Too often, we repeat like a mantra that voters have “short memories.”
Here in Ohio many Democrats have inexplicably adopted the position that negatives-laden governor John Kasich is a shoo-in for re-election, giving up before even fighting.
They insist that his contentious union-busting SB 5, which was repealed by a better than 60-40 margin in November 2011, will be long forgotten by next November — is in fact already ancient history to voters.
Apparently not to voters in Toledo, where a nonpartisan primary process put both Democrats out of the finals, pitting incumbent Mayor Michael Bell against city councilman Michael Collins, both independents.
Well, in the case of Bell, that should be “independent.” During the SB 5 repeal campaign, Bell snuggled up to Governor Kasich, insisting that the new law would give local governments more options to keep workers on the job — by cutting their pay and benefits without their input. In return, Republicans backed Bell.
The labor-friendly Collins won a 57-43 race, with strong backing from the Ohio Democratic Party. According to the Toledo Blade, Collins spent election night “celebrating with supporters at the Teamsters Local 20 hall in South Toledo.”
In addition, said the Blade,
Mr. Collins stressed his support from Toledo’s unions, crediting them for helping him sweep the mayoral race. He said he’d bring in the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to help negotiate the city’s union contracts.In Cuyahoga Falls, a suburb of Akron with a population of 50,000, 30-year mayor Don Robart was tossed out of office, narrowly defeated by councilman Don Walters.
“That is the only way where you truly do it where everybody owns the end result,” he said.
“There cannot be winners and losers. They have to be both winners,” he said, adding later. “You are my brothers and sisters in labor.”
Robart didn't just enthusiastically support SB 5, calling it "unbelievably good," and "one of the best pieces of legislation I've seen in my 27 years on city council." He also called Kasich "the best governor we've had in my lifetime." (He's obviously prone to hyperbole.)
Across the state, labor-friendly Democrats were elected in almost every major city and many small towns as well.
Democrat Nan Whaley prevailed in Dayton over Republican-backed AJ Wagner by a 56-44 margin.
Cleveland’s mayoral race was never in much doubt with incumbent Frank Jackson posting a 2-1 lead over fellow Democrat Ken Lanci, a wealthy businessman with a John Boehner tan who said God led him into public service.
Democrat John McNally IV also prevailed in Youngstown over my favorite ballot name this year, DeMaine Kitchen and field of also-rans including this one:
From his cell at the Mahoning County Jail, non-party candidate John Crea racked up 85 votes, according to complete but unofficial results. Crea has been in jail since being arrested last month on menacing charges.”http://www.wkbn.com/...
(Akron, Columbus, and Canton didn’t have mayoral contests this year.)
And down in Cincinnati, Issue 4 was on the ballot.
This so-called “pension reform” amendment to the city charter was in fact a forced gutting of public pensions and an added liability for the city. It would have eliminated the current defined benefit pension plan for new hires, replacing it with a defined contribution IRA-like plan.
The charter amendment
would have required the city to pay off its $872 million unfunded liability in the current pension system within 10 years.In other words, gutting city services and/or raising taxes astronomically, or possibly sending the city into bankruptcy.
If the payoff couldn’t be achieved under existing budget conditions, the amendment would have required Cincinnati officials to create new revenue or find cost savings so the goal could be met.
And — surprise!:
The group pushing the charter amendment had three members — Dan Lillback, Bill Moore and Burr Robinson — and ties to the tea party movement. It was similar to pension reform efforts that have been tried by the tea party in other states.OK, not a surprise. Charles and David Koch, you can come out of hiding now.
The issue was opposed by Democrats, independents and sane Republicans. It went down 78-22.
SB 5 is going to be an issue next year.
Even worse for Kasich, Tea Party types — who are already threatening to support the Libertarian candidate over Kasich — are out gathering signatures to put right to work on the ballot. If they succeed — and you can bet Kasich is hoping they don’t — every ballot will be a reminder of why to vote Kasich out of office and vote Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald in.
It really seems like Ohioans truly are fed up with attacks on workers.
Let's keep that momentum going into next year and eject the big kahuna of attacks on labor (and women and voters and taxpayers and public schools and local governments), Taxin' John Kasich.
By the way, Kasich just raised my taxes $250 a year last night, thanks to the passage of three levies. I’ll certainly remember that next year, Taxin' John.