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Ohio voters didn't just hand Senate Bill 5/Issue 2, Gov. John Kasich's signature anti-union law, a major defeat at the polls in November—one poll suggested voters would hold support for the law against politicians in upcoming elections. The Obama campaign apparently thinks the state's voters, or at least the public workers among them, are holding to that, using Romney's "110 percent" support for Senate Bill 5 in a new web video featuring a teacher, fire fighters, and a police officer linking Romney's agenda, and his desire to have fewer teachers, fire fighters, and police, to Senate Bill 5.

"If Gov. Romney becomes president, then Issue 2 becomes a nationwide problem," a retired fire fighter, whose son is also a fire fighter, says. According to another fire fighter, "Mitt Romney is the same group of people that came to Ohio and brought us Senate Bill 5, and he'll do it at a national level."

It's a powerful pitch to public workers—to fire fighters, teachers, and police such as the people appearing in it. But it's also a reminder to other viewers of their allegiance to and connections with the people who Senate Bill 5 directly attacked, recalling issues that were powerful in the campaign against the bill. "A key to Issue 2 was safety, not only for the fire fighters and the cops, but also safety for the people they serve," as the retired fire fighter points out.

Romney is counting on the good old divide and conquer to work, making private sector workers resent the alleged high pay of cops and teachers, librarians and road crew workers, and forget that they want their kids educated, their roads without potholes, their fires put out. The Obama campaign is asking people to remember that they're connected.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Progressive Hippie.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Willard M. Romney has a problem (14+ / 0-)

    The way to counter this sort of story is with a story showing how Mitt Romney cares about working people.

    One time.


    I don't think he can do it.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 07:59:24 AM PDT

  •  What bugs me so much about anti-union laws... (21+ / 0-)

    is that Republicans are trying to make people working in the private section jealous of those working in the public section.  

    Lets set aside, for a moment, that those working in the public section are risking their lives to keep up safe, taking deep personal sacrifices to educate our kids and unions ushered in all the worker's rights we still enjoy to this day.

    I have never, for one second, been jealous of a public school teacher - like they are leading some cushy, extravagant lifestyle.  Nor have I ever even dreamed of being jealous of a firefighter or a cop.  These people entrusted with our protecting our safety and educating the next generation of leaders.  I might be envious of their contributions to society, but I have never been jealous of their paycheck.  They do very important jobs in maintaining the structure of our society and deserve to be paid more, not less.

    (BTW, I'm from Ohio and was proud to see Kasich defeated - though he still doesn't seem to count SB5 as a defeat)

    Facts are liberally bias

    by SuzieQ4624 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:06:14 AM PDT

    •  Agreed, but when Chicago teachers leadership... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr MadAsHell

      ... makes a salary increase demand of 30%+ in this economy, with taxpayers in Cook County already hit awfully hard with quite high property and sales taxes, union members cannot be surprised that private industry union members and otherwise strong Democrats resent the bargaining ploy.

      I understand the teachers' responses, due to many good dialogs on Kos and in offline messages with teachers. Teachers are taxpayers, too. Mayor Rahm has added on to an already full work day. One legislature after another - more often under Democratic rule than Republican - have moved funding for pensions and benefits to other causes time after time and there is a now a crises in funding.

      But look at the changes in private industry, wage and salary jobs that demand professional training and experience, too. Over the last 15 years, industry and business has changed the "contract" with its workers, adding considerable work expectations, intruding into home and private time, making force reductions, cutting benefits and - in effect - reducing salaries. And, to top it off, advancement potential is much less and in the places I'm most familiar with (admittedly, not a statistically reliable sampling), no annual salary increases have come close to the 30%-plus the teachers are demanding for a three-year deal.

      So although I strongly support teachers (yes, and police and firefighters), the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union looks arrogant and unrealistic. And it is not helping them with the public, whose support they do need badly.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:48:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you are not supporting teachers... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nofear, investorb, Icicle68

        ... if this is how you feel. Sorry. Rationalize it any way you want. They deserve the pay for the work they do. Regardless of what has or hasn't happened elsewhere, with other sectors. Don't hide behind "support" if you don't support fair pay for work. And if you don't think it's "fair," allow me to direct you here:

      •  Without knowing the whole back story... (3+ / 0-)

        of this 30% pay-increase demand, is it possible that they were just shooting high, as their initial starting point?  As in they would have accepted 10% but want to negotiate down to that.

        I always high-ball my first negoiating point, that's just a rule of smart business.  Never start negotiating at the point your actually willing to accept.

        Asking for a raise, regardless of the economy is not unheard of, and no reason to write unions off as a whole.  Nine times out of ten, they are blazing the trail in how workers should be treated.  If I could go into my bosses' office right now and ask for a raise, I would, but I'm only one person who is likely easy to replace, so I likely would be fired for even asking, let alone demanding.  

