Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kasich's Trojan Horse survives by one vote!

IN 2000, by the margin of a single vote, the U.S. Supreme Court handed the presidency to George W. Bush, , who lost the popular count by 537,000 votes. On Wednesday, the Republican infantry in the Ohio Senate handed Gov. Kasich his Trojan Horse by approving an historic measure to end collective bargaining by public unions in Ohio - by a single vote. (At least it allowed the state to be first in something!)

From all of this, it is easy to see once again that the victors write the history. (The Ohio House will vote on it, but the battle is over for now.) For the garrulous autocratic governor, the chip on his shoulder will be insufferable for his vanquished subjects. But not resting on his laurels, he has already sent out appeals for campaign contributions for whatever office that might amuse him down the road.

It didn't come easily, as six Republican senators defected to join 10 Democrats to oppose it.
And two of the defectors were pulled from their committees by the GOP leadership to prevent them from casting votes that would have frozen the bill in a deadlocked committee. This is generic hardball.

The biggest surprise was the turn-around by Sen. Frank LaRose of Akron, a young rookie who had convinced a lot of people that he was opposed to the bill. After talking to him at dinner several nights ago, I and a few others at the restaurant table concluded that he would break ranks with the Kasich Republicans and cast a no vote.

After all, he had also told a reporter for the suburban Norton Post that he he wasn't enthusiastic about a ban on collective bargaining, "I think the goal is to accomplish the dual purpose of helping the state, the cities and the counties manage their budgets," he said to reporter Bob Morehead. "But we have to be fair to our public employes. I don't think SB5 [Senate Bill 5] really does this the right way (to reform collective bargaining). You can't reform it by taking away workers' rights."

He then voted in favor of the most critical - and memorable - measure that he will likely encounter as a lawmaker! Firefighters, police, teachers and university faculty have already made note of that as his credibility takes a dive. Not a good way to begin a career in politics - particularly in a region with an historic union culture. Add it to LaRose's learning curve. But it will do little to remedy the damage.


Anonymous said...

I'd sent an email to Frank LaRose regarding Senate Bill 5 and my opposition to it. I received a form email back expressing his concern and dubious view of the bill due to what was regarded as the inherent problems, dangers and unfairness contained in the bill. I found this heartening and as a just retired public employee, in a conversation with my previous union president, was told by him that LaRose said he could not vote for the bill as it stood. I then woke Thursday morning, turned on my bedroom radio and found that the bill had passed by one vote. I also found that Little Frankie had voted yes. I'd planned to spend some of my new found free time lazing in bed. My grown daughter thought something was wrong when she heard Dad roar out of the sack with a flurry of obscenities. I now know how I will be spending more of my new found free time. Actively campaigning against LaRose and any Republican who supported and vote for this travesty.

Anonymous said...

Frank LaRose should study recent history (1996 to 2006), namely how Democrat Tom Sawyer was treated in Northeast Ohio after his support of NAFTA, to learn how voters will greet LaRose's support of SB5, and how long they will remember.