'm beginning to suspect that DeMint has already reached out to Josh, or vice versa.
I'm confident that a courageous, constitutional conservative can defeat Sherrod Brown, and I'm confident we will have one to support in this race. But we need to start banking resources now to defeat him.

Ohio is a swing state so winning won't be easy or cheap. Voters in the Buckeye State need to know what Sherrod Brown has been doing in Washington. They need to know that he routinely votes for more government at the expense of their jobs and their freedoms.

That's why I'm writing to you today. We want to raise $500,000 to implement a program designed to educate Ohio voters about Sherrod Brown's reckless spending. Independent voters especially need to know how he's fighting against them at every turn.
We will need a lot of resources to take down Sherrod Brown. We already know that Josh is a terrific fundraiser and a tireless worker. If we also have nationwide conservatives pouring money into the race, I really like our chances of ridding ourselves of the Senate's most liberal member.

Bytor on Twitter

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yeah. Josh is in.

Though Josh Mandel still maintains that he has not made any official decisions yet, his actions are definitely broadcasting to the political world that he intends to take on Sherrod Brown for Senate in 2012.

A few weeks ago we talked about the buzz that was being created locally and nationally about a Mandel Senate run.

Then, last week, he formed a campaign committee to raise money for a race, while still remaining noncommital.
The filing does not mean Mandel — only five months removed from winning election to the treasurer's office — has decided to run for Senate, said Anthony Conchel, a spokesman for Mandel.

"It's still not a formal announcement of candidacy," Conchel said. "It is obviously a step."
Now, this week, Mandel has hired the same fundraiser that Senator Jim DeMint uses.
Anthony Conchel, Mandel's political spokesman, said Mandel's position hasn't changed: He's not made an official decision -- nor a final one.

But Laura Van Hove, whose consulting firm has helped such GOP stalwarts as South Carolina U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, sounds sure that her new client will remain a client.

"Josh Mandel is now being asked by conservatives across Ohio and throughout the country to take on the U.S. Senate's most liberal member, Sherrod Brown," she writes in a recent email to supporters. "Josh has never failed to answer the call to duty, and he will not start now."
Hmmm. Think he's running?

For all the mocking the Democrats did about Josh's poll numbers earlier, they sure seem to be taking him seriously now. The ODP has already put out a video criticizing Mandel for not serving a full term as Ohio Treasurer.

*sniff sniff*

Do you smell fear?

Bytor on Twitter

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More Paul Ryan please!

You've probably seen this already, but I'm posting it anyway.  The GOP needs to get Paul Ryan in front of the camera talking about the deficit issue as much as they can.  He knows it inside and out, can debate it with the other side coherently, and do it without appearing overly partisan.

Ryan is a genuine leader.  And I believe he genuinely wants to address this issue in a bipartisan manner.  Unfortunately, the President is still kicking the can down the road and not getting serious about the "most predictable financial disaster in the history of this country."


I honestly wish the Democrats would get serious about this issue.  Even though a successful plan that makes our entitlements solvent could propel Obama to a second term, which makes me cringe, I think its that important that we tackle this debt bomb.

The Democrats don't have anybody this serious about the issue, and certainly nobody who is willing to stand toe-to-toe with Ryan.  He is driving the issue right now.  Please listen, Mr. President.

Bytor on Twitter

Kasich keeps another major employer in Ohio. And the left isn't happy about it.

Another major Ohio company has decided to stay in Ohio after considering offers from multiple other states. Diebold, known most for making ATM machines, has several locations in the Akron/Canton area, but will now build a new world headquarters and consolidate most of those locations and employees.
Diebold today will announce plans to build a $100 million corporate campus and global headquarters in the Akron/Canton region. The company, based in Green, confirmed the deal Monday but would not say where it might build.