        I'm not jealous of the fact that unions have a collective voice, I'm just glad that someone in this country does.  We need unions to set the standards on how all workers should be treated.

        Facts are liberally bias

        by SuzieQ4624 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:58:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I'm sure it was a negotiation opener. And ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... yes, they were shooting high. Asking for a raise and pushing hard for it, is one thing. Flouting public reaction to a confrontational opening demand is something else. Particularly in this economy, with unemployment high, taxes very high and personal budgets busted.

          Sure, negotiators don't put their bottom line on the table first. I'm not against teachers asking for a raise ... and getting it! And I understand the Mayor changed the deal early on by unilaterally adding hours to to teachers' work days. As I understand it, although he made attempts to bargain that, it was pretty ham-handed and almost guaranteed not to work.

          You are absolutely right about needing to know more about the back story! It's hard - very hard - to get a straight answer to  basic questions - how much teachers make, what the benefits and pension levels are, etc. - and to get some analogs with other professional jobs. And there's certainly much to the history of that very powerful Chicago teacher's union that would help to understand what leadership's bargaining belligerence. (Yes, I understand the 90% strike vote. That's to be sure leadership has bargaining power, a matter which wasn't in much doubt until that outrageous opening bid.) But history needs to include the economic conditions prevailing today.

          You can get a taste of the atmosphere and temperament from the previous commenter who could not regard me as supportive because the teachers "deserve the pay for the work they do" and concluded that I don't "support fair pay for work". If "support" and "fair pay" means accepting union leadership's opening bargaining gambit - in this economy - then I fear Chicago teachers stand to lose a heckuva lot more "support".

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:04:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  wow (0+ / 0-)

            with supporters like you, who needs detractors?

            previous commenter

            •  oh... (0+ / 0-)

              ... I'm a teacher, btw. Glad you're in Chicago and not NYC. Though we have plenty of "supporters" like you.

              •  Support doesn't mean swallowing hook, line and... (0+ / 0-)

                ... sinker positions on public issues without thoughtful, sometimes critical, analysis. Unions - especially public employee unions - need support from the general public.

                I'm saying it can be jeopardized by extraordinary demands in a challenging economy. No one else in any sector of this economy can credibly make a 30%-plus wage demand and expect to be credible. The teachers in Chicago are somehow different? Immune?

                I think the Chicago teacher union leadership's demands were extraordinary and they were made with a starting gambit that jeopardized support from the non-public-employee-union public at the get go. At a time when public employee unions need public support.

                Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

                by TRPChicago on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:21:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  So TRPChicago, you're saying that.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        generationyasky, Zinman

        ....since non-union workers have completely gotten the shaft, with stagnant wages, reduced benefits, less perks, etc that we should give the shaft to unionized workers too?

        It sounds to me like you are saying "Well, we've already destroyed the non-union portion of the middle class, so let's make it fair and destroy unions too!"

        How about we restore the basic fair bargain that non-unionized workers used to have. How about we take some of those gazillions in corporate profits that are sitting in offshore corporate coffers and repatriate them, and pay some fair wages and benefits.

        It's not that unions are too demanding, it's that corporations are too tight-fisted.

        Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

        by Icicle68 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:52:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  now... (0+ / 0-)

          ... this feels like support.

          here - have an "amen."

        •  No, I'm saying the world changed and union ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... members are in the same world as employees in private industry, union or not.

          I think you overstate. I don't believe "we've destroyed the non-union portion of the middle class ..." We're not doing very well, but "destroyed", our class is definitely not.

          And "we" aren't going to be able "to restore the basic fair bargain that non-unionized workers used to have." First off, I don't know if your predecessors thought it was ever that fair or or even basic - mine didn't - but I do know economic conditions were very different in decades past. Technology has changed a lot of jobs. We've been shifting to a service economy, where wage gaps are typical. For two decades now, managements have increased spans of control and pared budgets with chainsaws when a sensitive and intelligent hand couldn't do it fast enough. The work contracts from previous generations have changed dramatically, per my previous comment. I remember the CEO of my company - a good guy, as sensitive as anyone who'd worked his way through the ranks to the top - who said, in frustration at the end of a long meeting with his management team, "If the people won't change, we'll have to change the people." I didn't like the sound of that, either.

          Tight-fisted or no, that is the world we're in together today. If union members want out of it, good luck. Remember, the basic premise of the diary was that a gap is occurring between public and non-public union members, and between union members and the non-union general public. We are witnessing the diminished role of unions throughout the economy.

          Is that right? Would we all be better with stronger unions? Sure, but most of all, all of us want - and need - a stronger economy.

          Just like the auto unions in the last couple of years: understand the realities, adapt to them and help. The alternatives are worse. We don't need to compromise all our principles, but flexibility and adaptability must be among our first principles.

