Monday, July 11, 2011


There are 261,723 (more or less) registered voters in Stark County.  In an "off-year" election such as 2011, one can expect about 35% of Stark Countians to vote in normal (i.e. no compelling races/issues on the ballot).

2011 does have some excitement to it.  Senate Bill 5 (supported by Stark Countian state Reps. Christina Hagan [R-Marlboro] and Kirk Schuring [R-Jackson] is Republican John Kasich's crown jewel in his fight to gain control of public worker unions.  Apparently, the Kasich administration has miscalculated on the clout that public unions have (firefighters, police and teachers - in the main) and appears on the brink of suffering a major slapdown at the hands of Ohio voters.

Statewide, the anti-SB 5 forces collected about 1.3 million signatures whereas only a little plus of 231,000 signatures were needed to get the issue on the ballot for November 8th.

In Stark County 40,772 signatures were collected.

When one multiplies the 261,723 registered voters by 35% (a typical off-year election turnout), it seems that about 90,000 voters will likely be voting on the issue.  If the anti-SB5 signature collectors can turnout their vote (i.e. GOTV - get those who signed the petition to show up at the polls), then it appears that they are headed for a smashing victory in Stark come election day.  The 40,772 signers would represent about 45% of the total vote if 90,000 voters show up.  That is one heck of a headstart!

Kasich and SB5 supporters have formed their own SB5 election support organization:  Build a Better Ohio.  However, it does not appear to hold a candle in terms of organization, money, workers as does We Are Ohio - the anti-SB5 group.

Kasich and his Republican allies in the Ohio General Assembly (again, including Hagan and Schuring) and strangely enough state Senator Scott Oelslager are trying to muster up their own GOTV but more as an indirect attack on SB5 in trying to get an anti-Affordable Care Act (which Republicans and their Tea Partier allies dub "Obamacare") measure on the ballot.  The idea?  Hype up the numbers of Obamacare opponents who - by the way - are certainly anti-public workers union and kill two birds with one stone.

The SCPR does not believe that the diversionary tactic will work.  The Report believes that SB5 is doomed in Stark County and across Ohio.

Actually, the Ohio GOP could be inviting a devastating blow to their rhetorical anti-Obama campaign.  It may be that the general run of voters are not nearly as anti-Obama as right wing Republicans and the Tea Partiers and the anti-Affordable Care Act measure might get trounced along with SB5.

The significance of this gambit could be that it becomes a harbinger that plays into the 2012 presidential election as to who carries Ohio.

In the law, attorneys worry all the time about appealing losses at the trial court level in terms of unwittingly creating a legal precedent that the deem to be bad law.

In their zeal to help by indirection on SB5, Kasich and his supporters may be creating a problem for the Republican nominee for president come November, 2012.

On Senate Bill 5, it does seem that the opponents are in the catbird seat getting ready to pounce on the mouse (Kasich et al) that is scurrying to and fro to avoid the inevitable result.

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