Diebold employs 1,900 people at five sites in Summit and Stark counties and 16,000 worldwide. It said it considered moving to North Carolina or Virginia, and at least one of those states made an offer before Ohio officials offered their own "compelling" package, the company said.
The state is offering $56 million in incentives for Diebold to remain in Ohio. This has some on the extreme left upset. Some folks actually sound angry that Diebold is keeping their 1900 jobs and building a new $100 million headquarters in Ohio. Check out some of these comments.
So they generated 2 something billion in 2010. The state gives them 56 lion in tax breaks. Corporate welfare at its finest. Can we elect someone in the next presidential race who is going to end this kinda and tax this knuckleheads like they should be getting taxed. You want to take your toys and leave town then fine here is a hefty bill. It make them think twice about pulling a stunt like this.
Idiotic. Why would a company leaving Ohio have to pay a "hefty bill"?  Other liberals are claiming, like they did about American Greetings, that Diebold wasn't going to leave.
The Canton Repository has new information about today’s Diebold announcement. One is that the move very likely will cost the City of Canton significant losses in municipal income tax receipts.

The second throws even further doubt if they were ever serious about moving out of Ohio in the first place:

The company told then-Governor Ted Strickland’s administration that “it was our strong preference not to leave.”
Wishful thinking. Of course it was their preference to stay. But sometimes you have to do whats best for your company. And Diebold did receive a serious package of incentives from another state. Consider being offered a job in another state making significantly more than you make now. You'd probably prefer to stay where you are, but it also might be better for your family to take the offer.

What they are really upset about, is that this happened under John Kasich's administration. They do not want any victories for him whatsoever, so they will attempt to discredit every one of them. They even suggest that Diebold got an offer from another state just to blackmail Ohio, and that they were never really going to leave.  Because, you know, major companies just don't leave Ohio for other states, do they?  It just doesn't happen, right liberals?

Which brings me to the eerie irony in this story. Guess who is Diebold's major competitor. NCR. The same NCR that used to have its headquarters here in Ohio. They moved to Georgia for greener pastures in 2009 during the "Turnaround" Ted Strickland administration.
The governor said he wanted to avoid a repeat of the situation where Diebold competitor NCR moved its headquarters from Dayton to Georgia in 2009 due in part to tax incentives offered by that state.

“We lost NCR because we weren’t even in the ball game. People were asleep at the wheel. We could not allow that to happen again,” Kasich said.

“If you don’t have an incentive package that works, if somebody else is outbidding you, you’re going to lose,” said Kasich, who added that North Carolina could offer the enticement of its Research Triangle, which includes top technology companies and universities. “When their main competitor has moved from this area or moved from the state of Ohio to Georgia, Diebold can’t afford to have a higher cost structure.”
Let's compare the two approaches. First, Ted Strickland. He basically hoped Diebold wouldn't move, and not much else.
Jacobsen said Diebold officials told the administration of then-governor Ted Strickland that the company was considering moving, but the company and the state could not agree on a package of incentives.
Now, John Kasich:
Kasich said a week after he was elected in November, he called Swidarski and said, “we’re going to do everything we can to keep you.”

The governor even offered to address Diebold’s board and make his pitch in person.

“Whatever you want me to do,” he said.
This past election was clearly about jobs. So, now we have a governor who is aggressively seeking and retaining high-paying jobs, instead of letting 400,000 of them disappear...and the left is complaining about it.  If he did NOT give them incentives to stay, and they left like NCR did, can you imagine what they would be saying then?  These people are so disingenuous.   Unreal.

Bytor on Twitter

Another Meme Bites the Dust

If you read comments on political stories at your local newspaper’s website, it doesn’t take long to recognize the same handful of right vs. left arguments popping up in every thread. Though paying much attention to these things would be ill-advised, one anti-Kasich talking point piqued my interest such that I submitted a public records request to the governor’s office.

It’s a simple criticism: Kasich pays his buddies too much at our expense! I’ve run across a few variations on this theme, most involving witty misspellings of the governor’s name. Given Ohio’s economy, Governor Kasich paying his staff more than Governor Strickland did would be fiscally imprudent and politically careless. Heck, I first ventured down the public union rabbit hole after learning that the unions’ anointed Secretary of State candidate was grossly overcompensating her administrative staff... so this complaint would resonate even with an awful conservative like me!

If it were true.

