Why to Vote YES on Issue 2: Being bold and doing the right thing

Was it the novel Lila that stated, “Once a thief is caught a whole string of crimes is often solved? Yes, it was Robert Pirsig who had articulated my thoughts as I heard Sheriff Jones and Bill Cunningham argue against Senate Bill 5 promoting a repeal attempt. Sheriff Jones as a traditional Republican is working against Governor Kasich with many assumptions that have fed much of the misinformation about Senate Bill 5. Jones was very critical about Kasich offering the unions a seat at the negotiating table which can be seen below. The unions did not show up, and Kasich explains the situation to the press.

On the front of that meeting Sheriff Jones and I both spent a considerable amount of time on 700 WLW debating Senate Bill 5. Sheriff Jones’s position same as Bill Cunningham’s is one to protect the unions who they have either worked for or have done work in other capacities. So their arguments are the same basic union talking points based on party politics, emotion, and obscurity that we are hearing from union leaders like Richard Trumka. That important discussion can be heard here and is well worth listening.

There isn’t much about Senate Bill 5 that a public sector union supporter will like, and this is the cause of much of the misinformation, the protests and the divisive comments. And among the Republicans they are split over this issue, because S.B.5 is not the typical piece of legislation that is rooted in political gains. I have met Senator Jones on a couple of occasions now and several other legislators who were involved in the creation of Senate Bill 5 and I haven’t detected any level of maliciousness among them. It is quite the opposite. In fact, you can CLICK HERE to see a couple of them speaking at a School Choice event on the eve of this very issue way back in January of 2011. They knew then that this was going to be a tough fight because the public union worker, of which Sheriff Jones is a part, have grown too powerful and control too many of the costs. It is too late for elected leaders to “just say no” as Sheriff Jones proclaimed. That time has passed and time is of the essence. And, as I will show you in a clip below, just saying no is not so easy.

When Sheriff Jones says that the public boards of education, trustees and council members need to do their jobs and say no to these unions, that’s an unrealistic answer. Jones has managed to control his costs and lay-off workers depending on his budgets, but he’s done plenty arm twisting of county commissioners to get a good budget for himself, and he’s also openly supported the double-dipping process among his deputies, which is a legal loop-hole created by union lobby power purchased by the union dues paid by members.

So the process is not nearly as smooth as Sheriff Jones attempts to articulate. When he says all these elected officials have to do is say “NO” he is being completely misleading. To illustrate the reason why Kasich did not initially sit down and attempt to negotiate with the unions in a one on one sit down is for all the reasons heard in this broadcast from Darryl Parks way back in December of 2010 where the police and firefighter unions went ballistic over a PowerPoint presentation. This is not the exception, the kind of yelling and screaming you’ll hear in this broadcast. The only reason the public unions have been quiet in the year of 2011 is because they are afraid of Senate Bill 5 and they are putting on their best face in order to win over the public to repeal the law the November. But the broadcast below happened before Senate Bill 5 was even talked about, and it is because of this radicalism that the authors of Senate Bill 5 did what they thought was right knowing full well they would be relentlessly attacked in a massive public relations campaign and they knew that it was going to hurt. It was kind of like going to the dentist knowing that it was going to hurt, but they just had to put up with it so they could get their teeth fixed. LISTEN TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE POLICE UNION THEN LISTEN TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE FIREFIGHTERS UNION. (By the way, I think John Kasich did exactly as Darryl demanded of the councilwoman in this interview, Kasich does not care if he gets reelected. He’s trying to do the right thing which I’ll show below, and that earns him my support because he’s trying hard to be honest in spite of traditional politics. I judge a man by his actions, not by the spin. (The casino situation and union positions are all spin designed to make him play ball)

Now that I’ve had a chance to understand what finally made it through the final approval of Senate Bill 5 I find it baffling that anyone thinks it’s unfair in some way. As I have looked it over as a neutral observer who recognizes that reforms need to be implemented, Senate Bill 5 is extremely fair and well thought out. The only trouble with it is that it goes against the grain of “traditional” politics. It’s a uniquely bold piece of legislation that does not come about very often in politics. It is the kind of political fix that millions upon millions of Americans secretly yearn for because it is understood how difficult it would have been to do even one of the reforms listed below. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO SHANNON JONES HERSELF. WHO IS SHE? WHAT WAS HER MOTIVE…….FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF.

