Voters in Ohio go to the polls today to vote on whether to repeal the public union-busting measure that was passed by the Ohio Legislature back in March of this year. Ohio Senate Bill 5 substantially reduced the matters that can be negotiated during contract talks between management and public sector unions. The new Ohio law also prohibits public sector unions from striking. The law was promoted by Governor Kasich as a necessary tool to allow the state and local governments to get control of government personnel costs.
Ohio doesn't have a recall option for state officials. Instead it has a voter's veto provision that permits the collection of signatures on a petition to subject newly enacted laws to a voters' referendum. Once the requisite signatures are obtained and presented to the Secretary of State, the law is placed in limbo until the referendum is conducted. I posted back in June about the huge success in gathering signatures of Ohioans supporting repeal of the law. We Are Ohio, the citizens group sponsoring the referendum, had to obtain 231,000 valid signatures to put the measure on today's ballot, and they collected 1,300,000.
Recent public polling has indicated that the law is likely to be repealed.
|Date of Poll||Pollster||In favor||Opposed||Undecided||Number polled|
|May 10-16, 2011||Quinnipiac University||36%||54%||10%||1,379|
|July 12-18, 2011||Quinnipiac University||32%||56%||12%||1,659|
|Sept. 20-25, 2011||Quinnipiac University||38%||51%||11%||1,301|
|October 25, 2011||Quinnipiac University||32%||57%||11%||1,668|
But in recent weeks, conservative PACs and issue advocacy groups have poured a great deal of money into TV advertisement in an effort to sustain the law. In addition, every major newspaper in Ohio has come out in support of the law. One advertisement run by conservative groups is causing a stir in Ohio.
First, here is an ad run by We are Ohio, featuring Marlene Quinn, a very nice lady urging the repeal of the anti-union measure and giving a cogent and highly personal argument for doing so:
She must have been seen as a persuasive spokesperson, because a few weeks later Ms. Quinn appeared in the following ad run by Building a Better Ohio. Building a Better Ohio is supported by God only knows who, because while finally releasing the names of donors on the eve of today's election (most of them are advocacy groups that aren't required to provide names of donors and amounts) the report released no amounts.
So, there you have it. First Ms.Quinn opposed the anti-union measure, then turned into an ardent supporter by the marriage of computer technology with the scruples of a clam. Nice going, Building a Better Ohio!
The outcome of today's referendum is likely to be a decent indicator of the possibility of success for pro-union Wisconsin voters in gathering sufficient signatures for a recall election on the governor and GOP senators, and the likelihood that a recall election will shift the balance of power in the state if the recall election is conducted.