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:38:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  doncha love how the media equates (17+ / 0-)

    Obama's "truth ads" to "negative attack ads", while pants-on-fire-mittens gets away with incessant bold-faced LIES?

    "I don't remember what I said, but I stand by what I said."

    ...keep reminding the voters, Obama campaign.

    Truth is hard.

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:24:28 AM PDT

  •  Oooh nice. (12+ / 0-)

    I see 4 or 5 30 second ads derived from this. ha! Romney you have met you waterloo. Enjoy.

    That firefighter Jim in the ad was just featured in the Dinner with Barack video. He had been a lifelong Republican until SB5, now he's a "Pauline convert" -- more gung-ho than us always-been-Dems. A true asset to the Obama campaign.

    "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

    by zizi on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:29:41 AM PDT

  •  Not to mention (5+ / 0-)

    "If Gov. Romney becomes president, then Issue 2 becomes a nationwide problem,"

    This doesn't begin to touch upon the many problems Romney would cause as President.

    "Free market" simplified - if you buy a product and it kills you, you won't buy it again - no government needed.

    by tomwfox on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:38:23 AM PDT

    •  Do we really have time for an ad (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge, Creosote

      listing all the many problems President Romney would cause?

      Isn't the sun supposed to turn into a red giant in 5 billion years or thereabout?

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:54:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant stuff here. (7+ / 0-)

    Combine this with the auto bailout impact and Romney is in a tough spot.

  •  I support screwing workers 110 per cent! (4+ / 0-)

    Give Mitt credit...he took a stand on an issue.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right. I'm riding in the Tour de Cure. You can donate here.

    by darthstar on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:40:49 AM PDT

  •  Beyond Ohio (15+ / 0-)

    here is the tip of the iceberg for drought ridden States if Romney encourages Congress to cut funding for firefighters.  We are already in desperate straights with the tanker fleet.

    Just Colorado:


    col wildfire

    col house fire

    Our own Nurse Kelley has had to flee and may have to do so again -- along with how many others?  Can we forget the horrific wildfires years ago (about when I first came here) that terrorized Southern California?

    I despise that man with a white hot passion for his utter inhumanity.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:44:21 AM PDT

    •  As I noted in C&J this morning (5+ / 0-)

      those guys flying the fire fighting tankers are flying old planes - 50 years old - into the mouth of hell. Over and over.

      Because there's always money for another carrier, but not enough money to actually keep the homes of citizens from burning to the ground.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:56:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, BTW, "straits". Have more coffee :-) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:56:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ironic that Colorado Springs, one of the bastions (6+ / 0-)

      of low tax dogma, now finds itself at the mercy of the type of event that can only be addressed by hundreds of firefighters - most tax-funded from cities outside the area.

      When the fires are put out and people return to their lives, let's not allow the message of low taxes for low taxes sake to return without a reminder of how dependent we are on community-funded services and that the whole point of tax-payer funded emergency services is that individuals must band together to ensure the common safety of all.

  •  I don't think Romney ever met a match like Obama (9+ / 0-)

    and Mitt aint gonna win THIS fight.

    Best line in that vid (imho)  you look in the Presidents eyes and know he CARES ABOUT REAL PEOPLE...  

    the only 'real people' romney knows are the ones he fires so he can outsource their jobs - when you look in mitts eyes you see blank space surrounded by dollar signs.

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:56:02 AM PDT

  •  I've been waiting for this... (5+ / 0-)

    Forget about the Wisconsin recall.  Issue 2 was the true test of how well anti-union legislation plays in a blue collar state, and it went down by a 61-39 count.

    I know there are people in the world that do not love their fellow human beings, and I hate people like that. [Tom Lehrer]

    by KTinOhio on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:00:06 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Wisconsin recall, while I was hoping it would succeed, smacked of sour grapes to voters who aren't as politically attuned.
      Plus Issue 2 showed cops and firefighters, a traditional bastion of GOP apology, which party cares about them as people and which one doesn't.

    •  wisconsin recall (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fearlessfred14, Creosote

      Unfortunately for Wisconsin, our clueless Dem leadership didn't  publicize issues of worker and public safety and didn't coordinate with non-union folks also outraged by Act 10.  Also, it didn't help that our shoddy media covered only right-wing talking points.  

      You can imagine how massively frustrating this was for us on the ground.  The recall wasn't about union thugs protecting collective bargaining for increased wages and benefits, but you'd have been hard-pressed to know that.

      Good for Ohio and excellent work by the President's media folks.

      And the commenters calling for shortened versions of this great piece are correct, too.  The more options for getting our messages correctly framed and appropriately placed, the better.

