I’ve been getting emails from people who went to the Ohio statehouse in Columbus to oppose SB 5, the Ohio bill that strips collective bargaining rights.
I wrote yesterday how Ohio Governor Kasich’s public safety director locked out the opposition. This is a first-hand account sent by a Balloon Juice reader:
Yesterday I was in Columbus to join in the rally against SB 5, the Ohio GOP’s implementation of the assault on collective bargaining. Even before we got there it was clear Republicans were trying to discourage attendance: as the bus approached Columbus we were told the doors to the Senate building had been locked.
The trooper presence was overwhelming; far beyond what public safety required. There was a riot truck, canine, and a couple troopers were actually wearing full riot gear.
Since our trip was sponsored by the county Democratic party our trip coordinator was in contact with a few of the state senators. Getting inside from the front was not going to happen, so we were directed to the parking garage. Once we got there we were turned away by state troopers. Phone calls ensued; we were told to go to the rear of the building for admittance.
We slowly started up the stairs, and as the first of our group got to the top we were greeted by security. This was in an outdoor area; it was on the way from the parking garage to the outdoor entrance of the building. Yet we were stopped on a single flight of outdoor concrete steps and told we would have to turn back. When we got to the top of the stairs there was another delay as troopers told us no one was allowed to go in. More phone calls, this time around fifteen minutes.
Finally State Representative Teresa Fedor, the most fabulous person in the world, showed up, opened the doors, and told the troopers “This is the people’s house. Lobbyists use this door. Arrest me if you want.”
One other note. Here’s Governor Walker in Wisconsin issuing directives on Ohio:
“I talk to Kasich every day. John’s going to stand firm in Ohio.”
Governor Kasich seems to be avoiding us:
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s luncheon Thursday featuring Gov. John Kasich has been relocated to Youngstown-Warren Regional airport — apparently in reaction to widespread calls for labor protests at the event.
The sold-out luncheon, originally scheduled to take place at Leo’s Ristorante in Howland, was relocated to the Vienna Township airport at the request of the Kasich administration, according to news reports. An official announcement about the change of venue is expected today.
Odie Hugh Manatee
I like how the Republican way is to dictate what will happen and then avoid the repercussions of it by using the force of law to discourage dissent or they run and hide from it. Republicans would make great kings and queens but sure as hell suck in having to deal with people in a democracy.
Freedom makes them uncomfortable. Dictating comes naturally to them.
Thanks so much for the link Kay!
BJ’ers, there are lots of pictures at the post too. One is from inside the building, showing the peacefully assembled outside and denied entry. The Republicans went to great effort to prevent people from being heard, and it was just outrageous.
Thanks again for helping to get the word out, Kay!
Let’s all keep an eye on Teresa Fedor. If she runs for re-election or higher office, she deserves support for this stand alone. Sounds like someone that Rachel might want to discover and interview soon.
And also, as one of the commenters at my place asked, does anyone know how much overtime the state paid out for their extravagant and superfluous display of security? How much are Ohio taxpayers on the hook for that? Not a very inspiring display of fiscal conservatism by the GOP. Belt tightening for thee, not me.
I don’t watch v these days, someone please tell me that people being barred from public buildings by state troopers is making the news. I just cannot believe this.
I am not good at the linky thing but these charts should be part of the every single Democrat’s campaign for 2012. It should be part of the White Board thing that Austin Goolsbee does the WH. Every liberal blog should have this on the front page.
And I can’t edit my post. TV. I don’t watch much TV these days.
Looks like some kind of deal has been struck in Wisconsin but I’m having trouble opening the link in the WaPo alert and can’t find anything else on it so far. Anybody know?
Sure. Your photos are very nice.
I think it’s really interesting how there’s a huge difference between Walker and Kasich’s handling of this. Walker is the face of the Wisconsin assault, but Kasich is running from it, and throwing it to back to conservatives in the legislature, up to and including his CNN appearance (“it’s not my bill!”).
I wonder if that’s because Kasich garnered a lot of union voters, while Walker did not. Kasich can’t get away fast enough. Why is John Kasich trying to disassociate himself from this? It’s worth looking into.
She’s great. She also wins elections.
