Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The furor, and the truth, about the new "Yes on Issue 2" commercial

Building a Better Ohio released a new commercial today, and Ohio's unions and Democrats are having a full blown conniption fit over it. First, watch the ad "Life or Death" here:

So, why is "We Are Ohio" so hopping mad? Because this new ad uses footage from their OWN ad, "Zoey", which you can view here. Zoey's great grandmother is spliced into the new ad in support of Issue 2.

We Are Ohio is scrambling to keep the ad off the air, and of course, the loonies are throwing a fit over at Ohio moonbat headquarters.

I am not a lawyer, and I have no clue whether We Are Ohio has a legal case against the ad or not. And I suppose I can understand their outrage to some extent. But if you notice, nowhere does We Are Ohio dispute the CONTENT of the commercial.

The TRUTH that the new ad communicates very effectively is this: The reasonable reforms in Senate Bill 5 will prevent more firefighters from being laid off.

Want proof? Here's a classic case study of how unchecked union power actually led to firefighters being laid off in Ohio.
Need a real-life example? Look to Chillicothe.

In 2009, a binding arbitrator determined the average income in Ross County was a little over $25,000 and the county held a 13.8% unemployment rate. With that in mind, one would think Chillicothe would want to keep their budget belts tightened, but not the arbitrator. Instead, he awarded the safety forces union with pay increases of 3% for the next three years. This decision resulted in starting salaries being almost $10,000 more than the county average income. Additionally, another arbitrator awarded the police union with a 7% pension pick-up, meaning that the City had to “pick-up” 7% of the employees’ required contributions to their pensions.

How could the City of Chillicothe possibly pay for these cost increases without a tax hike?

The answer? They couldn’t. Because of increased costs, the City of Chillicothe had to ask voters for a 25% hike in their income taxes.
Notice what happened there? Who had the final say in the negotiations? Was it the city officials that the people elected? The city officials who have to answer to the voters at election time? No. It was a third party arbitrator, who answers to nobody! Shouldn't the voters have the final say? Most people would agree, (except the union bosses.)

Back to Chillicothe. That tax levy the city requested to pay for the union benefits that the arbitrator forced on them? The voters rejected it. Anyone want to take a guess what the city was forced to do then?

Worried about responding to fires and serious medical runs from a station with only two firefighters, Chillicothe is closing its second one in less than six months.

The city is closing Fire Station No. 3 on E. Main Street. Beginning Friday, only the headquarters station on Water Street downtown will be open around the clock.

"At times, we're down to two firefighters (at the closing station) doing a fire response," when three or four are needed to appropriately handle runs, said Fire Chief Bruce Vaughan.

The approach of vacation season and the layoffs of five firefighters last year make it impractical to keep the station open with adequate staffing, Vaughan said.

There is no doubt that Chillicothe would not have laid off those firefighters, had they had the tools that Senate Bill 5 gives them. Instead, the unions pushed for more and more, knowing that the city could not afford it. But they didn't care. They knew they had a chance to take more if the dispute went to an arbitrator. And that's exactly what happened.

Let's imagine that the city officials made the wrong call in the eyes of the voters. The voters get to kick them out of office on election day. But what happens to a third-party arbitrator when HE makes the wrong call? What mechanism do the voters have to correct the situation? NONE.

This is exactly how unions have the upper hand against the taxpayers in Ohio. And it is time to put a stop to it, and give the voters, the taxpayers, the final say.

The result in Chillicothe, is that they lost firefighters, and the city is now less safe. Don't let this keep happening to more and more cities and towns around Ohio. The Chillicothe case exposes the TRUTH. Voting YES on Issue 2 will SAVE the jobs of our brave firefighters, police and EMS personel.

You know, maybe its a good thing that "We Are Ohio" is raising such a fuss over this ad. The more people see it, and learn the truth, the better.

UPDATE: Chillicothe received a federal grant to rehire the laid off firefighters. This is good news for Chillecothe, but we obviously cannot not expect the feds to bail out every city that has to lay off safety forces due to increasing costs. Several firefighters lost their jobs for months due to an arbitrator's ruling and the voters rejection of higher taxes. Were it not for a fortunate grant from the feds, they would still be out of work.