Governor Strickland

  • Staff: 79
  • Salary: $5,009,431
  • Salary w/benefits: $6,662,542

Governor Kasich (Current)

  • Staff: 67
  • Salary: $4,301,087
  • Salary w/benefits: $5,840,146

Governor Kasich (Planned)

  • Staff: 75 → 4 fewer than Strickland
  • Salary: $4,838,121 → $171,310 less than Strickland
  • Salary w/benefits: $6,434,701 → $227,841 less than Strickland
Cross-posted at that hero.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ohio Education Association Quiz

If you saw the chart I posted yesterday comparing Ohio Education Association (OEA) employee salaries with the rest of us suckers, I’ve got bad news… there’s a quiz.

Silver lining: today’s examination will be open-book.

Ohio Average Pay, 2005 -2010

Add up all OEA disbursements to employees from the union’s 2010 report, and the result is $22,602,960.

Divide by 235 OEA employees, and you get the average of $96,183 represented in the chart . The average Ohio teacher, meanwhile, was paid $55,958 in the 2009-2010 school year. So, based on the most current data, the average OEA employee is paid $40,225 more than the average Ohio teacher.

Divide the $22,602,960 paid to union employees by the report’s count of 128,815 members, and OEA employee pay amounts to $175 per member.

For good measure, remember the OEA gave $20,000 to Progress Ohio and $20,000 to Policy Matters Ohio in fiscal 2010.

Even if you’re a shameless union apologist, these numbers raise some questions:

  • Are teachers in Ohio underpaid?
  • If Ohio teachers are underpaid, why doesn’t the Ohio Education Association take less from teachers for their own salaries?
  • If Ohio teachers are underpaid, why does their union deserve compensation more than twice the state average?
  • If Ohio teachers are overpaid, why does the Ohio Education Association demand higher taxes on Ohio residents and businesses?
  • If the 116 OEA employees paid more than $100,000 in fiscal 2010 were compensated at market rate, what other employer would pay them anything near what they received from the OEA?
  • If the OEA lives and breathes “solidarity,” why are its employees paid so much more than its dues-paying members?
  • Is the OEA concerned about “income inequality,” a topic obsessed over by the OEA’s beneficiaries at Policy Matters Ohio and Progress Ohio?

Unfortunately there’s no score key, but feel free to answer in the comments. If you’re a Progressive, write directly onto your screen. New monitor purchases create jobs! While you’re at it, throw your computer from the roof. While you’re up there, rip off a few shingles. Jobs, jobs, everywhere!

Union figures are from the US Department of Labor. Average teacher pay is from the Ohio Department of Education. If you have a better explanation for the story these numbers tell, I’d love to hear it.

Cross-posted at that hero.

Teachers for Senate Bill 5

In the heated Senate Bill 5 debate, we certainly have heard from a lot of teachers.  Supporters of the law have been accused of "attacking teachers", which is, of course, ludicrous.

Being a dad, I work and communicate on a regular basis with my son's teachers.  My family has been very fortunate to have excellent teachers, who really do care about their kids.  I have enormous respect for them and the job that they do.

But that doesn't mean I believe they should have power over their employers, meaning the community, to dictate the terms of their employment.  Ohio's current collective bargaining laws give teachers and other government employees an upper hand over their employers, which takes control of the government away from the voters, and gives more of it to the union bosses.  That isn't right.

And believing that that isn't right, is not an attack on teachers, or an attack on the middle class.  The "attack" meme is a smokescreen being used by the Democrats and the unions to hide the real issues of this debate.

We should also remember that in most cases in Ohio, a teacher must join the union, because Ohio is not a right-to-work state. There are many teachers in Ohio who would choose not to join the union, if they had the choice.

There is also a professional non-union teacher organization out there. They support Senate Bill 5 and similar legislation in other states, like Wisconsin. These teachers get it.
But not everyone is joining the rally against SB-5. Earlier this week the Association of American Educators (a group of non-union teachers) issued the following statement:

“The fact that Senate Bill 5 will save over $1 billion a year is a testament to the years of out-of-control demands by the unions. This law should be of no surprise to the leadership who have been overreaching for too long. Clearly lawmakers and voters aren’t listening anymore to the overreaching mentality of the unions. If this is really about the children, as the teachers union claims, we need fiscal discipline and more efficient ways of running our schools, not insurmountable debt. Everyone wants to see educators paid fairly without the threat of layoffs. The union's over asking, overreaching model has created this problem, leaving legislators to take the heat when tasked with bailing out the sinking ship that is the state budget.”