  •  The polls have to be rigged (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17, Matt Z

    Given RMoney's unfavorables and the fact he can't talk about anything favorable about himself, you have to wonder why the national polls are so close. It makes no sense, unless the crosstabs on racism show the American people in such an unfavorable light that the media can't show them.

    I've never been so confused about a presidential election.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:04:05 AM PDT

    •  National polls are problematic. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17, Dave in Northridge, Matt Z

      To get a 500 person sampling, do they call 10 people in each state? 10 in California and 10 in Alaska? What type of sampling makes up these polls?

      Myth Romney - 2012 - If You Want Honesty, Vote For The Other Guy!

      by kitebro on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:15:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, remember (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge, Matt Z, Creosote

      on the national level you are getting the red states. These huge leads for Romney skew the results. Utah just polled 63-31 for Romney.

      Yes, the white bigots are the biggest factor, IMO.

      WV: 54-33
      OK:  62-27
      AR:  57-33
      MS:  54-36
      NE:  53-39
      LA:  53-37

      And I don't see any polling for Alabama, Idaho, or Wyoming.

    •  You have to understand that Romney's own base (0+ / 0-)

      are giving him a great majority of those unfavorable numbers.  My parents are conservatives and they hate him with enough passion to talk about it constantly.  They loathe him....not just hate.   Will they vote him?  Sure, probably....but they hate him.   My dad says he won't....but my mom says she will make him.  Mom is the boss in that house so I have no doubt he will.  

      Point being made is that if you polled 1000 Republicans, especially those who lean hard right~Tea Party, you will find that Mitt unfavorables will be upside down and most likely VERY upside down.  However, the next question would be "But will you vote for Romney?".....that question will find almost unilateral support in the affirmative "Yes....I'll vote for him anyway."  

      I really believed, mainly because my parents hate him so much, that Romney would have been the easiest to beat all along because he is moderate enough to turn off the tea party.  However, apparently they can hate him and vote for him at the same time.  

      •  Not true. (0+ / 0-)

        In Ohio Romney gets 13% unfavorable from republicans and 75% from democrats.

        In Fla. its 12% of republicans and 70% of democrats that are unfavorable.

        In Penn. its 13 of republicans and 61% of democrats.

        Among in independents its, 44%, 43% and 36% respectively unfavorable.

        So Romney is getting far less unfavorables from Republicans, which makes sense.

        •  k not true what? (0+ / 0-)

          the point I was making is that there shouldn't be 12% of republicans who have unfavorable opinions about their own guy.

          Independents aka half of them or more are right and tea baggers who won't call themselves republicans anymore have a half split on unfavorable...and that shouldn't be the case when there is no other realistic candidate and 5 months before the election.  So you add them together and Romney has a big headache...a big part of his unfavorable numbers are his own base, the people who are all supposed to be cheering him on.  

          During and right after the primaries they did over 20 polls with republicans and hard line baggers....only twice did Romney ever poll in the net positive in the favorable range.  Twice and with his own people....not a real good sign.

          Romney has a problem with his own people, on top of having a huge problem with us.

    •  The economy sucks (0+ / 0-)

      More than is normally possible for an incumbent President to be reelected. If the economy were decent, Romney would be completely doomed instead of merely being an underdog.

      Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

      by fearlessfred14 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:31:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OFA/Ohio (3+ / 0-)

    Went to the web  page just to see what was going on in the state.  President Obama has 31 offices in the state and has 42 events planned, just for TODAY.

  •  Just wait.. I'm sure Romney is going (0+ / 0-)

    to tar Obama as being in "Big Union's" Pocket.

    His campaign will undoubtedly highlight the following:

    -- Joining workers on their marches, wearing comfortable shoes, just like Candidate Obama promised

    -- Standing up and fighting against the Scott Walkers of the world, specifically doing all he could to help Wisconsin's 99% (including having OFA / Democratic Party spend considerable resources to support Wisconsin workers)

    -- Using the Bully Pulpit to push Congress on passing worker-friendly / pro-union legislation


    Why wouldn't Romney use the above?

    He's an accomplished liar, isn't he?

    The 1% Feast on Results while the 99% Starve on Rhetoric They Can Believe In.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:01:12 AM PDT

  •  I find it amusing that Romney... (0+ / 0-)

    gets "tied" to the official Republican position.

    "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Candide08 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:28:05 AM PDT

  •  Obama's war on teachers and public education (0+ / 0-)

    is as bad as any republican. He should be confronted with this reality.
    Duncan's Race to the Top is a corporate privatizer's dream. RttT ties federal money to charter schools, fraudulent evaluations for teachers and schools, breaking teacher unions by turning schools over to private management organizations (e.g. hedge funds managers, vulture capitalists, real estate mogules, test companies. etc.), online and fast track teacher training for-profits like Teach for America.

    Obama's edu-privatization is more draconian and destructive to public schools than Bush's No Child Left Behind.

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