Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Kirk Schuring and his Stark County Republican soul mate, Ohio Representative Scott Oelslager, have worked hard to make local organized labor feel that they are not your oft-found, rabidly anti-union Republican.

Checking over Schuring's campaign finance reports, the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) notes that some of Stark County's core unions have made contributions to Schuring's state senate/representative campaigns.

The contributions show that Schuring has had some success in "neutralizing" unions (not nearly as effective as Oelslager has been, but better than most Republican candidates). But with his opposition to an Ohio organized labor constitutional amendment mandating 7 sick days be provided by Ohio employers of 25 or more workers; all his "romancing of Stark County unions" will come to naught.

Some readers of The Report might say - "so what?" "Most union members aren't going to vote for Schuring anyway, and what's more, how many of them are there to be concerned about?"

Good points.

But The Report has this take on Schuring's high profile opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment. Energizing rank-and-file union members (by his public opposition), will be "the losing edge" for Schuring in the 16th district Congressional race against John Boccieri.

John Boccieri probably has already put together mailers that will be flooding into Stark County homes come October, which will paint Schuring as an "anti-everyday person" candidate; largely on the back of Schuring's opposition to the amendment.

Want an example of the vigor and virulence of Stark County union sentiments about Schuring these days? Link up here to Stark County Hall of Fame AFL-CIO Dan Scuiry's letter to the editor in The Repository today.

Scuiry has told The Report that in light of local unions being on the outs with Stark County Democratic Party Chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., they will not be working in any meaningful way on any Stark County campaigns other than the Obama/McCain contest and the Schuring/Boccieri race.

This is not good news for Schuring. Union members may be relatively few but they can be a powerful edge in local elections. Boccieri is where he is today, largely because of organized labor.

Ask Ron Hood (former Republican state representative from the Alliance area)? John Boccieri came out of oblivion a number of years ago to defeat Hood (a "right-to-work" Republican). Organized labor has been fanatical about Boccieri ever since.

This all adds up to "the losing edge for Schuring." He may win Ashland, Medina and Wayne counties by slight margin, but he will lose significantly in Stark.

Who will be the catalyst to bring victory to John Boccieri - you've got it, Stark County's organized labor!

The reason why Schuring's campaign is focusing so much on the "Youngstown John" label is as an answer to the union onslaught that is about to be manifested.

The Report believes the Schuring campaign has made yet another major mistake. While he was never going to be the main man for Stark County unions, Schuring, as a state legislator, had softened union opposition. The softening could have been Schuring "winning edge," but having taken the advice or RNCC types, he has tossed away his long-worked cultivating of a more friendly union relationship for the "Youngstown John" approach.

Question: Has Schuring frittered away his chance to win and embraced "the losing edge" by coming out against the union-backed sick leave constitutional amendment initiative?

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