  1. How does Chillicothe prove anything about Issue 2 unless you admit that Issue 2 will cut wages?

    It was WAGES, not health care benefits that caused Chillicothe's budget problems. Did you not read that? What does Issue 2 do about wages? According to Issue 2 supporters, nothing.

    You guys are grasping at straws here.

  2. I'm sure if We Are Ohio did an ad that suggested one of Better Ohio's endorsements supported them instead, this site would have no problem with it.

    Seriously, guys, have some credibility for once in your blog's life.

  3. Um, Bytor, your "real life" proof just went up in smoke. The layoffs in Chillicothe were avoided. The fire stations were reopened. None have closed.

    Maybe you shouldn't trust everything BetterOhio tells ya?

  4. The layoffs happened last fall Modern. The stations did close after the voters rejected the tax increase. And part of the problem was pension pickups forced on the city. It wasn't just a wage issue.

  5. Um, the layoffs DIDN'T happen last fall. Dispatch was still reporting about closing of Fire Station 3 as late as March of THIS YEAR. Station 3 is open.

    Firefighters kept their raises, no taxes were raised, and nobody ultimately lost their job.

    The story you quoted only mentioned wages, not pension pickups. So now you're changing your story, too?

    You FAILED.

    Do you always fact check your posts AFTER you write them?

  6. "The result in Chillicothe, is that they lost firefighters, and the city is now less safe."

    You had NO IDEA when you wrote this post that not a single Chillicothe firefighter was ultimately laid off.

    You defended Better Ohio's lying about that great-grandmother's stance on Issue 2 by repeating ANOTHER lie by BetterOhio without ever doing any fact checking.

    You took what they are spoonfeeding you hook, line, and sinker. Wrote a post taking it as gospel, and now are trying to spin because you're too embarassed to admit you didn't know what the heck you were writing.

  7. Did you read the Dispatch article, Modern? They were laid off. For months!

    They were later rehired because the city got a federal grant, but thats not going to happen in every case. They got lucky.

    They didnt need to be laid off in the first place.

  8. Oh I see, they were just lucky... Thanks Bytor, for that very in depth analysis. Good thing you weren't misleading people.

  9. Bytor--
    So the federal grant made the City of Chillicothe more dangerous?

    You wrote: "the city is now less safe" and then tweeted that this Chillicothe story is a case study on how only Issue 2 is the ONLY way to prevent these layoffs.

    And yet, here are the real facts of Chillicothe:
    * Not a single firefighter ultimately is out of a job.

    * Not a single fire station ultimately closed.
    * The firefighters were able to keep their raises.
    * No taxes were raised.

    You, not me, you set the standard that Chillicothe's fire department was "proof" that Issue 2 is the ONLY way to prevent layoffs.

    You = FACEPLANT.

    You are defending a pro-Issue 2 ad that is a lie... by trying to spread yet ANOTHER lie by Building a Better Ohio. You got busted on it. Just admit it, move on and be more careful next time.

  10. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

  11. There are no lies in the ad, Modern. Issue 2 will prevent more safety forces from being laid off and prevent the need for the feds to bailout cities whose labor costs have skyrocketed.

    Your antics and your taunting are cute, though!

  12. Check your facts, Bytor! Nice deflection

  13. Yes, I read the Dispatch article, Bytor, I'm the one that pointed it out to you after you falsely (again) claimed these layoffs took place last fall.

    Seriously, do you not see how ridiculous you look citing back the very sources I had to bring to your attention for the first time because you clearly didn't do any fact checking of Better Ohio's utterly B.S. story?

    You strut about how nobody can argue with the premise of BetterOhio's ad, citing this Chillicothe story as proof, and you just collapse within minutes due to me spending five seconds on GOOGLE that you obviously never bothered.

    I wouldn't fault you for scrubbing this entire post I feel so embarassed for you. Go ahead. You have my permission. We'll just pretend you never failed this spectacularly and thoroughly.

  14. Here's what the Dispatch, a pro-union rag if there ever once was, said about this very argument:

    If there's anything that's leading to local government's to lay people off, it's Kasich's budget, not labor unions.

    "But the added pressure local governments and schools will be under if Issue 2 fails . . . was created by state funding cuts."

