Thursday, March 31, 2011
The Democrats and the unions that facilitate their taxpayer funded money laundering operation will mount an effort to put the bill to a public referendum this fall.
The thought of government employees being on the same playing field alongside the private-sector employees who pay them is apparently too offensive for them. Or maybe they're just thinking of all the campaign contributions they stand to lose.
Either way, they will go all in on this effort. They are already asking for money to fund the effort. Expect to hear them continue to represent themselves as "protecting the middle class", even though they represent a single digit percentage of the middle class.
This could certainly be a busy campaign season for an off-year election.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
But I must admit, the other angle of attack that they have employed was a bit of a surpise. Democrats looked at the total budget, and claimed that since total spending didn't decrease, that the $8 billion shortfall that Ted Strickland left us with...wait for it...didn't actually exist, and that it was a false claim all along.
Defeated candidate for State Auditor David Pepper tweeted this:
Agreed! "[It's] kind of counter-intuitive that we've closed an $8 billion shortfall and yet spending is growing." (state budget director)One blog actually claims it was all made up to attack Ted Strickland.
Despite all the pontificating last week and self-congratulations for Mary Taylor, there never WAS an $8 billion deficit because Taylor’s figure was based on the projection: a) that the State would do nothing about the growth in Medicaid; b) there would be no economic growth in Ohio in the first two years of the new Administration.And this:
Instead of pouring over budget documents like we’re Diogenes with his lantern, maybe we should just realize that the “solving of the $8 billion budget deficit” is just another political claim that the Administration’s own budget does not confirm.
The results have left some lawmakers scratching their heads and others, including Kasich’s Democratic opponents, questioning whether an $8 billion budget shortfall ever existed.Yeah, they're actually serious.
They want you to forget this one fact. When it was clear that Ohio's budget needed cuts and other serious reform, Ted Strickland punted, because he wanted to be reelected.
The last two-year budget, approved by a Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House and signed by former Gov. Ted Strickland, included nearly $8.7 billion in one-time monies — funds that would not be replenished in the next biennium. That’s opposed to sales or income taxes, which the state receives in steady streams year after year.Now it is time to make the hard decisions and fix Ohio's fiscal situation, and this budget does that. Here's how:
How the Gov. John Kasich administration filled the $7.7 billion budget hole:And why is spending not decreased by $8 billion? Do these people not understand that expenses...go up? Do they not understand that Medicaid is the single, largest part of the GRF, and that its an entitlement? Its not discretionary spending. You can reform it in certain ways, but you can't just cut it.
$2.2 billion by redirecting tax revenues formerly distributed to local governments and school districts.
$1.8 billion in agency spending cuts and changes.
$1.5 billion in other changes, including one-time funds from the sale of five state prisons and the state’s liquor operations.
$1.3 billion resulting from reforms to Medicaid programs.
$794 million in additional revenues projected over the biennium.
Source: Office of Budget
Keen and Kasich’s Office of Budget and Management first worked to create a framework for understanding the budget issues.Relatively simple. Read the entire article for more details.
That analysis projected spending for the next two years out of the general revenue fund, the largest part of the state budget, where most tax dollars go and where most spending occurs.
Keen said the administration projected flat spending across most programs, except Medicaid (medical and other services for the needy and the largest component of the general revenue fund) and a couple of other areas.
The results — a combined $61.5 billion in spending over the biennium —painted a picture of what spending would be if state law and policies remained as-is.
The administration also projected how much revenue it expected to receive over the next two fiscal years. Those results equaled about $53.8 billion in fiscal 2012 and 2013.
The difference, about $7.7 billion, was the budget shortfall Republicans had been warning about the past two years.
“The difference in those two represents the structural imbalance, or the gap that we had to close,” Keen said. “... This is where we started.”
But for Democrats, math is hard.
Go to any liberal Ohio blog these days, and you will see them yelling and screaming about this cut and that. Blah blah blah.
Here's my message to them, and the thing to remember.
Democrats had their chance to fix the budget. They controlled the Governor's office and the Ohio House. They could have done this their way.
They. CHOSE. Not to. They put a band-aid on the situation instead.
And NOW they want to kick and scream and complain about how its being done, when they refused to lead?
Bytor on Twitter
The Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday that Senate Bill 5 will likely be voted on today by both the House and Senate. This seems the perfect time to recap – especially with the impending ballot issue, to be accompanied by a melodramatic, highly organized leftist smear campaign. Don’t take it from me!
Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern today called the bill “a piece of manure.”
“It’s destined for a referendum,” he said. “The disrespect and contempt shown toward safety forces these past few months will long be remembered.”
You remember Chris Redfern! In addition to being the official spokesman of the Ohio Democratic Party, he’s an expert on disrespect and contempt.
Also on the topic of contempt, what have the Democrats in the General Assembly done throughout this process to represent the huge majority of Ohioans who aren’t in unions? That’s right: nothing, because apparently the Ohio Democratic Party attends the Michael Moore school of thought, where robbing Peter to pay Paul creates an economic perpetual motion machine.
Meanwhile, the House GOP provided amendments that make the bill stronger:
- Allow the government employer to continue to deduct union dues from a worker’s paycheck, but no longer could it take out money the worker wants to give to the union’s political action committee.
- Ensure that workers who strike illegally are not subject to jail time. However, Democrats argue this option is still possible if a judge finds an employee violated a court injunction.
- Clarify that safety forces, nurses and others can bargain for equipment.
- Eliminate the bill’s current prohibition against employees speaking to public officials during negotiations. Some lawmakers raised First Amendment concerns about the issue.
The first item on this list is a good step, even if it doesn’t go far enough. The others address specific complaints from GOP senators. Taking these new amendments (and others that make it harder for unions to squeeze government workers for dues) into account, what’s SB 5 about?
Speaker Batchelder says it plainly:
“The schools, municipal governments and townships have not really had the ability to stand up to certain bargaining practices that have occurred as a result of the 1983 legislation,” Batchelder said.
It’s easy for the unions to rally a chorus of far-left defenders against the GOP’s dreadful mathematics, making it all the more important for taxpayers to review AFSCME spending and talking points. Review OEA spending and talking points, too, and feel free to look through the source documents in case I’m a terrible conservative liar (or, as Chairman Redfern would say, a f***er).
