Want to hear leadership? Listen to this interview of John Kasich by Bill Cunningham from 700 WLW. Kasich is defending the Ohio State Senate Bill S.B.5 from Cunningham who has taken a surprisingly soft stance against the bill, surprising because Cunningham has a long history of looking for leadership in elected officials that take strong positions; yet he is now siding with politicians like Jessie Jackson and Todd Portune, which is highly unusual.
One of the reasons that Cunningham cites he is taking a soft position on S.B.5 is out of fear that the labor unions will be encouraged to put the bill on a referendum to be voted on by the voters of Ohio. Cunningham believes it’s easier and more conciliatory to the unions to allow them to be a part of the negotiation process, and it may take the edge off and avoid a referendum.
I never had illusions that S.B.5 would avoid a referendum. After all, when it comes to union activity, they have a history of pushing and shoving until they get what they want, so a referendum that is well financed by the union is a certainty one way or the other.
So when that referendum happens, I am making the formal announcement that I will bet Bill Cunningham a hot fudge Sundae that the referendum will be defeated when the unions do collect all their signatures and place it on a ballot. Cunningham predicts a 60-40 defeat in favor of the unions based on a 1997 decision regarding workers compensation. What Cunningham isn’t taking into account is the presence of the Tea Party Movement that was not in place in 1997. This time when the unions send out teachers and fireman wrapped in the flag, there will be a counter to them in Tea Party members all across this state telling the truth behind the pro-union campaign.
Even though the numbers of the Tea Party are less, I will take the enthusiasm of the Tea Party over the rhetoric of union organization in a head to head battle between right and wrong any day, and I firmly believe that this new political element will swing public opinion armed with facts the opposite way that Cunningham predicts.
Cunningham has also stated that if Shannon Jones had not introduced S.B.5 in its aggressive form that all the protests and anger created by the unions would subside. But the truth is, Wisconsin attempted such a minor reform, and we see that the intensity of the protests are every bit as radical, so it does Governor Kasich no good to negotiate because unions have not shown any interest in the past of doing such a thing. Only now, with a Republican majority faced with a nearly 10 billion dollar deficit, are there any cries from unions to “talk.” Kasich knows it will do no good to “talk,” and I respect his position because it represents many in this state that feel the same level of frustration.
So the real battle for S.B.5 will be decided by the voters in the state of Ohio whether or not Kasich plays nice. Any reform attempted will bring on union aggression. It’s unavoidable, because the unions are a radical organization that only understands forward advancement. They don’t know how to give back once it’s realized that they asked for too much.
If I’m wrong, which is about as rare as an eclipse, I’ll be happy to buy Cunningham a hot fudge sundae from UDF. But my bet is that these new elements that exist in the political landscape will tip the balance of power in a new direction not to the liking of the public sector unions.
To display this argument I submit exhibit “A.” Witness David Letterman talking to Rand Paul and you can see how the world of yesterday “thought” and how the world of tomorrow will “think.”
Letterman said, “I think he’s wrong, but I’m just not sure why.” A referendum against S.B.5 is referred to in much the same way by Cunningham. His political instincts tell him that S.B.5 is wrong, yet there is a part of him that understands what the Tea Party represents. The truth will be revealed in the tax payer as they vote on the battle ground of Ohio’s ballot boxes, and it won’t be in favor of continued union control over the public sector.