POSTSCRIPT, NOV 9: ISSUE 2 GOES DOWN IN OHIO. SO MUCH FOR OVERREACH.
American voters aren’t so much energized by candidates any more. Perhaps that is because there is so little to choose from. Instead, we are seeing energy behind issues.
One such issue is the overreach of many Republican governors who swept into office in 2010, fueled by voters need for a “change”. Many brought needless abortion battles, voter suppression battles and anti-environment battles to the forefront, despite the fact that they campaigned on a “jobs and smaller government” platform. One coordinated effort, backed my big money and big conservative corporate power brokers is the coordinated effort against collective bargaining.
Made most famous by the blundering Scott Walker, who overreached in Wisconsin, causing much public protest, and perhaps a recall of himself from office in 2012, the anti-union campaign would have been successful if it had reined in only some union sacrifice, in the form of wages and benefits. Such a campaign would have been powerful to the people, and most public unions could have made such sacrifices for the good of the whole. But, Walker chose to restrict collective bargaining, a long-standing American civil right of labor.
And, in Ohio, his counterpart, John Kasich, exceeded the overreach, and eventually won himself the moniker of the most unpopular governor in the nation, surpassing even our own beloved adopted Floridian, the governor Rick Scott, also known as Valdemort, the evil. Kasich did this by smugly leading the newly anointed Republican houses of legislature to outlaw collective bargaining, and, this time, not only for public employees including teachers, but also including firemen and police (Walker had the common sense not to, he planned to include the uniformed public servants in a future legislative session).
The result? Having debated and shoveled the legislature through in barely 2 months, ahead of ANY effort to produce a jobs bill, the governor and his minions were overwhelmed by public protest… thousands picketed the state capitol in March, 2011, and “We Are Ohio”, a labor backed coalition, easily gathered 1.3 million signatures and raised $24 million in funds to push a repeal to the ballot on Tuesday, November 8. 17,000 volunteers on Tuesday could help support a vote that could galvanize the Democratic party, ignite the labor movement, and potentially help lead to Walker’s ouster in 2012. Recognizing the foolishness of what they’d done, Kasich proposed in August a compromise, with 10 representatives of the union to speak with him about curtailing the bill-that-was-now-a-foolish-law. With 57% of voters against Kasich and Issue 2 in the polls, the unions declined.
Kasich is facing a watershed defeat today. So much for strongarm tactics in American government. Now maybe we can stop this kind of crap in Washington, too.