When the GOP refuses to treat them as selfless partners for efficient government, the unions feign concern for “the children,” “the middle class,” or even small businesses. But they can’t deny the numbers: Union bosses pay Democrats millions, pay themselves even more, and demand that we pick up the ever-growing tab. With Ohio’s budget the way it is, each voter should consider a simple question: can we afford this?Cross-posted at that hero.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
It's clear that the Ohio Democratic Party, and Chris Redfern in particular, are still obsessed with Ted Strickland. From a recent email sent out by the ODP:
Dear Supporter,Feast your eyes on the awesomeness that is the "I miss Ted" bumper sticker.
Do you miss Ted?
We sure do, and a majority of Ohioans do as well.
Help us fight back against John Kasich’s reckless policies by making a contribution of $10 or more – and we’ll send you an “I Miss Ted” bumper sticker so you can let others know that you are one of a majority of Ohioans who opposes the Kasich agenda.
Seriously, who in their right mind is going to desecrate their automobile with that ridiculous piece of crap?
Somebody tell Chris Redfern that giveaways are more effective when you give away something that people... actually want.
Bytor on Twitter
April 6th is coming up fast and many insiders' eyes are watching to see if Ohio Senate Bill 5 is signed by Governor Kasich by the end of this day or not. I bet the folks in President Obama's reelection campaign are watching.
You may be asking, "What on earth does Senate Bill 5 have to do with Obama's reelection?"
The answer lies within Article 2, section 01c of the Ohio Constitution.
Any legislation passed by the legislature and signed by the governor goes into effect not immediately, but 90 days afterward. The law may be challenged by popular vote, and those 90 days are the window within which you have the time to collect the required signatures to place the repeal of the law on the ballot. The number of required signatures is 6% of the electors.
If the required number of signatures is turned into the secretary of state within the 90 days, then you count out 125 more days, and the issue will be on the ballot on the next general election after those 125 days.
If you count back 125 plus 90 days from this year's election day, November 8, 2011, you arrive at April 7th. Thus, if Senate Bill 5 is signed on April 6th or before, and the public sector unions are successful at collecting enough signatures, the referendum will be on the 2011 ballot, not 2012.
Collecting 6% of the electors signatures is not an easy task, but it isn't a high hurdle, either. By contrast, it requires 10% of the electors to propose a constitutional amendment. If there's one thing unions are good at, it's organizing people. The Ohio Democratic Party will surely be putting their resources behind the petition effort as well. So, chances are likely that will be see a referendum on Senate Bill 5 at the polls on election day. The only question is, which election day? 2011 or 2012?
Once it is on the ballot, the public sector unions will surely pour vast amounts of money into a campaign to defeat the law, even more than the huge amount of money they already spend on Democrats to keep the taxpayer money flowing, and their dues coffers bulging.
Union money will also pour in from out of state. Just as the unions descended on Wisconsin in that state's recent public sector union battles, the national union movement will be especially focused on Ohio leading up to the referendum vote.
Union member turnout will be huge, compared to a "normal" election. The question Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder and his caucus need to ask themselves, is whether they want to see that surge in turnout this year. Or next year, when those same voters will be deciding whether to keep Barack Obama or not? (Not to mention his own Ohio House members.)
Its common knowledge that Ohio is the ultimate bellweather state. No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio. If Obama wins Ohio again, we get 4 more years of his bumbling, in over his head incompetence.
Batchelder seems aware of the timing issue, but has only publicly discussed it in terms of the bill's survival chances.
Republican House Speaker Bill Batchelder acknowledged last week the timing issue is playing a role in the majority party's actions on the bill.Speaker Batchelder should be considering more than just the outcome of the referendum vote when it comes to the timing of getting this bill done.
But he's not so sure delaying the vote a year would help Democrats defeat collective bargaining reform.
"There's a presumption that if we put it on this fall, somehow or another that would be better for one party or another -- namely mine," Batchelder said. "I'm not so sure."
Turnout, he said, might end up favoring Republicans.
He added, "I don't know who would turn out. In other words, it's conceivable that there will be a heavier turnout of people who have strong feelings in favor of (collective bargaining) legislation. I have a lot of friends who belong to some of the organizations involved, and some of them are quite unhappy that they pay $800 a year in dues and they don't think they get much. Some of them obviously resent being represented as people who would come down here and try to drown out the process of government."
Personally, I think the bill's chances of being recalled are similar whether the vote is held this year or next. If we're going to have a referendum on this bill, lets do it this year, and not give Barack Obama an advantage in 2012.
Dear Ohio House, get this bill approved and signed by the governor by April 6th.
Bytor on Twitter
UPDATE: Senate Bill 5 was just passed out of committee with amendments. A full floor vote is expected tomorrow, 3/30/2011. Since it was amended, it will then go back to the Ohio Senate. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: 4:30PM 3/30/2011 - The Ohio House is nearing their floor vote. Now being reported that the Ohio Senate has SB5 on today's calendar. The bill could be ready for the governor tonight.
UPDATE: 9:30PM 3/30/2011 - Both houses passed the amended bill. The governor has indicated that he will sign it Friday.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Important release from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees!
As part of an ongoing effort to build the alliance of Ohioans opposing the bill that would strip public service workers of their bargaining rights, AFSCME members are holding a series of eight press events around the state in conjunction with a group of small businesses who are part of Proud Ohio Workers.
Sounds bad for Senate Bill 5, small businesses rallying to the unionized government employees’ cause and all. Until you read the sales pitch at the Proud Ohio Workers site:
The Proud Ohio Worker program was created to allow merchants across the state to show that they recognize public employee support for their shops. We are asking merchants to show their support in return for public employees by affixing our sticker to a window in the front of their store.
Union bosses: your operation is already a racket by any reasonable definition. Hounding businesses to display your colors – with the unspoken threat to boycott or demonize owners who don’t comply – may not be the best way to win believers to your cause.
Then again, I’m sure AFSCME honchos have considered how this looks and think it’s a winning proposition. After all, they pay themselves handsomely for theatrics like this, and are masters at portraying blackmail as “solidarity.”
Proud Ohio Workers wants to ensure that small shops all across Ohio will remain open. If public employee wages are reduced and jobs are cut, local businesses will suffer. Supporting the creation and retention of good paying middle class jobs is good for local economies.
The broken window fallacy again?! Stossel, give these numbskulls an economics lesson:
Public employee salaries don’t just appear, and dollars don’t grow more valuable each time the government forcibly relocates ‘em. Before public employees can spend their pay at “small shops across Ohio,” it must be extracted from Ohio taxpayers. The vital difference is that unionized public employees spend their pay after the union has taken its cut.
