Thursday, March 3, 2011

Focus on Ohio as GOP Advances Curbs on Public Unions

At WSJ, "Ohio Vote Puts Curbs on Unions in Reach":

Ohio state senators narrowly approved a bill that would prohibit public-employee unions representing 400,000 state and local workers from bargaining over health benefits and pensions, while also eliminating the right to strike.

While national attention has focused for weeks on a similar battle in Wisconsin, the vote, by 17-16 in Ohio's Republican-controlled Senate, virtually ensured that the Buckeye State will become the first to strip collective-bargaining rights from public employees as states grapple with recent gaping budget deficits.

The move is especially significant because Ohio is larger than Wisconsin, and like its fellow Midwestern state, is both a stronghold of public-sector labor unions and a swing state politically.

The bill now goes to the House, where the Republicans have a 59-40 majority. If approved, as expected, it will move for signature to Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who supports the bill.

Mr. Kasich believes it would help local governments control labor costs, spokesman Rob Nichols said.

Ohio's labor leaders, while noting the narrow passage in the Senate, weren't optimistic about stopping the bill in the House.
Notice the union thuggery at the Ohio Statehouse clip above.

Plus, Robert Stacy McCain has an on-the-ground report from Ohio, "Lawyer for Ohio Police Union Tells Republican State Senator: ‘Funny Thing About Cops, They Hold Grudges’" (via Memeorandum.) And more from Melissa Clouthier at Red State, "Climate of Hate™: Lawyer For Ohio Police Union Threatens Republican Senator," and William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, "‘Funny Thing About Cops, They Hold Grudges’":
This time it's in Ohio, and the "threat" comes from a police union lawyer directed at an Ohio Republican state senator who voted in favor of S.B. 5, the bill stripping public employee unions of collective bargaining rights.

The lawyer, after being told that the statement quoted in the post title was viewed as a threat, walked it back and denied that the grudges would be acted upon with violence.

But this is becoming a disturbing pattern ...
You think?