  15. Unfortunately, Bytor, there's nothing "cute" about you and Better Ohio's pathological lying about Issue 2.

    Be a man and just admit the obvious: you goofed. We all can see it. Stop embarassing yourself by pretending you didn't just take an epic faceplant. It's sad.

  16. Yes, I read the Dispatch article, Bytor, I'm the one that pointed it out to you after you falsely (again) claimed these layoffs took place last fall.

    Good Lord, Modern. Direct from the Dispatch article:

    The approach of vacation season and the layoffs of five firefighters last year make it impractical to keep the station open with adequate staffing, Vaughan said.

    Firefighting news has the same info about the layoffs having taken place last fall here: http://www.firefightingnews.com/article.cfm?articleID=90807

    Same here: http://firegeezer.com/2011/02/12/chillicothe-shrinks-to-one-station/

    5 of them were laid off last fall after the tax hikes were rejected.

    Good night, Modern.

  17. If there's anything that's leading to local government's to lay people off, it's Kasich's budget, not labor unions.

    "But the added pressure local governments and schools will be under if Issue 2 fails . . . was created by state funding cuts."

    Hahaha good grief! The layoffs happened last fall, Modern! 2010! Long before Kasich's budget was even WRITTEN or he had been sworn in!


  18. I just think its funny that Modern posts from his account and anonymously. You wanna talk about astroturf...

    And Modern, since you are obviously unable to grasp basic concepts, let me explain in very simple terms why Bytor is correct in his statement that the city is less safe (even if there were the same number of firefighters as before, which there are not): the employment of their safety forces is now reliant on a federal grant. That may or may not be renewed. In fact, it probably won't be due to the inability of your party to grasp simple concepts and the resulting budgetary woes. And thus, because of this vulnerability, Chillicothe is less safe. QED. Follow?

  19. Also, has anyone else noticed how Modern censors his blog's comments? If he's so confident in what he posts, why not allow open discussion like they do here? His hypocrisy would really blow a hole in his credibility, you know, if he had any...

  20. So this Modern guy is complaining about Bytor not being thorough with his facts when he left out the incredibly important point that the only reason these firefighters got their jobs back AFTER BEING LAID OFF was because of a one-time federal grant?

    No one takes him seriously, right?

    They were laid off because of high costs. That means longer response time.

    I'm glad they got their jobs back, but Buckeye Boss makes a good point that the problem isn't fixed. When the grant runs out, Chillicothe is back into a world of hurt.

    They need lower costs. SB 5 does that. It seems so simple even this Modern moron should get it.

  21. BuckeyeBoss- I censor comments? I just approved yours tonight, genius.

    The layoffs didn't happen last fall, Bytor. You already pointed to a 2011 Dispatch article that showed the closing of Firehouse 3 hadn't occurred.

    Bytor didn't write that Chillicothe is less safe because of a federal grant. He wrote that because he thought the layoffs actually took place because he trusted BetterOhio who will abuse a great-grandmother for their doomed political campaign.

    And it was, again, the Dispatch, that pointed out it will be the Kasich budget that will be responible for layoffs if Issue 2 fails, not union contracts.

    Bytor, you're just embarassing yourself. It's sad. It's sad that you're standing by a campaign that is intentionally misleading people into thinking a great grandmother supports their campaign. You have no morals apparently. The political ends justify all means. It's tragic to see.

  22. I love how you guys want to suggest it was *I* that never mentioned the federal grant, when I'm the person who educated Bytor about it in the first place. Seriously, guys, get a life/clue.

  23. In which we see the full dishonesty of Modern on display:

    The layoffs didn't happen last fall, Bytor. You already pointed to a 2011 Dispatch article that showed the closing of Firehouse 3 hadn't occurred.

    The February 2011 Dispatch article that is linked to CLEARLY states, word for word:

    The approach of vacation season and the layoffs of five firefighters last year make it impractical to keep the station open with adequate staffing, Vaughan said.


    The city closed Fire Station No. 4 on University Drive in the fall amid budget cuts that included laying off firefighters. Voters rejected a request for a 25percent income-tax increase in November that would have aided the police and fire departments.

    Yet Modern comes on here and says that the layoffs didn't happen, and says the Dispatch article proves it.