Like union members themselves, business owners are props in a farce that enriches professional agitators and kicks taxpayer money back to Democrats. Senate Bill 5 will return some power to taxpaying Ohioans… and that’s an indignity the unions will not tolerate.
These poor, downtrodden AFSCME leaders did ok for themselves (with member dues) in fiscal 2009:
- 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
They also gave boatloads of member dues to their political party of choice. Guess which one that is!
- AFSCME Local 4 spent $2,848,216.25 on Democrats from 2001-2010 (while giving $250.00, or 0.009% of the Democrat contributions, to the GOP)
- AFSCME Local 11 spent $1,054,561.42 on Democrats from 2001-2010 (while giving $41,000.00, or 3.89% of the Democrat contributions, to the GOP)
- AFSCME Council 8 spent $625,591.20 on Democrats from 2001-2010 (while giving $250.00, or 0.04% of the Democrat contributions, to the GOP)
Whatever good is done by the AFSCME happens at the local level; AFSCME leadership is flagrantly partisan, representing leftist interests regardless of members’ political leanings.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
However, the hot name for the last month or so has been Josh Mandel.
Josh has served 2 terms in the Ohio House, is an Iraq war veteran, and currently serves as state Treasurer. He destroyed Kevin Boyce, winning 80 of 88 counties.
Josh is a solid conservative, both fiscally and socially. He has the backing of influential conservatives like Erick Erickson of Redstate.com, who says there are very few Senate races that excite him in 2012, but if Josh runs, Ohio is one of them.
Josh spoke at CPAC this year, and has also been urged to run by conservative columnist Hugh Hewitt, as well as many Republicans.
So what does Josh say? He has stayed non-committal, and said that he hasn't ruled it out. Then this post hit the Columbus Dispatch Daily Briefing Blog today, saying that Mandel is leaning towards a run and will make an announcement "this spring".
Later today, when asked, Josh still avoided the question.
Video courtesy Ohio Capital Blog
The Democrats are already knocking him. From the Dispatch post:
Seth Bringman, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party, chided the potential Mandel candidacy: "The best they can do is a candidate who has spent 71 days as treasurer and somehow thinks he's ready for higher office."They tweeted later:
Mandel only been in office for 71 days & already looking for his next job... but even Drew Carey beats him in the pollsAside from the obvious irony that Barack Obama waited about as long to run for POTUS, don't let them fool you. This is very bad news for them. They would much rather face someone else who had been rumored to want the job.
Because if Mandel runs against Brown, its going to be a race between a young, Ohio State University and CWRU law graduate who served two tours in Iraq, versus a Yale hippie who is the most liberal member of the Senate.
I like that matchup.
Bytor on Twitter
Another article has come out about the fate of Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern and the strong rebuking he received from former DNC Chairman Harry Meshel that we shared with you last week.
This time, its from the Toledo Blade. While no Democrats other than Meshel are going on record as wanting Redfern out, there is a lingering question among them about what happened to the ODP's supposed "GOTV-machine", and how it failed to materialize last November, especially in Cuyahoga County.
Jerry Chabler, a Democratic party fund-raiser and operative, said Mr. Redfern raised more money than any other chairman he's ever known. But a promised "get-out-the-vote" effort on Election Day in Cuyahoga County never materialized and he wants to know why."There have been some folks who were disappointed in the failure of the vaunted get-out-the-vote effort. There's no question about it. If we got 100,000 more votes out of Cuyahoga County, Ted Strickland would be the governor today. What exactly happened in Cuyahoga County I don't know, but myself and other Democrats were led to believe there'd be this great get-out-the-vote program," Mr. Chabler said.
Teresa Fedor, a former state senator and now state representative, said she and fellow Democrats questioned, in the days and weeks immediately after the election, why the party didn't have more success in 2010.
|Chris Redfern, Ohio Democratic|
Party Chairman and Pirate
"I think the turnout was not as robust as we had hoped. No question about that. It's not the fault of the party. In fact, our turnout efforts were totally unprecedented," Mr. Strickland said. "I think what we had in Ohio was a very difficult economic set of circumstances, and it's not unusual for the party in power to suffer the electoral consequences of that."
"The election that we went through in November was largely affected by economic circumstances that were beyond the control of Chris Redfern or anyone else, to deal with," Mr. Strickland said.
Well, its not surprising that Turnaround Ted would have kind words to say about Redfern these days, when you see what he has been working on, which is the rewriting of the Strickland legacy. Just this past weekend, he held a "Legacy Dinner" for Strickland, which we also brought to your attention last week.
Now, feast your eyes on the new website and video. Sure looks a lot nicer than his original campaign site ever did.
I wonder if Ohio Democrats are happy with Redfern spending so much time propping up a failed, defeated one-term governor, instead of preparing for the 2012 elections.
Bytor on Twitter
Monday, March 21, 2011
When was the last time you heard Ohio referred to like this?
Ohio Governor John Kasich wants to use about $100 million in annual liquor profits to retain and recruit businesses, a sum that may ignite a jobs race among states also hungry for employment.Wow.
The estimated revenue stream would be larger than similar arrangements in Michigan, Kentucky and California, and it would be one of the biggest such dedicated funding sources in the U.S., said Jeff Finkle, president and chief executive of the 4,500-member International Economic Development Council in Washington.
“It’s a very big number,” Finkle said in a telephone interview. “You may see some other states using the argument, ‘This is what Ohio is doing. We need to do it.”
Just keeping the businesses we have from leaving for other states proved to difficult under the timid leadership of the previous administration. But to John Kasich, even just defending what we have now isn't good enough. It's time for Ohio to go on offense, and start being one of those states that other states have to worry about.
Transferring the liquor-distribution enterprise to JobsOhio will allow “revenue growth where we can actually go out there, compete and win against other states,” Kasich, 58, a Republican who took office in January, told reporters during a March 15 budget briefing.The part that is the most innovative is tying the funding to the state liquor profits. There are certain segments of the economy that remain steady or even flourish when the economy goes down. Liquor is a prime example of this. And this is why its such a unique idea. When the economy goes in the tank, the funding for business development is needed more than ever.
“That’s huge,” said Nancy Sidhu, chief economist of The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., when told of Ohio’s plans for a $100 million funding source.
The key is a revenue stream that doesn’t fluctuate with the budget, said Mark Kvamme, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who agreed to be Kasich’s development director this year for a $1 salary and now is director of job creation.This amount of funding for attracting business to Ohio, being higher than anyone else's, will give Ohio an advantage over every other state.
