Cleveland's The Plain Dealer ran an interview with Governor Kasich today that provides yet more bogus reasons to throw Unions under the bus including promised state and local savings annually of more than $1,000,000,000 (billion with a B) if the collective bargaining rights of public employees were castrated. He promises to explain all in March when his 2012 budget is unveiled. He also claimed his only contact with Wisconsin Governor Walker has been to talk trash on Ohio and Wisconsin college sports. Adding "We don't sit around and talk and plot." Contrast this with Walker's claim to the ersatz Koch brother that he and Kasisch speak with each other almost every day. Kasich is also claiming any appearance that calls to limit collective bargaining rights of Ohio public employees is connected with what is happening in other states is "only because of Happenstance". Let's pause for a good laugh and then continue.
Before the budget arrives, Kasich wants Senate Bill 5 passed which originally banned all collective bargaining by public employees. Demonstrations at the Capitol and pressure on the Republican legislators have resulted in amendments that in present form allow bargaining on wages but not on health care and pensions. Also no binding arbitration will be allowed and any state or local government employee striking will be summarily fired. On the one hand he demands some "balance" between public and private workers. On the other he rejects any tax increases because then businesses will leave for promised tax deductions in other states (like Wisconsin?). Not mentioned is that private sector workers benefits have been eroded in the past 30 years by businesses claiming they will otherwise export their jobs to other states or countries which explains some of the apparent private/public differential.
On the bright side, the members of Ohio Police and Fire Fighter Unions are moving away from supporting Republicans. The Cleveland Police Union President claims 70% of his unions members are conservative (which may be a conservative number itself) and are upset with this strategy and many were at State House rallies against the bill last week. And last Friday the money quote from a Plain Dealer interview with the President of the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters was "Never in their wildest dreams did they think a governor who talked about examining collective bargaining would end up gutting their livelihood. I haven't seen this response ever, really, after almost 30 years in fire service...Our Republican members especially are just beside themselves." This sets the next Republican primary season to be a no holds barred match between working Republicans and the mainly retired and/or rich Tea Partiers.