• I think the greatest aspect of ISSUE 2 (Senate Bill 5) is that it protects employees from unwanted union membership. The practice of government union contracts requiring employees to pay fees to a union has been ended in this bill which means the unfair practice of withdrawing money from their paychecks for union use is over. The bill does not outlaw unions, but provides the option to join or not, which I think is absolutely essential.

• Another thing ISSUE 2 stands for is it eliminates binding arbitration. What that means is that the current system allows an unelected, out-of-town mediator to settle government employee contract disputes. We see this all the time in school districts where a federal mediator is called in to bring school boards and union leaders together, and this is a process that we have all become numb to, but it is highly corrosive. This means that someone with no direct accountability to the voters decides how to spend our tax dollars. Senate Bill 5 says those decisions should be made by the people who answer directly to the taxpayers, which is what Sheriff Jones says he wants. But he left out the process of how a person in his position has to play “politics” smartly to win over the arbitrator. Most elected officials are not as “smooth” at it as he is, or do they have the ability to pad the pockets of county commissioners with their personal “war chests.” That is part of the dark side of politics that get left out of the discussion, and Senate Bill 5 is written to eliminate that type of political maneuvering. IT HAPPENS IN EVERY DISTRICT AND MUNICAPALTIY TO VARYING DEGREES.

• Senate Bill 5 Prohibits government workers from striking. Police currently cannot strike but school teachers can, and Senate Bill 5 eliminates this practice. I can speak from the case of Lakota Local Schools where in 2008 the teachers threatened to walk off the job shortly after the district passed a school levy. The teachers demanded better wages and better insurance rates and they were willing to walk off the job in October of 2008 if those demands were not met. The school board buckled under the pressure and the unions got their way in an undisclosed settlement. Over the next 2 years the cost of labor at Lakota shot up 10.1%, so the teachers got their money then again in the spring of 2010 they were ready to strike again, this time over insurance contributions. A federal mediator came in and helped resolve the issue. If the strike attempt had not occurred Lakota would not need to come to voters for a school levy in 2011, which they are. This practice is happening all over Ohio and it must be stopped. Federal government employees have long been prohibited from striking, a policy upheld by liberal Presidents like Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama. In fact, it was Roosevelt, an advocate of organized labor in the private sector who was opposed to collective bargaining among government employees so much that he called strikes “unthinkable and intolerable.” CLICK HERE TO SEE THE EXECUTIVE ORDER PRESIDENT KENNEDY SIGNED TO MAKE PUBLIC UNIONS LEGAL, SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN DONE.

• Senate Bill 5 is asking public employees to pay 15% of their benefits. A vast majority of Ohioans pay an average of 31% of their family health care coverage. For too long government employees have paid less than 9% and that type of disparity between public and private sector benefits must end. It’s not only unsustainable, but unfair to the tax payers who pay the salaries of their public workers. As Sheriff Jones says, “But we public workers pay taxes too,” well not exactly. The value of the initial money comes from the original tax payer for the services rendered by the public employee. The government is simply using taxation as a way to keep some of the public workers pay. The value of the money to begin with was created by someone in the private sector. The taxes that a government worker pays only helps prevent some of the slide of declining revenue that is happening around the pension requirements, sky rocketing Medicare costs, and other entitlement programs that are draining state and federal budgets.

• Senate Bill 5 rewards performance rather than longevity. Most Ohioans work under this system in the private sector. They’re retained and rewarded based on the job they do, not on how long they’ve been on the job. Teachers for a long time have attempted to keep any kind of performance assessment out of their pay structures which has simply not worked, leaving the United States far from the top in education placement throughout the world. Much of the reason so many school districts all over Ohio are asking for school levies this upcoming year is because of this very problem. At Lakota, my district, there are over 600 employees who make over 65K per year, and that has driven up the labor costs dictating another levy. If the school board were allowed to manage their costs they could still pay good teachers and administrators that kind of money, but the ones that they know, and everyone else knows are bad could be kept out of the higher rates of pay. Under the current system good teachers and bad teachers all advance at a steady rate under union contract which is what drives up the costs of a school district. It’s a terrible system that must be corrected immediately. Thirty years of this behavior have created such a burden on school districts that have only been fixed with increased taxes which is no longer a fix that people can afford. Reforms must occur before districts like Little Miami become insolvent and under state control forever.