“When the economy is going down, you have less money to invest in job creation,” Kvamme told reporters during a March 15 briefing. “That’s the time you need it the most.”
Two years ago, if the terms "jobs war" and "Ohio" were used in the same sentence, you can be certain that it was referring to Ohio being on the losing end. Not anymore. Other states are beginning to take notice. Ohio is not messing around. This is bold and innovative leadership on display.
Bytor on Twitter
Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Mike Capuano (Mass.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Rob Andrews (N.J.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) “all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president’s actions” during that call, said two Democratic lawmakers who took part.I can't disagree too much with Dennis about the Libya attack. While I don't know that it is an impeachable offense, I certainly object to the notion of asking the United Nations and the Arab League for permission, but not consulting with the United States Congress. For all of the opposition candidate Obama showed to Bush foreign policies, President Obama has adopted many of those same policies. (See Gitmo, Patriot Act, indefinite detention, etc). Say what you want about Bush, but at least he got backing from Congress.
Kucinich, who wanted to bring impeachment articles against both former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over Iraq — only to be blocked by his own leadership — asked why the U.S. missile strikes aren’t impeachable offenses.
Kucinich also questioned why Democratic leaders didn’t object when President Barack Obama told them of his plan for American participation in enforcing the Libyan no-fly zone during a White House Situation Room meeting on Friday, sources told POLITICO.
Now, just this evening, after calling for the impeachment of "the one Democrats had been waiting for", Kucinich has put a video on his website criticizing Obama even further. Then, he asks all of his followers, who will surely be voting to re-elect that same man in 2012, to donate to his campaign, so he can keep "standing up" to Obama, or something.
The Obama Administration's decision to attack Libya was made without any Congressional approval. It's outside the Constitution of the United States. Whether you like President Obama or not is not the question. The question is: if you like the Constitution more. And the Constitution places very firmly in the hands of Congress the decision as to whether or not to commit the men and women of our armed services to a conflict, or the physical assets of the United States of America into a conflict.
We are bombing Libya right now. Congress did not approve, according to the Constitution. Such an action lacks legality in the United States and the President should have to answer to that. I mean this isn't anything that is a small matter. It's a very grave matter, actually.
Stand up. Contribute.
Maybe Dennis should keep his money requests separate from his calls to impeach his followers' hero. Regarding Obama himself, something tells me Dennis's joy rides on Air Force One may be over.
Bytor on Twitter
John Kasich said early on that his administration would not continue to kick the can down the road like his predecessor did, that his new budget would reflect the new reality of Ohio's revenue due to flat population growth and massive job losses.
While Democrats have of course used every cut as a means to an attack, folks who are intellectually honest about the situation know that the new budget reflects a responsible reaction to the new reality, and not a political agenda.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer agrees.
Well, this is different.
Ohio has a governor who isn't sugarcoating a fiscal crisis and isn't frantically mining the couch cushions for one-time nickels and dimes to stave off the inevitable.
Instead, Gov. John Kasich is giving Ohio a straight-from-the-shoulder budget that reflects reality.
Ohio's books show an imbalance of at least $6.2 billion, and probably more like $8 billion. Surprise at an austerity budget simply isn't an option.
Nor should there be any surprise at the unhappy mooing from cows who are coming to the realization that they're no longer sacred.
Hardest hit in the new budget is local government funding. But, doesn't this actually make sense?
Did you know that 85% of the GRF budget is spent at the local government level? That's an amazing statistic.
Why are we sending so many tax dollars to Columbus, when most of them end up coming back to our own communities to be spent?
Liberals are arguing that school districts and local governments will be forced to ask for tax increases to make up for the cuts. Of course, to liberals, the answer is always to raise taxes. But there is another way to offset revenue cuts. Get leaner, be smarter and be more efficient. The Plain Dealer agrees with this, as well.
Kasich's caution that local governments refrain from raising taxes is not particularly realistic given the size of the hammer blow, and Ohio's traditional -- albeit, traditionally shortsighted -- reliance on local taxes. But Kasich's aim is true: to force local governments to change the way they operate.The Columbus Dispatch wrote,
It's a goal Ohio's fractured localities must embrace.
The private sector has been undergoing an often painful structural transformation for decades. Companies have used technology to drive efficiency. They constantly re-evaluate what they do and how they do it.
Governments, on the other hand, too often behave as if it's still 1960 -- or will be, once tax receipts rebound.
During the first part of the 20th century, when Greater Cleveland's population and wealth were soaring, governments proliferated. Cuyahoga County now has 59 municipalities and 31 school districts. Voters tolerated redundancy to enjoy autonomy. They could afford it.
Not anymore. For the past decade, smart mayors and city managers have been looking to shave costs by trimming employees and joining with neighbors to buy supplies in bulk. The day Kasich unveiled his budget, five mayors in eastern Cuyahoga County agreed to create a joint SWAT unit and explore sharing other specialized units.
They've got the right idea, but they and their counterparts need to go farther, faster.
But the proposed changes don't represent only loss; they also lay the foundation for leaner government across Ohio. That can only brighten the state's business climate, which could hasten the job development and economic recovery that Ohioans desperately need.Besides, even when school districts and local governments do ask to raise taxes, it is still up to the voters to do so.
All levels of Ohio government must change to be able to function more efficiently. In the short run, that balances today's budget; in the long run, it can lead to a nimbler, more-responsive government and a better quality of life for all Ohioans.
In fact, an individual voter has much more influence on his local tax rate, and the size and scope of his local government, than he has influence at the state or federal level.
Most of the government services we count on come from the local level. Schools, police and fire protection are examples of this. So it only makes sense that the communities themselves should have more say in the size of the government that provides those services.
So...isn't empowering the voters with more control over their local governments a good thing?
Bytor on Twitter
Fortunately for Michael Moore, there are sad, envious people who respond well to "Fat cats have more stuff than you! They should give it up! Giiiiive iiitt!" His routine wouldn't work on the average elementary student, but Moore's one marketable skill is rallying adults with the sense of below-average children.
Fortunately for the rest of us, Michael Moore's rants expose the central tenet of Progressivism. Without the vast government redistribution he demands, dreadful capitalism runs amok... empowering citizens and weakening leftist interest groups. How many Progressive outlets have you seen decrying Moore's idiotic "national resources" line? Moore is invited to shout at a Wisconsin union rally and cheered by union bosses because their goals are the same.