AAE appears to be an organization that is actually dedicated to excellence in teaching, instead of being dedicated purely to political power, like the teachers unions are. Good for them. Its too bad most teachers in Ohio don't have the option of choosing AAE over the power-hungry unions.

Bytor on Twitter

Monday, April 11, 2011

Unions hiring "volunteers" to fight Senate Bill 5

The vaunted "grassroots volunteer machine" that Ohio Democrats supposedly have is proving once again to be questionable.
Remember when we were told how their GOTV "juggernaut" was going to propel Ted Strickland to reelection victory last November? Turned out to be a big dud, of course. They came up short of their goals by 100,000 votes in Cuyahoga County alone.

And most of the effort they did have wasn't even comprised of volunteers. Let me explain to you what the term "grassroots" means for Democrats.

Democrats lining up to volunteer?  Or to get paid?

They had to PAY people to help them get out the vote with "street money". (Yes, they actually call it that.) Recall this glorious scene, 2 days after the election, when police had to be called because hundreds of angry "volunteers" gathered outside ODP headquarters because they weren't being paid, or if they HAD been paid, they were given personal checks without account numbers that bounced. (Democrats spending money they don't have?  Perish the thought!)

So, to repeat, "grassroots support" to Democrats means having enough cash to go to the homeless shelters and pay the people there to go around knocking on doors. And they couldn't even get that right. Nice going there, Chris Redfern.

Now, with the SB5 referendum drive, they are at it again, boasting about the volunteer force they supposedly have.
The Ohio Democratic Party say Wednesday that it's working with Labor and other progressive groups to begin the Herculean task of collecting at least 231,149 signatures needed to bring this issue [the referendum of SB5] to the ballot.

"We are thrilled that we already have over 1,500 volunteers committed to circulating petitions to collect these signatures," ODP leader Chris Redfern said in an email.
They're working with labor alright. To hire more "grassroots". Check out the ads that are popping up on Craigslist.
Stop the Attacks on Working Families! (Columbus)

If you have read the news lately, you have seen that workers in Wisconsin have had their rights to bargain for decent pay and benefits stripped away. Now we are seeing similar attacks being waged on Ohio’s workforce. We need to stand up and fight back!

Working America, a Community Affiliate of the AFL-CIO, is accepting applications for field organizers. If you have ever dreamed of being part of the Labor Movement, this is your chance.
We are the fastest growing progressive organization in the country. Job Requirements

*A passion for social justice
*Excellent communication skills
*Strong work ethic
*High level of integrity
*The ability to work full-time, Monday through Friday 1:30 pm – 10:00 pm, with some weekends
The parts in bold would lead one to believe that this is a parody ad, but sadly, its real.  Also revealing is that the AFL-CIO doesn't even hide their socialist leanings in this ad, as they brag about being a "progressive" organization.  And when you see the term "social justice", you can consider it interchangeable with the term "redistribution of wealth."

The grassroots of Ohio's left. "Volunteering" for $11.22 an hour.

Bytor on Twitter

Ohio Education Association: Shared Sacrifice?

Wondering if the outrageous 2009 Ohio Education Association spending I covered in February was part of a trend? Consider the average OEA employee’s pay, stacked up against the averages for Ohio private industry workers, government employees, and teachers:

Ohio Annual Pay, 2005 - 2010

The data (aggregated here in a single Excel workbook) from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio Department of Education, and US Department of Labor paint a picture that belies the union’s class warfare routine. But hey, let’s play their game: while the OEA continues lobbying for higher taxes, think about where your income lands on the chart above.