• Senate Bill 5 ends seniority based layoff. This is something that Bill Cunningham, Senator Bill Seitz, and Sheriff Jones are all against and have been very vocal about. Today’s government contracts often require a system known as “last hired, first fired.” Well, this is an insane practice, if forces the newest employees to be laid off first, regardless of their performance. This is especially a problem in our schools, where good, new teachers are let go and bad teachers are kept on the job just because of seniority. Improving government services requires policies that keep the best and brightest not just the longest-serving. It must be remembered that the whole goal of a public sector job is to serve the public. It is not to create a position for a government employee that is secure for their entire lives. S.B.5 puts the public worker in the same situation every private worker in Ohio is in, and goes a long way to helping to get the most out of a work force, which should always be the goal of any employment endeavor. The personalities mentioned who are against this idea are all people who have helped build it, so of course they desire to protect it now. It doesn’t matter if it’s Republicans or Democrats, it is politics that put that system in place to help buy bloc votes in politics, and it is simply a failed system that must be removed.

When opponents of this bill say that Senate Bill 5 is too FAR reaching, that Governor Kasich should have come to the table to discuss these issues, those same people are the types who would have yelled and screamed just like in the Cincinnati City Council meeting played above where the union presidents of the police and firefighters were SCREAMING over two slides on a PowerPoint presentation, let alone the 6 major reforms listed above. Each of those items could have been a bill in and of itself, and under a normal political system they would have been. But in these current days where trouble is erupting everywhere from entitlement programs suffering years and years of abuse, drastic action was needed, and it took a Senator in Sharron Jones who is a newcomer to politics, without a cluster of special interest ties to write the bill and it took a governor in Kasich who could make a lot more money in the private sector, and could care less if he gets re-elected to sign it. After looking into their eyes and peering into their souls, I can say that I believe completely that these politicians wrote Senate Bill 5 because they know it was the right thing to do. They didn’t write it to play politics, or be popular, obviously, because the political machine is in an uproar, which is the primary reason Bill Cunningham and Sheriff Jones, both old political veterans, are aghast at S.B.5. They represent a portion of politics that wishes the train could continue forever, and they believe that if somehow someone could talk to the labor unions, that somehow the problem would be fixed going into the future. But their way still requires “dirty politics.” Their way still requires “war chests” of money to grease arbitrators, or re-elect commissioners so that the budgets will hold and alliances can be built, and that is how this whole thing became a mess in the first place.

Senate Bill 5 is the kind of bill that workers standing around their tractors in a barn in Greenville, Ohio, or the fishing boat in Sandusky Bay, or the McDonalds dining room in Pebbles, Ohio sipping coffee in the morning air all demand why those “damn” politicians don’t do something right for a change. Well, they have for once, and the people who wrote and signed the bill are feeling the wrath of the “political machine” that has suppressed these reforms for decades and allowed abuses to take place that are epic and once removed will show just how far-reaching the corruption really was.

And that’s the real fear behind the chants and the arguments to repeal the bill. The people who have openly manipulated the system of the public worker for years to achieve tremendous financial gain know that they are caught. They were caught the moment that Senate Bill 5 was signed because all the scandals hidden in the reforms listed above will soon be revealed. It will take only a few short months for the light to show just how much money was disappearing from the tax payers once these controls are in place and as stated in the opening line of this article, “many crimes will suddenly be solved.”

The repeal attempt is simply no different from a criminal who would entertain once they were convicted of their crime to evade their sentence through an appeal process. The public unions, and those people who have profited from them, hope that if they can just convince enough people that they are innocent, than they can be set free once again. And since there are so many people in Ohio guilty to some extent of the treachery that has occurred, there are a lot of people who will vote to hide their crimes. There is no shortage of people who will apologize for public union behavior because many of them carry just a little bit of the guilt for allowing it to continue for so long, they will attack the people who are just trying to solve the crime, and they will do anything to save their own skin, even if it means taking that skin off someone else’s back.

To me in this discussion I feel like the musicians on the deck of the Titanic playing one last song before the floods come and whisk everything away. I hope that by writing just one more article, or speaking on the radio one more time I can avoid the inevitable sinking of this entire public union debacle. But like the movie Titanic, the public union workers believe that their ship is unsinkable, and it is their naive arrogance that places all of us in danger.

After the ship has sunk and everyone is stuck in the freezing water the true primal nature of those in peril can be seen for all the ugliness a human being is capable of. That behavior is currently hidden behind the “political machine” but the ruthlessness that many will engage in to survive and preserve their own interests can never be underestimated and can be seen if looked at close enough.