Slightly OT: anyone have opinions on who/what to give money to for the protests in WI? I’d rather give it to a group which directly supports the ground game there. (One pretty well known group would have the $$ going towards their own advocacy efforts, which to me is a little lame.)
Brian S (formerly Incertus)
@mai naem: That’s been going around Facebook a fair piece as well. I like to point out that in attitudes at least, Americans are way more socialist than they vote. We’re also fairly clueless about the economic situation in this country, but I’ve known that for a while now. People think they’re way higher up the economic ladder than they really are.
This kind of shit makes me want to throw up my arms and crawl under a rock.
@SiubhanDuinne: Democrats in the Assembly early Thursday announced an agreement that could finally bring an end to the nearly two solid days of debate on amendments to Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill.
Shortly after 6 a.m., Assembly leaders announced a deal had been reached in which Democrats who have strenuously objected to Walker’s plan to sharply curb public worker bargaining rights would limit remaining debate to 38 amendments. They further agreed to restrict debate on each amendment to no more than 10 minutes.
@kay: Yes – he was in Canton Tuesday. “Can’t get away fast enough” is a good way of putting it.
I heard on the news last night that the GOP now agrees to collective bargaining on wages only. Concessions have started, cracks are showing. Activism makes a difference.
Brian S (formerly Incertus)
@mai naem: That’s been going around Facebook a fair piece as well. I like to point out that in attitudes at least, Americans are way more commie than they vote. We’re also fairly clueless about the economic situation in this country, but I’ve known that for a while now. People think they’re way higher up the economic ladder than they really are.
This is it. Too early in the morning but it sounds totally sucky to me:
MADISON, Wis. — Republicans and Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly have agreed to a deal that will limit further debate on a bill taking away collective bargaining rights for public workers and lead to a vote on the measure later Thursday.
The deal was announced shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday following an unprecedented 40-hour debate that began Tuesday morning with only short breaks in between.
Democrats agreed to limit further amendments to just 38 with a 10-minute time limit on each one. If they take the maximum time for each, with no breaks, that would put the vote around noon.
Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan says democracy is being limited with the agreement and Democrats still plan to strenuously make their arguments over the last hours of debate.
There are conservative areas in Ohio, and their votes don’t change that much on whether or not they are union members. Kasich did well in wealthier suburban areas, and I noticed he keeps drawing this distinction where he says bullshit fake-nice things about teachers.
In other words, I think Dougj is right. Republicans don’t want to lose union voters.
This sounds like the new motto for Chris Christie.
Who ever said elected officals have to listen to the public? Once in office, they are GOD and all others, except anyone with real power – spelled billionaire – can go and f’ themselves. Voting matters like shit – you put up with the pain and smell and the thugs get the money, power and all retirement benifits (that unlike all other public workers, can’t be touched.)
As long as you mentioned the Youngstown-Warren Chamber check out their history at the link. I grew up in that area.
Excuse me if this has already been pointed out, but wasn’t it collective bargaining that got them that overtime pay?
Where were the shot to kill orders when the thugs attacked the recount offices in Florida during the bush hand job that stole the US national election? Didn’t hear any thugs make that battle cry -liars and hypocrites all.
It’s actually good that police agencies are unionized. A lot of them are GOP voters. They’re the only group Ohio conservatives are afraid of, and I don’t imagine that they’re big fans of Kasich anymore, as he told he thinks they’re “idiots”.
@debbie: Outstanding point.
I didn’t want to go on and on in my post, but here’s something I wanted to cover: The employers who deliberately emphasize part-timers to avoid paying benefits are able to do so in part because nonunion workers are atomized. Things like overtime only happen when an organized work force demands it with a collective voice.
I think there’s a distinction there. The Wisconsin state senators are gone. I think this might mean in the lower chamber.
@kay: Dewey Stokes (quoted here) had a really nice presentation. A few things he said (this is just from memory):
When I was a commissioner we had collective bargaining AND a triple A bond rating.
Walker in WI exempted police and fire from his bill in part because first responders are prohibited from striking. Don’t underestimate the power of a strike, even after all these years of union membership decline.
Name one city, county or state that has gone bankrupt as the result of collective bargaining. Name one.