As compensation for churning out leftist inanity and forcing school districts into promises they cannot keep, OEA employees were paid an average of $96,182.81 from 09/01/2009 to 08/31/2010. The Ohio Education Association’s fiscal 2010 report to the Department of Labor lists 235 employees – nearly half were paid in excess of $100,000. Flip through the report, and you’ll see big numbers for such dedicated spread-the-wealth agitators:

  • DOUG K CRAWFORD, LRC: $189,832.00
  • CECELIA M WELDON, LRC: $187,405.00
  • MICHAEL N MCEACHERN, LRC: $169,298.00
  • MARK E LINDER, LRC: $161,756.00
  • VENITA N SHOULDERS, LRC: $158,432.00
  • WILLIAM A OTTEN, LRC: $155,873.00
  • RODNEY E BIRD, LRC: $152,058.00
  • JEFFREY L KESTNER, LRC: $150,739.00

This list doesn’t include officers, but rest assured the president ($190,000), vice-president ($186,471), and secretary-treasurer ($180,310) won’t starve. The OEA also managed to scrape together $20,000 apiece for Progressive think-tanks Policy Matters Ohio and Progress Ohio (in addition to the more than $1.6 million blown on Democrats in the 2010 cycle). But you see, the OEA only wants Ohioans to pay more taxes for the children. Here’s what the union had to say upon passage of Senate Bill 5 from its House committee, in an email distributed to members:

As you know, this bill is a serious attack on the students you serve and the communities we live in.

And upon the House markup’s final approval in the Senate:

As you know, the bill is a clear attempt to gut the ability of educators, nurses, firefighters, police and all public employees to have a voice on the job. Senate Bill 5 does nothing to create jobs and instead gives politicians free reign to cut public education in Ohio.

The implication is that politicians may never cut spending, no matter how stifling the state’s tax environment or how bleak her budget. You’d think maybe a union representing educators would understand there aren’t enough private industry fat-cats to soak for the sort of government the OEA demands.

If teachers realize they can work with their peers, administrators, and school boards to improve the quality of public education without paying leftist organizers, the union loses. When the National Education Association’s state bosses dictate policy while using their members’ own money to keep teachers terrified of change, it’s no surprise the union comes out on top.

Cross-posted at that hero.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kasich, Destroyer of the Working Class

Alternate title: "Things I learned at the We Are Ohio rally."

This afternoon I took a brief trip downtown to the Senate Bill 5 referendum rally organized by We Are Ohio, a union group with similar goals, membership, and methods to OneOhio Now. What do they want? Taxes! Who will they take ‘em from? You!

I snapped some photos of signs while at the Statehouse, but there wasn’t much remarkable going on between my arrival ~1:00 and the end of the last speech around 2:30. Speakers railed against tax cuts for the rich, sang the virtues of unhindered collective bargaining, and rehashed all the weak talking points OneOhio Now, the AFSCME, and the OEA have been pushing for months.

Workers' rights, the ubiquitous Solidarity Fist, and a teacher with awful grammar. This shot has it all.

Organizers did a good job of wrangling the craziest sign-wielders, but that didn’t prevent the crowd response chant of "WE ARE OHIO" and the near-omnipresent Solidarity Fist posters from being a little creepy.

And Turnaround Ted showed up. Anyone care? ...Anyone?

A summary of what awaits us when Senate Bill 5 takes effect:

  • The dedicated leaders among Ohio’s teachers, firefighters, police, and other civil servants will vanish into thin air.
  • Seriously – vanish! Without unions taking a cut of their pay, workers are incapable of both communication and cooperation.
  • School boards and government officials will no longer be elected by Ohio voters. So, they’ll be free to unleash all that evil they’ve been storing up.
  • Favoritism and politics – which have no impact now! – will pounce onto Ohio’s public workers like helpless lambs.
  • Public employees will be unable to speak to local TV and newspaper reporters about the horrors they’re forced to endure.
  • Ohio might not go bankrupt. This is the first sign that taxpayers are doing something immoral.

Here’s the full gallery of pictures from this afternoon.

Cross-posted at that hero.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wait, shouldn't my union dues cover that?

You would think that with the millions and millions of dollars in dues that the public-sector unions extract from their members, they should easily be able to fund a referendum campaign to defeat Senate Bill 5. Right?