    Um...what? That demonstrates that Modern either is stupid, or dishonest. I don't believe he is stupid, so its clear he is outright lying about what the article says, hoping people believe him without reading it and buy into his hysterical taunting and theatrics.

    The layoffs happened, Modern, and they closed at least one station as a result of an arbitrator granting union demands the city couldn't afford and the voters saying no to new taxes.

    Only by a very fortunate federal grant were they able to be rehired, and I clearly updated the post to include that information last night. Only in your world, Modern (and Ted Strickland's), does a federal bailout equal a solution to the problem.

    As far as the splicing of Granny into the ad, I did not defend that tactic, and even said I understand the outrage over it. However, I focused on the substance of the ad, which is correct. Issue 2 will save cities like Chillicothe money, and prevent layoffs from occuring.

    Have a wonderful day, Modern. I'm finished arguing with you on this thread. Go ahead and keep throwing the same old insults you recycle here every week.

  24. The question is: how do people like Modern live with themselves?

    They want what is clearly bad for the rest of us and they don't care how much it costs.

    Just look at the exchange about chillicothe. These tough choices happen because the "unit" cost of a given employee is artificially raised by the unions.

    Lorain is in the same boat. They've cut back on services because they cannot afford the staff.

    As I recall there was an example of an arbitrator simply assuming that Cincinnati could raise taxes to meet union demands.

    Unless we change the basic relationship between tax payers and union coffers we're going stay where we are as a state: doing the porcelain swirl.

    yet Modern and his ilk continue to demand the unsustainable. Why?


  25. Oh and Modern's first comment demonstrates his argumentive nature and his lack of understanding of, you know, um, like, actual money.

    Arguing that it was "WAGES, not health care benefits..." is just plain stupid.

    The issue is the cost of labor. Period. Apparently such a basic concept is simply beyond the boy's comprehension.

    How sad for him.

  26. Modern-
    No matter how you look at this, the money wasn't there until Obama's one-time stimulus shot in the arm. All that did was make a situation worse by kicking the can (responsibility and accountability for the problem) down the road-- instead of taking the necessary actions to fix the problem.

    ...you are simply in denial.

  27. Bytor-

    I love how you accuse me of lying, but I'm the one that forced you to issue a correction (you called an "update.") Seriously, it's embarassing.

    You claimed the city was "less safe" because you thought that this union contract ultimately resulted in the loss of jobs. It didn't.

    Again, if a grant is a federal "bailout" then Kasich's budget is filled with BILLIONS of such bailouts, folks.

    And it wasn't stimulus money, either. I believe FEMA had such grant programs about two presidents ago.

    Bytor falls on his face, forced to edit his post, then calls me a liar after I was the one who corrected him. Nice morals.

  28. Note that Better Ohio doesn't mention the fact that the closing of the firehouse and the layoffs were ultimately avoided. So by "updating" your story to include that critical detail that Better Ohio omitted and still omits, he admits that the Better Ohio post on Chillicothe is misleading.

    So, you're still defending one Better Ohio lie with another Better Ohio lie. Congratulations.

  29. FACT: There isn't a single study that has concluded that passage of Issue 2 will prevent any layoffs caused by the cuts in local government funding by the Kasich "Jobs" Budget. Even the rosiest estimates by the Administration of the *potential* savings of Issue 2 is less than cuts to local government funding in Kasich's budget.

  30. Modern continues to quibble. If it weren't so pathetic and if the stakes were'nt so high his quibbling would laughable.

    His latest comment is just pointless. Aparently in liberal land changing the subject is the order of the day.

    It is important to note that Modern is no longer arguing that SB5 will save money. Now's he's arguing about how much.

    That sure sounds like an admission of defeat to me. the simple fact is that the state is broke. SB5 saves the government, and therefore the taxpayers, money.

    Modern can't countenance that though. saving the taxpayers is just not something in which liberals are interested.

    Just look at the current face of liberalism on the national front. All we hear about is more taxes, more taxes, more regulation, more taxes.

    And for what? So public employees can live better than the taxpayers that fund them? So crooked politicians can waste millions on stupid "green" ventures designed to enrich their cronies? So fat men with no jobs and even less ambition can sing songs extolling the virtues of food stamps?

    Modern is in denial. The inexorable power of Thatcher's law is being felt in America and liberals simply don't have an adequate response.



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