I do not work for the Republican Party in any way shape or form. I am loyal to absolutely no politician. I have never taken one dime of money from a political party and I’ve never given one dime to a political party. I have zero desire to be a future politician for I despise the very term. In fact the only thing I’ve ever received from a politician is a tie from Ross Perot’s family for the work I did for his campaign during the 1992 election. I was tired of this whole process even back then! With that in mind I’m going to say that I not only think Senate Bill 5 is fair and a bold piece of legislation that I have personally desired for my entire adult life, but that I believe it was written in the most fair way possible to assist public workers with the change in political culture that must take place. The riots and protests that have been seen toward S.B.5 would have been witnessed with the same intensity over just one of those issues, and the politicians knew it, and this is the reason Kasich wasn’t willing to “talk” as Bill Cunningham and Sheriff Jones have accused him of doing, to the unions. But to Kasich’s credit the process did allow for input. There were two weeks of testimony where all sides presented their arguments before the Senate. This was not a deal done like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi where they rushed “Health Care” through without anyone reading the bill over a holiday weekend. The Republicans did not do that. They did listen and they acted according to what they believed was the right thing to do. The unions spoke in testimony. They chanted outside and their history of intimidation over just minor issues as heard in the Cincinnati City Council recording are well noted, and the politicians involved braced themselves for the pain that would ensue.

But the authors of Senate Bill 5 did the right, and essential thing in a time of crises even though the task would be extremely difficult.

One last broadcast before I end this. In an interview by Bill Cunningham with his buddy John Kasich right before he was sworn in as Governor; this was about a month before S.B.5 was initiated as a law, provides some interesting insight into the world of politics. Kasich is the same person today that he was then, but it is Cunningham who has changed, because the foundations of the public sector worker are part of his business and these changes are uncomfortable. I’m not sure what people thought was going to happen when Kasich was sworn in, but Kasich is doing the job I elected him to do.

Kasich did exactly what he said he would do. But the people who benefit off the system as it is today obviously turned on him when the unions started their lobby campaign, which everyone knew was going to happen.

The reason I do this blog and have over 200 videos on my YouTube account, is to keep everyone honest and keep the “political machine” from manipulating the tax payers as they have for over 200 years. Since the newspapers and television stations have short memories, and I don’t, I created Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom to bring the truth to people with my opinion behind it. But the history of our existence is fact and is shown here for all to see, and I don’t mean to pick on Bill Cunningham, alliances and friendships only extend to the flow of money in politics, so it can be difficult to understand whose friend or foe. A friend today can be your enemy tomorrow and in a period of just six months a good friend like Bill Cunningham can turn into a Judas for all the reasons history provides, because when it gets hot in the kitchen some just can’t take it.

So I’ve provided you with the truth as I see it. If you dear voter do not vote in favor of Issue 2, you will regret it for years to come. You will see the kind of financial conditions that those people on the Titanic were experiencing. The issue of Senate Bill 5 is not matters of life or death like on the Titanic, but the financial requirements for your city, your schools, and state government will see a similar flooding of the fiscal nature if not passed. School teachers will still teach. Fireman will still fight fires. Police will still serve our communities if you vote YES on Issue 2. It is the financial culture behind those public positions that must change, not the jobs themselves. It cannot continue as it is now, because public workers already make nearly 30% more than the average private sector employee. CLICK HERE to read some stats for yourself and be armed to deal with the facts when a public worker claims they are being treated unfairly. In fact, click on every paragraph of this article to go to another article about S.B.5. This entire article is HOTLINKED to multiple articles.

Ultimately if you do not have the courage to vote in favor of keeping Senate Bill 5, by voting YES on Issue 2, you will be personally responsible for the aftermath of fiscal trouble that will follow. It’s already too late, this repeal process is stalling the needed reforms that school districts everywhere need to avoid going to the tax payers this upcoming November, and the tax payers can no longer afford to pay, even if they wanted to. With costs of everything up, the average taxpayer does not have the extra money, and there aren’t enough rich people to loot in order to balance the budgets the labor unions have negotiated. The radical extortion of the past has no place at the table of the future and if public workers want to be a part of that table, they need an approach different from what we experienced with Cincinnati City Council when the head of the police union refused to “discuss” the numbers on a simple PowerPoint. Instead she attacked the data with yelling and screaming and violent protests, a tactic that Senate Bill 5 virtually eliminates, so that proper negotiations can take place and disparities can be managed with a fairness every citizen in the State of Ohio deserves.

Rich Hoffman

13 thoughts on “Why to Vote YES on Issue 2: Being bold and doing the right thing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.