Apparently not.
Betting on an expensive referendum drive, opponents of Senate Bill 5 are turning to rank-and-file union members to help cover campaign costs predicted to reach $20 million.

At least three statewide labor organizations - the Ohio Education Association, the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police and the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters - are considering charging members extra fees to fund a ballot effort to repeal a GOP-backed bill signed by Gov. John Kasich last week that would limit collective-bargaining rights for state- and local-government employees.


In an email dated March 22 and obtained by The Dispatch, Ohio Education Association executive director Larry Wicks said teachers and other unionized school personnel might be charged a one-time assessment of $50 to generate more than $5 million to fight Senate Bill 5.
Wait a minute. Why do they need to charge their member extra fees? This NEA boss himself boasted about how much power they have because of all of the glorious dues they collect.

Hundreds of millions of dollars. Where did all that money go, that they need to suck more mandatory money from their members?

Oh wait. Now I remember. j.hart explained part of it quite well. Being a union boss is hard, so you need to pay them really, really well.
  • Joseph Rugola, OAPSE Executive Director: $216,939
  • Gary Martin, OAPSE Associate Director: $200,163
  • Charles Roginski, OAPSE Regional Director: $164,239
  • John Lyall, AFSCME Council 8 President: $155,482
  • Andy Douglas, OCSEA Executive Director: $151,392
  • Harold Mitchell, AFSCME Council 8 First Vice President: $148,265
  • Tom Drabick, OAPSE Director of Legal Department: $144,517
  • Lloyd Rains, OAPSE Regional Director: $140,238
  • R. Sean Grayson, AFSCME Council 8 General Counsel: $130,891
  • Steve Myers, OAPSE Regional Director: $128,741
Also, remember this? Union bosses can't be expected to provide their own transportation like almost everyone else, including their members, do. They work hard laundering the taxpayers money for Democrats campaign war chests, and need super luxorious motorcoaches to carry them around. Why look, they're roughing it again this week at the Westin Columbus.

I wonder how union members feel about being asked to pony up more money to the unions to do what they were supposedly doing with their standard dues.
In an email to Kasich, OEA member Connie Ash complained about the union deducting money from her check to fight Senate Bill 5.

"I am a fiscal conservative and belong to the tea party," Ash wrote. "I am appalled that the OEA feels they can commandeer funds from my paycheck without my approval."
Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said the OEA's possible $50 member assessment was a "perfect example of what's wrong with this broken system."
If I was forced to be part of a union, I would be wondering why they want to charge me more money, as well.

But that's just me.

Bytor on Twitter

Thursday, April 7, 2011



Remember the post about the Wisconsin Supreme Court election?

Turns outs a certain Wisconsin county election board reported the wrong numbers to the press, which shortchanged over 7000 votes.

Allahpundit says it best: The greatest press conference of all time.

Prosser, 68, was down by a mere 204 votes in the initial statewide vote count from Tuesday's election, and a recount was expected. But on Thursday, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said not all of her county's votes had been reported on Tuesday due to "human error." The revised numbers gave Prosser a boost of more than 7,000 votes.

Be sure to click the link to Hot Air above to find more hilarious links, like Michael Moore's reactions on Twitter. Gold, Jerry. Gold!

I wouldn't want to be a dog living in a public sector union household in Wisconsin tonight.

Bytor on Twitter

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Foreshadow to Ohio?

Yesterday there was an election in Wisconsin for one of the state's Supreme Court seats. Being an April election in an odd year, its normally not even a blip on the radar.

However, this year, the public sector unions have made it a national issue. They expect the new collective bargaining legislation to make it to the court, and started a massive campaign to mobilize their members to elect labor union loving liberal JoAnne Kloppenburg over the current Justice, David Prosser.

To give you an indication of how the turnout has increased for this one, yesterday there were almost 1.5 million votes cast. Last November's Senate race had 2.1 million votes.

So, it sounds like the unions were successful in mobilizing all those extra people to come out to the polls, and strike a blow against Scott Walker and his "extreme" new budget and CB restrictions, right? Prosser should be getting killed with all that union mobilization out to unseat him, right?

