I continue to get a lot of email from people all over Ohio wanting to know how they can fight their local school levies and take controversial positions against fire/police levies. Without question the levy attempts will continue to be a problem in Ohio as collective bargaining agreements are wrecking the budgets of virtually every community. The idea of collective bargaining is a preposterous notion that only ignorant fools would support. They are a direct result of communist influence during the “red decade” reacting to extensive pressure from the Soviet Union, and should have never been brought to The United States in any form. The mistake of collective bargaining is that it pays employees value based on years of service, seniority and collective membership, not on individual merit which is essential to a capitalist system. Collective bargaining is the brain-child of Karl Marx and is anti-capitalism in its fiscal approach. The practice needs to be abolished before management of community resources can be performed properly. Collective bargaining is the single greatest cause of tax increases in any government endeavor. Employees are paid too much because of it, and too many people are paid with such over abundance—which recklessly drives up labor costs on a community forcing tax increases.
Although collective bargaining for private sector workers was adopted into federal Law in 1935, it was nearly 50 years later when public employees in Ohio obtained the right to negotiate workplace contracts. On July 6, 1983 Governor Richard Celeste signed the collective bargaining bill (SB133) into law, which went into effect on April 1, 1984 and is contained in Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 4117.
As a result of the collective bargaining law, six hundred thousand public employees including teachers, firefighters, police officers, state and local service workers, could not only form and join a union, but also enjoy legal rights in negotiating workplace contracts with the public employer (the taxpayer). The collective bargaining law also ushered in the State Employees Relations Board, principally charged with administering Chapter 4117 and resolving labor and management disputes through a three-member board appointed by the Governor, which almost every time favors the lobby power of the labor unions.
Until the mistake of Celeste in Ohio during 1983 and the 1935 federal law are abolished tax levies will continue. Many of the people writing me lack the network to fight the large well-oiled machines of community labor unions but I have been able to help some of them construct successful strategies to defeat their levies as they come up on the ballot. To date, the government institutions, particularly the schools simply ignore the election results when they fail and try again for another tax increase in the next business quarter. This scam is driven by collective bargaining agreements and unions flock to protect those agreements because it is the life-blood of their high wages. So, it is helpful to have a larger organization behind tax fighting efforts to match and surpass the scams proposed by labor unions in bed with statist government lovers.
I recently spoke with Hanna Faulkner from the Americans for Prosperity organization who is the Southwest Ohio filed coordinator. She offered the services of AFP to communities struggling to defeat their tax levies with the might of their dynamic group powered by incredible activists. They have organized and influential citizen leaders in every state who work at local, state, and national levels to embrace the principles of economic freedom. AFP understands that individual and entrepreneurial freedom creates a higher quality of life than government controls and excessive regulation. They also understand that efficient, effective and limited government protects hardworking taxpayer and allows the real economy to grow and thrive. AFP believes that genuine merit should determine success, not government cronyism or favoritism which is exactly what collective bargaining breeds everywhere it is applied. AFP knows that communities are healthier and more prosperous when personal responsibility is reward and dependency is discourage, so they are the perfect type of organization to help lend support when it comes to fighting tax increases.
According to Hanna, AFP is all about action. Throughout the year they crisscross the nation holding rallies, town halls, and grassroots events to inform, empower, and activate Americans to become influential voices in the battle for economic freedom. In addition to their aggressive stance on national issues, AFP frequently focuses on critical issues at the state and local levels. That’s why they mobilized massive resources to combat New Jersey’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), where they conducted nearly 50 special events and training seminars, resulting in Governor Christie removing New Jersey from the Cap-and-Trade scheme. AFP also played a major role in Wisconsin’s budget reform battle, where they defended those in the state who were fighting to balance Wisconsin’s budget. To that end, they took over the airwaves, rallied grassroots activists, and organized a statewide bus tour.
AFP’s North Carolina activists ensured passage of the first veto-proof budget without a tax increase in over a decade. The legislative success was the result of grassroots pressure involving AFP-North Carolina activists knocking on more than 56,000 doors and holding rallies as well as AFP’s large-scale paid media effort. AFP-Nevada activists logged a whopping 35,441 live, non-partisan, Get-Out-The-Vote calls leading up to the special election in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District. In Wisconsin, AFP deployed their vertically integrated grassroots strategy, 110,000 activists who ensured that Governor Scott Walker’s crucial collective bargaining reforms and spending cuts carried the day by running a statewide paid media effort, hosting dozens of large-scale rallies, and logging tens of thousands of live issue advocacy calls to households across Wisconsin. In Michigan AFP helped thwart an unnecessary international bridge project between Michigan and Canada after mobilizing tens of thousands of calls to elected officials in Lansing. In Texas, AFP along with a coalition of state-based partners, helped wipe out a $27 billion budget deficit in Texas without raising taxes or draining the state’s rainy day fund. American’s for Prosperity is a group that offers fresh troops to the budget battles of the day—and they are quite effective.
This is why I was speaking to Hanna. When my school district of Lakota attempts to place another levy on the ballot, I intend to beat that levy so badly that it will change state dialogue in Ohio with a mandate setting defeat that is so high-profile that every district in Ohio, and the board of education at the state level will shudder. To do this I intended to defeat the next measure by 65% or more at the ballot box, and to do that it will require different tactics than I have used in the past. The activism record of AFP is just the kind of thing I’m looking for, so such an alliance looks to be forthcoming. However, in the meantime, AFP is there for other districts all across the state, and they should be contacted to assist with those battles.
Recently there was a levy attempt in the district of Greenon north of Dayton which was quite ugly. The levy fighters there had lost their house, pushed out because of the higher taxes, and they were all alone in their levy fight. They managed to defeat the May levy attempt with a wonderful campaign that I am proud of them for implementing. For them, I would recommend that they contact Hanna for further support on the next attempt as working with AFP will give them more troops on the ground than they currently have. In Greenon, obviously most people agreed with my friends, but they wouldn’t dare say so publicly because they fear the kind of retaliation that was suffered. There are many school district preparing levy attempts for the fall ballot so now is the time to contact Hanna at the AFP to organize against those efforts with the successful track record achieved by that liberty defending group.
Levies must be defeated if the collective bargaining debacle of Dick Celeste is to be reversed. Tax increases are slow intrusions on the value of private property that were typically imposed out of graciousness so long as the value of homes continued to artificially increase. Now that the housing bubble has burst, the taxes paid to schools are not paid out of falsified property increase values, but out of the real value of property that is not going to increase by means of miracle for the owner. For the entire duration of Celeste’s diabolical scheme of collective bargaining, property values have artificially inflated with the perception that it would go on forever. But now reality has set in, and the villain of collective bargaining must be dealt with first by defeating the proposed tax increases, then removing collective bargaining from all government jobs in Ohio so that proper management of tax payer resources can be conducted. Yet these reforms do not have to be terrifying enterprises where only a few must stand against the many. Americans for Prosperity is there to help provide support for just this sort of thing, and I’d recommend contacting them over ballot initiatives in Ohio whenever possible.
Hanna Faulkner at American’s for Prosperity can be contacted at: