Monday, September 5, 2011


For Republican Governor John Kasich and Republican state Reps. Kirk Schuring and Christina Hagan, probably not so much?  At least, in a "for public consumption" sort of way.

However, in their "heart of hearts" they are likely pleased that they took a step to do their part to decimate Ohio's union movement.
They have to be worrying these days about the looming November 8th vote by the Ohio electorate on whether or not Senate Bill 5 shall be scraped will spill over onto their personal political futures going down the road.

On the other hand,  many, but certainly not all, Republicans (especially GOP members of Ohio's General Assembly) have long been the enemies of organized labor for quite a few years now.

These Republicans (including Stark Countians Kirk Schuring [R - the 51st - Jackson] and Christina Hagan [R - 50th - Marlboro] undoubtedly see unions, in significant part, responsible for the fact that about one in ten Ohioans are unemployed these days, and moreover, that unions in general have gotten way too powerful in affecting America's and Ohio's economy.  Probably the biggest anti-union motivator for Republican officeholders is the well known fact that unions - almost exclusively - contributes money and manpower to Democratic candidates.

Among SB effects, if retained,  include:
  • banning strikes by public unions,
  • injects merit into employment pay raise and layoff decisions,
  • makes county commissioners the de facto arbitrators in contract negotiation differences,
  • prohibit pension pickups by public employers, and
  • protects "non-participating" from job loss because he/she elects not to pay union dues.
Senate Bill 5 clearly appears headed for a defeat in November.  Current polls are showing that Ohio favor rejection of the measure by about a 50% to 39% margin (Public Policy Polling, August 11 through 14, 2011).

And as politicians are wont to do, Governor Kasich has shown signs of weakening in his resolve.  In the face of the polls such as Public Policy Pollings, Kasich called for compromise on the bill (after having powered it through earlier this year) and set up a political theater event at the statehouse which, of course, was unattended by anyone from organized labor officialdom.  But Kasich and his top officials and the reserved but unsat-in union official chairs were there for the media to photograph.

For Stark Countian representatives Kirk Schuring and Christina Hagan, they have to be concerned how their votes for SB5 will impact their chances in re-election (Schuring), retention (Hagan) come November, 2012.

Hagan, in particular, appears to be vulnerable.  It could be that her district will be reconfigured with Ohio's redistricting that is due to come out on October 5, 2011 so that it is more politically competitive and, moreover, she is an appointee to her post in the Ohio House and therefore may face a primary challenge and, most certainly, stiff opposition on the part of Stark Democrats come the general election of 2012.

Kasich likely is not all that politically worried this far out from his re-election effort which is not until 2014.

Nonetheless, this cannot be that happy of a labor day for either Kasich, Schuring or Hagan.

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