Not so much.
In a race still too close to call, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg took a paper-thin lead over Justice David Prosser in the state Supreme Court race early Wednesday, capping a race marked by massive voter turnout, Gov. Scott Walker's union bargaining plan, and record spending by outside interest groups.

As of 10:40 a.m., the Associated Press had results for all but 3 of the state's 3,630 precincts and Kloppenburg had taken a 224 vote lead after Prosser had been ahead most of the night by less than 1,000 votes.
This race is 50/50.

I don't think the unions were expecting this. This is a state where close to 100,000 people, mostly union members, converged on the capital to protest the curbs on collective bargaining for public employees. The conventional wisdom was that non-union households wouldn't care much about this issue and would stay home, allowing the union members to overwhelm the vote.

That didn't happen. Hundreds of thousands also came out to support Governor Walkers position. True, this election was not technically about the bill Walker signed, but everyone knows it was really a referendum on the issue, and not about the Supreme Court race at all.

Let's compare this to Ohio's probable referendum vote on Senate Bill 5. First, Wisconsin is arguably more liberal and more union friendly than Ohio.

Second, look at the number of people the unions were able to mobilize to protest in the state capitols. Close to 100,000 pro-union people massed in Madison to protest the new legislation there. Yet, when put to a public referendum, they only got 50% support.

Now look at Ohio. The largest pro-union crowd to assemble in Columbus was 12,000 people. Also, remember that Ohio's population is twice that of Wisconsin's. Based on those numbers, the pro-union fervor in Ohio isn't even close to that in Wisconsin.

So, in Ohio, the unions need to get to the same 50% that they did in bluer, friendlier to unions Wisconsin, where the "protest rate" per capita was 16 times higher than here?

If Chris Redfern and Ohio's public-sector unions think a November referendum on Senate Bill 5 will be a slam dunk, they might want to look at yesterday's results in Wisconsin, and think again.

Bytor on Twitter

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ted Strickland loses again, will not be DNC Chairman

Fox News has confirmed that Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz will be named the new chair of the Democratic National Committee, replacing former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine who announced plans Tuesday to run for the U.S. Senate.

"In selecting Debbie to lead our party, President Obama noted her tenacity, her strength, her fighting spirit, and her ability to overcome adversity," Vice President Joe Biden said in a letter announcing the new DNC chair. "President Obama expressed great admiration for her as a leader, and he was honored that she accepted this important challenge on behalf of the Democratic Party."

Apparently it was down to Ted and Debbie. Maybe Barry thought Ted was too timid.

Bytor on Twitter

Ryan delivers

THIS is what last November was all about.

America faces a debt crisis. And I don't use the word "crisis" lightly.

Make no mistake, both parties are responsible for where we are now. But the increase in spending since President Obama took office has made things much much worse.

Today, Congressman Paul Ryan releases the House budget proposal for FY 2012. (Note, this is for the budget starting in October of this year. The other budget battle is over the remaining FY 2011 budget, since Democrats never even passed one last year.)

What I love about Paul Ryan is that he is not afraid to engage in the adult conversation that we need have to about entitlements. Americans need to learn and understand, that if we don't reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we will never, ever balance the budget.

The GOP is calling the new proposal the "Path to Prosperity". Watch this terrific video.

A summary of the new budget:
- Cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the president's budget over the next 10 years
- Brings federal spending to below 20% of gross domestic product (GDP)
- Puts us on a path to actually begin paying down the national debt

From Ryan's editorial in the WSJ.
A study just released by the Heritage Center for Data Analysis projects that The Path to Prosperity will help create nearly one million new private-sector jobs next year, bring the unemployment rate down to 4% by 2015, and result in 2.5 million additional private-sector jobs in the last year of the decade. It spurs economic growth, with $1.5 trillion in additional real GDP over the decade. According to Heritage's analysis, it would result in $1.1 trillion in higher wages and an average of $1,000 in additional family income each year.

Spend some time getting to know this issue here. It is the major issue of our time.

Let's seriously pray the House GOP is committed to this. President Obama could guarantee his reelection next year by signing on, as well. Something tells me that won't happen, though.

Bytor on Twitter