Remember the Tax Foundation chart below the next time you hear someone demand that "the rich" pay their "fair share." And if you're curious how well the $16 trillion spent on welfare programs has worked since the LBJ era, refer to The Heritage Foundation.
Cross-posted at that hero.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Some background follows if you haven't been following the story.
Governor Kasich appointed Mark Kvamme (Kwah-mee) to be his Director of the Department of Development. Kvamme has been successful at attracting companies to California and agreed to do the same for Ohio for a annual salary of $1. Kvamme brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in business development to the state.
Liberals and Democrats, pouring over every opportunity to launch a political attack against the governor, immediately found something. There is a portion of the constitution that says any appointment to the governor's cabinet must be a resident of the state.
Kvamme commutes between Ohio and California, so they argued that Kvamme was not a valid appointment since he wasn't a resident. Oh, they had him now! They started petitions and called for Kvamme to be sent back to California.
Of course, once again, it was all about politics. They were more interested in embarrassing the governor than that we had obtained a major talent in developing business to the state. They basically found a technicality and exploited it to get the maximum amount of attack on Kasich that they could.
So, today, Governor Kasich announced that Kvamme was no longer the Director of the DOD. Liberals win, Kasich loses, right?
Today Governor John R. Kasich announced that he has appointed Mark Kvamme to serve as Director of Job Creation in the Office of the Governor. Kvamme will help oversee job creation policy statewide, work with regional economic development partners to enhance job creation strategies and help state agencies maximize the economic benefit of their operations. Kvamme previously served as director of the Department of Development.So... you may be wondering, if Kvamme can't be the Director of DOD, how can he be "Director of Job Development"? Because the residency requirement only applies to appointments to the governor cabinet. Director of DOD is a cabinet position, but Director of Job Creation isn't.
Also, Kasich announced that James Leftwich will serve as director of the Department of Development. For the past six years Leftwich has worked at the Dayton Development Coalition, and has served three years as President and CEO.
So what really happened here? Kasich turned their technicality against them!
I was frustrated when some tried to raise roadblocks to his eligibility to serve based on his residency, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by anything in politics. I’m confident we could overcome those objections, but job creation is too important for distractions and this change allows us to move forward and stay focused on Job One—creating jobs.Kvamme is still part of the governor's office, and no doubt will be executing the same plans for bringing jobs to Ohio that he had all along.
The only downside? They cost the state money, because no one else, including Leftwich, was going to agree to take the Director of DOD position without a real salary.
You didn't get rid of Kvamme, libs, and you cost the state money in pursuit of your political attacks. So your grand plan to embarrass the governor turned into one, giant FAIL.
I told you before. This governor has a plan to fix Ohio, and has the actual leadership to execute his plan. I think you just got run over by that bus.
Bytor on Twitter
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Dear Fellow Citizens and Taxpayers,
The fight to reduce government spending continues as a bill to end monopoly bargaining rights for public employee moves from the Ohio Senate to the Ohio House of Representatives.
You've probably read or heard about the public sector labor union protests down at the Statehouse in Columbus over the last two weeks. The union-funded protests have received a lot of media coverage. The labor unions are protesting Senate Bill 5 (SB5), which is a bill that would allow your township/village/city/school district/county/state to control the out-of-control compensation, health care, and gold-plated pension costs of their government employees.
Because many of those local government entities are hitting deficits and compensation package costs are the single largest piece of local government budgets, without more control over spending, they will be forced to raise your already high taxes (Ohio: 7th highest state and local tax burden in US).
The bill will attempt to do things like moving health benefit contributions for public employees more in line with the private sector, taking those public employees from what is sometimes 0%-5% contributions to at least a 15% contribution of their healthcare premiums. You know how out of line that system is since you are used to paying 15%-30% of your own healthcare premiums, or even 100% if you are self-employed.
And, that's the goal - moving public sector employees in line with economic realities of the 88% of the America's work force who aren't in unions. That's right - the vast majority of Ohioans and all American workers do not enjoy tax payer funded benefit plans, so don't let them steal the terms of "middle class" and "working class." I work. You work. We are the silent majority.
The Action Item
To show legislators and Governor John Kasich that there is a silent majority of Ohioans who would prefer government compensation cost cuts over large tax hikes, we are working with multiple groups
"I am the Silent Majority Virtual Rally" on Thursday, March 17 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.
You may be wondering what a "virtual rally" is. Well, because I know you are too busy working, taking care of your kids, and trying to get ahead, you don't have time to drive to Columbus for a big rally. So, to make participating in this important event as easy and quick as possible for you, the "virtual rally" will consist of one roughly thirty second task during lunch.
Simply Send an E-mail, steps below:
(1) Place these three addresses for House Speaker William Batchelder, Governor Kasich, and the email used to make sure we get an accurate count of how many Ohioans participate (firstname.lastname@example.org; John@kasichforohio.com; email@example.com) in the "To:" line,
(2) type "I am the Silent Majority" in the "Subject:" line,
(3) type "I support SB5" in the body of the email, and
(4) send the email anytime between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm on Thursday, March 17.
That is it. Thirty seconds, 8 words, 3 addresses, 1 email, and the inbox ping of thousands of Ohioans making their voices heard. Freedom at its best!
If you really want to make our voices heard, please take a minute or so RIGHT NOW to forward this email to family members, friends, and business colleagues who you think might want to participate in America's first-of-its-kind virtual rally. If you don't speak up now, the labor unions and their push to raise taxes will be the only thing our elected officials hear. The time to act is now!
Brian is a Rocky River native and a well spoken conservative as well as a hilarious comedian. Check out more material from Brian at www.BrianKirk.com. His impressions of Clinton and W are spectacular.
Watch for more video contributions to 3BP from Brian in the future!
Bytor on Twitter
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
These people are not stupid. They know, of course, that Ohio's budget is required to be balanced. Don't they?
Here's what I would like to hear from them. Where are your ideas?
Let's say Ted Strickland won last November. Let's pretend he's still governor. Ok, liberals? Close your eyes... Put yourself in your warm, happy place, and imagine Ted Strickland is still governor. Are you there? I see you smiling. Good. Now, remember this:
GOVERNOR STRICKLAND WOULD HAVE HAD TO BALANCE THE BUDGET TOO.
So, how would he have done it, smarties?
Kasich didn't get the stimulus money that fell into Ted's lap, but kept the basic state funding of K-12 education the same. Where would you get the money to make up the difference?
You're decrying the cuts to local governments. What would Ted Strickland have done differently?