He was really good.
John Kasich is a scumbag liar who only wins elections because the political rubes still fall head over heels for the ol’ “aw shucks” routine.
I don’t really have anything else to add.
@kay: Exactly. Nothing was ever going to stop the vote in the Assembly. The 14 Democrats who left the state are senators.
@kay: Yes, this agreement has to do with the lower house in Wisconsin. AP is reporting that the state police have been dispatched to the Senators’ homes.
@jwb: If they aren’t at home, the state police won’t find them there.
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
How very third world dictatorly of Kasich. Almost Stalinesque.Thankfully, I renounce Stalin and his emulators.
@Omnes Omnibus: Yes, I wondered about that myself, since my understanding was that the senators were out of state. That made me think this was just intimidation—or maybe the GOP had heard some of the senators had been sneaking back into the state?
Jay in Oregon
Neither do I, but I’m sure Glenn Beck is busy connecting the protesters to George Soros and the Muslim Brotherhood, and is selecting the proper puppets for today’s broadcast as we speak…
I’ve always liked Dewey Stokes. He’s been one of the few conservatives in this state who openly acknowledges that the world is not black and white. That takes real courage.
I have to wonder who is taking notice. And, who actually cares enough to take notice.
The RW and the TP want everything to fail. They actually want to obey Koch.
If God did not want them shorn, he would not have made them sheep.
I thought that might be the case, but like I say it’s too early in the morning.
BTW great work—you really seem to be in the trenches on all this stuff!
@JPL: Christie has never tightened his belt, only loosened and another thing just how big is his belt? 44-48-50-54? Fat bastard!
I know it’s the rare BJer who would say this, but for anyone who subscribes to the “not a dime’s worth of difference” notion of D vs. R, lets go to Minnesota this Tuesday:
2,000 people just walked right on in to the capitol. Capitol staff provided the sound system (for a fee, they offer this for all who get a time slot).
There were maybe 6 or 8 extra capitol police around. So maybe double what you’d see for a rally of 300 or 500 people. But just given the #s of folks coming, that’s a reasonable safety precaution.
St Paul police stood outside, on either side of the front main steps of the capitol – off duty, to welcome the protesters.
The Governor spoke at the rally. And he promised to veto any bill that would be like Wisconsin’s.
From the article you cited:
“Former GOP state Sen. Bruce Johnson, president of the Inter-University Council of Ohio, argued that collective bargaining places very little value on efficiency and productivity. He said the University of Toledo, for example, estimates it spends $8 million extra in labor costs because of ineffective employees.
“If people knew about all of the processes that go on relative to Ohio’s public sector collective-bargaining law, they would be offended by the time, energy and talent that is underutilized,” Johnson said.”
We had a head of one of our colleges here by the same name. I can’t say for sure if he is the same person.
I know exactly what he refers to. What is missing is his point about “ineffective employees” is not strictly only a problem in the public sector. I have had the experience in both the private and public sectors where this ineffectiveness takes place.
Stupidity indeed reigns with these Rs. What ever made them think the unions were going to lay down and let them run over them?
At my Ohio public university, our collective bargaining contract has a section dedicated to procedures for removing ineffective tenured faculty members. I don’t know the details for UT, but perhaps Senator Johnson should review the perils of extrapolating from a specific case to the general state of things. Just sayin’.
@HRA: Bruce Johnson is and always has been a tool. I dealt with him back when I was in Columbus. I am not a fan.
At our U the word is you have to commit a felon murder to get ousted. The truth is they do have ways to make your life miserable and most will evidently leave.
I could not be fan as well.
I am trying to get in touch with a relative in Columbus who is a diehard absolutely conservative R. and an attorney. It should be an interesting conversation.
Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q)
@Odie Hugh Manatee: This cannot be emphasized enough. Well said; thank you.
@Dan: Thanks for the terrific detail of a horrifing report. I’ve distributed it about. And of course thanks, kay.
jane from hell
“Teresa Fedor, the most fabulous person in the world, showed up, opened the doors, and told the troopers “This is the people’s house. Lobbyists use this door. Arrest me if you want.”
Makes me think it wouldn’t hurt to refer to pro-union protesters as “lobbyists.”