There isn't a cut in this budget that you haven't represented as the veritable end of the state's existence. So...what would Ted have cut?
Because if you don't like the cuts, you're going to have to raise taxes, libs. Now, I know some of you like that idea. But you are the same people that are also attacking Kasich saying that he violated his no tax pledge because its just going to cause local governments to raise taxes.
So please, by all means, show us how Turnaround Ted would have done it.
I'd like to see one of these libs be intellectually HONEST and say, "Well, Ted Strickland would have had to make cuts too."
But we won't. Because its all about the attack. In case you haven't figured it out by now, here's a clue.
John Kasich isn't afraid of your attacks, your polls, your unions or your threats. He's moving forward to get this state working again. It's been a long time since we had a governor with a PLAN, and who wasn't too timid and too tied to union special interests to move forward.
I'd stay out of the way if I were you.
Bytor on Twitter
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
“I am grateful to Gov. Kasich, whose proposed budget reflects the unquestionable financial challenges of the day, as well as the understanding that higher education and our state’s long-term strength are inextricably linked,” said Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee.
University of Cincinnati President Gregory H. Williams said the school is “very appreciative that Gov. Kasich’s proposed budget has done as much as possible to support higher education and suggests some first steps toward much-needed construction reform.”
Cathy Levine, executive director of the Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio, applauded the encouraging signs received so far that the focus of the budget ax will not fall first on dental, vision, podiatry, and other optional Medicaid services.
Of course, liberals are decrying ANY cuts to ANYthing, which is absurd, of course. "Look at what they cut!" Ted Strickland used stimulus funds, raised taxes, and robbed from other accounts to balance the current budget.
Without these funds, and being required to balance the budget, some things have to be cut. Let the loons do their attacking and complaining. They had their chance, left this state in a deep hole and now want to argue for staying with the status quo? Ridiculous.
We're moving forward, making no excuses and fixing this state.
Bytor on Twitter
Just a quick update for now.
You can read a brief summary of the governor's proposed budget here.
The key points:
- K-12 education is actually slightly increased, which should be great news to school districts and teachers. Federal "stimulus" funds included in the last budget is not replaced, of course. But the basic funds coming from state tax dollars have been spared the ax.
- Other education reforms include bonuses for well-performing teachers and testing of non-performing ones, expanding school choice and charter schools.
- Local government funding takes the biggest hit. All the more reason why the reforms in Senate Bill 5 are so necessary in order for local governments to be able to better manage their costs.
- College professors are going to be asked to teach an additional course every other year. Universities will be able to use single prime contracting, a process that saves construction costs.
- $1.4 billion in Medicaid cuts.
- 5 prisons will be sold and privatized. This will provide money up front and also continued operation savings in future years. High-security, dangerous prisoners will remain in state controlled prisons.
You can download the entire budget here.
Also, tonight the governor is hosting a public town hall which can be viewed at www.OhioChannel.org.
Liberals are already complaining about the cuts to state government. Of course, we already knew they would complain and criticize whatever spending was cut. I'd be interested to see their alternatives that don't raise taxes, but so far, none are forthcoming. Just grumbling.
This is definitely a reform budget, to go along with a reform agenda to fix the state we are in.
This is the kind of leadership we needed on the budget 2 years ago. Thankfully, we have someone now who isn't afraid to talk to us like adults and make the hard choices.
Bytor on Twitter
Monday, March 14, 2011
On Nov. 9, 1994, the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, Harry Meshel, was handed a “While You Were Out” telephone message sent by an Ottawa County commissioner. Here’s what the message said:
“Ask you that you resign.”
Meshel, former long-time state legislator from Youngstown, was livid. To be sure, the Democratic Party had suffered a stunning defeat in the 1994 statewide elections, starting with the embarrassing loss of the Democratic nominee for governor, Rob Burch, to Republican incumbent, George V. Voinovich.
However, Meshel, who had served as president of the Ohio Senate, was stunned by the audacity of the political whippersnapper from Ottawa County, Chris Redfern.
Fast forward 16-plus years to Jan. 30, 2011.
A note to Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern — yes, the same former commissioner — from Harry Meshel — the same former party chairman and legislator:
“Thought you might like a reminder of your ‘warmth’ toward me after I suffered the defeats of ’94.
“You had a great Governor, a full slate of Dem officeholders, a ton of money.
“I had none of these.
“You failed miserably!
“You have earned the requirement to ‘take the pipe!’
A copy of 1994 telephone message from Redfern to Meshel was superimposed on the note.
What is it they say about payback, Chairman Redfern?
Bytor on Twitter
So, tomorrow evening is the big public event where John Kasich is holding a town hall to unveil his proposal for Ohio's next budget. You know, the one where he has to plug an $8 billion hole left by Ted Strickland? It's being streamed live over the internet, and media have been invited to cover it live.
Anyway, the administration wanted to give the press a little sneak preview, but wanted the video and audio of the event to be of the main event. Otherwise, why have the later event? So they told the press that the earlier afternoon "press only" event would be off limits to cameras.
And then they went nuts. Of course, this is manufactured outrage. The media is mostly liberal, and most will do anything to criticize this governor, so they took the chance. The "budget unveiling" is the evening town hall, yet they took the opportunity to scream about "transparency" when handed the chance to get some early information.
One lefty blog even revealed their duplicity in their own post.
"Yet again, we see the Kasich Administration demanding unprecedented restrictions on the press, but this time it isn’t the inauguration and its associated parties. This time it’s Kasich’s unveiling of the State budget tomorrow at 1 p.m.
"Kasich has approached the television stations in the State to ask them to broadcast live his budget town hall meeting tomorrow night, but he’s asking that the media cannot even bring a laptop computer in to write their stories during tomorrow’s earlier press conference."
Wait. Which is it? Is he trying to shut out the press? Or is he asking them to cover the event live?
Unprecedented restrictions? Like...inviting the press to cover the event live? And inviting citizens to ask questions at a public town hall?
Where's teh transparency King John!!11!
Personally, I don't agree with the administration's reaction. They changed their minds and are allowing the cameras in. I don't reward my children for throwing temper tantrums. I might even have canceled the 1PM event and just gone ahead with the public town hall without giving the press their preview.
But that's just me. Either way, it was a comical and sad display by the Ohio media today.
Bytor on Twitter
Please note, of course, that this is not a scientific poll.
Mitch won over 28%, slightly higher than his 11/10 results. Everyone else is far behind.
Sarah Palin jumped up to 2nd place, which surprises me a bit. But at 13%, thats less than half of Daniel's support.
Tim Pawlenty came in 3rd with over 11%.
Chris Christie is still popular here at 3BP. He got almost 7% of the vote as a write-in candidate. That's as much as Romney gets. Pretty telling that Romney can't beat a guy who wasn't even on the ballot.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the poll.
Bytor on Twitter
To avoid offending people who act offended for a living, the GOP is eager to convince everyone Senate Bill 5 is not payback for union support of Democrats. Government unions, meanwhile, strive to portray a world without government unions as a Dickensian nightmare.
Plans are being put into place to silence workers, lower their wages, cut their benefits and increase the likelihood that they will suffer injuries and fatalities at work.
Reforms in Wisconsin, Ohio, and elsewhere will keep taxpayer money out of AFSCME President Gerald McEntee’s pockets, and he will say anything to keep that from happening. McEntee describes an America without democratic elections, free speech, at-will employment, or social media… which, I’d agree, is a place public unions might be worthwhile.
In this dimension’s Ohio, the “Labor and Industry” portion of the Ohio Revised Code would be 22 chapters long even if ORC 4117 were ripped out and tossed into the Olentangy – to say nothing of federal labor law. But, the AFSCME and the OEA have no convincing arguments, so their only recourse is to pretend unions stand between government employees and doom.
The McEntee quote above is from mid-February, and you can guess how agitated the AFSCME has become since then.
[...] Wisconsin Senate Republicans used legislative tricks to ram through Governor Walker’s bill — wiping out collective bargaining rights for nurses, teachers, EMTs and other trusted public employees. It was an affront to everyone who believes in basic American values like fairness, democracy and rights for working people.
Wisconsin Senate Republicans used a completely legal tactic after every Democrat senator fled the state. This is a fact as plain as day to anyone who follows a news source other than the unions. Which, of course, is why it’s vital for the unions to blare a consistent message:
They took 30 minutes to undermine 50 years of law protecting collective bargaining and workers’ rights. It’s now painfully clear. They will do or say anything to force through their extreme agenda that targets teachers, school support staff, nurses and other public employees – and devastates the hopes and dreams of working families.
That’s part of a gripping email from the NEA’s Karen White. Other than the melodrama – “Public employees shouldn’t be at the mercy of the public! The public is the worst!” – there’s another consistent theme in AFSCME and NEA communications:
The single most effective thing you can do to help right now is make a donation to AFSCME Wisconsin Council 11.
Stand with your colleagues who are under siege. Make your donation to the NEA Fund right now.
Maybe there's something I should add here, but I feel like the unions have said it for me.
Cross-posted at that hero.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Dear Supporter,This is one of the rare occasions where Redfern and I agree. Everyone knows Ted's leadershipship was one of timidity. The Plain Dealer, not exactly a font of conservative thought, said so itself.
There is no greater contrast in leadership than that between Ted Strickland and John Kasich.
Governor Kasich started attacking Ohio's unfriendliness to business, and thus, JOBS, before he was even sworn in. His agenda is bold and agressive. Ironically enough, the left mocks this and calls him "King John". I guess they'd prefer to go back to "Timid Ted."
One governor worked to create jobs here in Ohio. The other sent jobs to other states.Wait, I thought Redfern was on Ted's side. Why would he point this out?
But since he brought it up, why did Ted Strickland allow NCR to move to another state? Why didn't he act like Governor Kasich, who recently worked with American Greetings and Bob Evans, and successfully kept their jobs in Ohio?
One governor was committed to open government. The other runs government in the dark.Yes! Troopergate was an excellent example of this!
One governor respected Ohioans from all walks of life. The other surrounds himself with people who look and think just like him.A Democrat just wouldn't be allowed to keep his membership card without the obligatory flashing of the race card, would he? *Yawn*
One governor took care of the most vulnerable among us. The other proposes tax cuts for his wealthy friends at the expense of middle class Ohioans.Aaaand the class warfare card comes out as well. Chris forgot to mention that Ted Strickland raised income taxes on ALL Ohioans.
We will honor the legacy of Governor Ted Strickland and all that he did for this state at our 2011 Legacy Dinner on Saturday, March 19. The event will take place at the Columbus Renaissance at 50 North Third Street in Columbus.All that he did? Seriously?
They're going to honor the $8 billion deficit Ted left us with? They're going to honor the 100s of 1000s of jobs that left under his watch?
They're going to honor the continuation of Ohio's slide down the crapper among our competitiveness with other states?
As we honor Governor Strickland, we must continue to hold John Kasich accountable. Next week, Gov. Kasich will unveil his two-year budget in which we expect deep cuts to vital services in Ohio.Yes, Chris. We all expect deep cuts in spending. The budget is required to be balanced by Ohio's constitution. In other news, water is wet.
He is holding a town hall meeting in Columbus at which he will discuss his budget and the deep cuts it will include. We urge you to attend.Ha! See what I mean! He's having a public town hall meeting about the new budget! I told you he runs government in the dark!
We hope you can attend Gov. Kasich’s town hall and tell him not to balance Ohio’s budget on the backs of middle class families. And we hope to see you March 19 for the 2011 Legacy Dinner.Yes, we wouldn't want him to raise taxes on middle-class families like Ted Strickland did, would we?
Thursday, March 10, 2011
When the governor makes an appointment, that person must be confirmed by the Ohio Senate, just like the U.S. Senate must confirm appointments the president makes. (Obama gets around this by appointing "czars", but that's a topic for another day.)
The process goes like this. The governor announces an appointment, and then sends paperwork to the Ohio Senate requesting a confirmation, along with documents about the person's qualifications. It's pretty simple.
At least, it should be.
Last month, it was discovered that Board of Education member Martha Harris was never confirmed by the Senate. Why? Did the Ohio Senate not approve her appointment? Was she not qualified?
None of the above.
The Ohio Senate never even considered her appointment, because Ted Strickland's office never sent the paperwork to the Senate.
Since she was never confirmed, Governor Kasich replaced her on the board with his own appointment. She took it to court, and even Jesse Jackson involved himself in the matter, but a judge ruled that her seat was indeed vacant, and Kasich was right to make a new appointment.
On second thought, everybody makes a mistake now and then. This was one appointment out of hundreds. Maybe it was just an isolated incident.
Not so much.
Four more people, including two from the Cleveland area, sitting on various state boards or commissions could soon be kicked out of their positions.
Republican Gov. John Kasich's office on Thursday sent letters notifying them that there are no records showing they were ever properly confirmed to the board or commission they were appointed to under former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.
The four are:
-- James Carney, of Westlake, appointed to the Ohio Athletic Commission on Sept. 20, 2010;
-- Edwin Niehaus, of Strongsville, appointed to the State Board of Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics on Nov. 26, 2010;
-- Rori Herman Zoldan, of Canfield, appointed to the Ohio Arts Council on Aug. 3, 2010;
-- George S. Rusiska Jr., of Mansfield, appointed to the Ohio Medical Transportation Board on Aug. 29, 2009.
The appointments fell under the 128th Ohio General Assembly and by law, the Ohio Senate was supposed to be given a chance to confirm each of the appointments during the cycle in which they were made.
Wow. That's quite an embarrassing testament to the competence of the Strickland administration.
And this guy is going to lead the DNC? Let us hope so!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Your vote will only count once, and the poll will be open until Midnight Sunday night.
You should share this with your friends and family now.
Bytor on Twitter
Tim Kaine, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has not said whether he will run for the Senate from Virginia. But if he does, President Obama and the Democrats will need a new cheerleader.If the Dems think it would help them win Ohio in 2012, I could definitely see them going with bitter Ted. Other than being from Ohio, I'm not sure what else he would bring to the position.
Who should that be?
“The ideal would be someone who has a good national profile, popular with the base,” said Karen Finney, a former national spokeswoman for the national committee. “This is the person you send out to fund-raise and rally the troops when you can’t get Obama or Michelle or one of the other surrogates.”
Ms. Finney and several other senior Democrats suggested Ted Strickland, the former Ohio governor who lost his re-election bid last year.
What would be his platform?
"39-mph trains for every state!"
"Forget about balancing your state budgets, we'll just get the Feds to bail you out!"
"Hey, I may not possess bold leadership, but it's either me or Robert Gibbs!"
"I'll turn around the DNC like I turned around Ohio!"
Update: Robert Gibbs isn't interested.
Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is taking himself out of the running for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, telling CNN in an exclusive interview that if DNC chief Tim Kaine steps down to run for the U.S. Senate he will not be a candidate for the post.
"I had an opportunity to do that when my name got floated six months ago," Gibbs told CNN in a telephone interview. "I am not going to run the DNC."
Believe it or not, Ted Strickland is now seen as the leading candidate. Why? Because of his leadership skills? Not so much. Just like I originally commented up above, its more because of geography.
"They need a former elected official who's a good messenger and can go on TV and is from a state they want to win in 2012," said Democratic lobbyist Steve Elmendorf. "I think Strickland would be a great pick. Ohio is going to be ground zero."
That's quite an endorsement.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The group was in Columbus to film the union rally today and were repeatedly harassed. Watch this first video where the individual is using his phone to take some video of the rally, and several union members surround him and keep trying to knock the phone out of his hand or take it from him.
In this video, a man wearing a Teamsters jacket threatens the person holding the camera phone and tells him if he sticks his phone in his face, he'll "break his g-d neck." The video is clear, however. The union thug approached the person holding the phone from a distance, and put his own face in the camera, not the other way around.
*Warning* Explicit language
A Teamster threatening somebody with violence. Seriously, does it get any more stereotypical than this?
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LaRose received a threat left as a comment on his Facebook page from Michael Piotrowski, the general counsel for the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).
"Funny thing about cops, they hold a grudge."Piotrowski also says you better not refer to violent union members as "thugs". If you do, he says you "may as well be calling people the n-word."
Um...ok. Calling people acting thuggishly "thugs" is racist now, or something. I have the utmost respect for cops. But Mr. Piotrowski is way out of line.
In another incident, Westerville Representative Anne Gonzales and her family were advised by police to leave their own home on Saturday. Government unions had planned a protest outside her own house, and Westerville Police determined that it was unsafe for her and her family to stay in their home.
The only purpose of protesting in a residential neighborhood, outside a representative's home, is to intimidate them and their family. I don't care what group is doing it, that's way over the line.
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With Senate Bill 5 scheduled for new hearings this week, is it too optimistic to expect bolder arguments from Republicans in the House of Representatives? Speaker Batchelder, in particular, tells it like it is – and on this subject, more frankness from conservative leaders is what Ohio needs. Why? Former NEA counsel Bob Chanin says it best:
Politically, the GOP is in a tight spot because the unions, Ohio Democratic Party, Socialist Party, and Communist Party form a unified bloc willing to chain itself to a taxpayer-subsidized tree in defense of a public worker’s “right” to have a percentage of his pay whisked into union bosses’ pockets and Democrat campaign coffers. And, as always, “conservatives” in the Ohio Senate are happy to side with the Democrats if it means a few minutes in front of a camera.
To balance the odds, here – at its fair market price – is my advice for the House:
- Exempt police, firefighters, and the highway patrol from most – or all – provisions of the bill
- End automated payroll deduction of union dues
Most of the squishes in the Senate mention police and fire as concerns – which is fair, considering that police and fire unions serve workers with far more demanding vocations. Payroll deduction of union dues is an indefensibly bad idea, and there’s no reason Ohio taxpayers should offer it. Since the unions haven’t paused in their routine of demanding increased taxes under the guise of “good jobs,” conservative leaders should continue to push for the most serious bill they can pass.
Government unions make a mint convincing workers they’d starve without collective bargaining, and make Ohio less competitive by demanding compensation taxpayers cannot afford. If the House incorporates my recommendations as enthusiastically as the Senate did, we’ll be in business!
Background: Startling Numbers
Researching government unions after I first noticed shenanigans from a union candidate last year, the simplicity of the problem was shocking: public unions work against the taxpayers. Union bosses ignore spending trends, the average Ohioan’s tax burden, and proof that big-government policies drive citizens away. Look at the numbers, and it’s tough to conclude Ohio’s government unions care about anything besides their own power. Consider AFSCME pay:
- 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
That’s only the top five. Ohio’s three largest AFSCME affiliates spent 31%, 32%, and 41% as much on member benefits as they spent on union pay in 2009. The Ohio Education Association may be even worse:
- 117 union employees paid more than $100,000
- 12 union employees paid more than $150,000
- Executive Director Larry Wicks paid $208,469
- Executive Director Dennis Reardon paid $202,997
In 2009, the OEA – a group that gets agitated about “the children” when you start to talk about limiting their clout – spent less than 36% as much on member benefits as on union pay.
Cross-posted at that hero.