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- THE HORRIBLE. PRESIDENCY (2)
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Saturday, August 20, 2011
Recall victories in Wisconsin and plummeting approval ratings have John Kasich scared--and now he wants to make a deal with labor and progressive groups.
August 19, 2011
It turns out that wholesale attacks on workers' rights aren't nearly as popular in a rough economy as conservative governors thought.
The latest one to realize he's overstepped his bounds and offer “compromise”? Ohio governor John Kasich.
Kasich, elected in 2010 with just 49 percent of the vote, pushed through an attack on public workers similar to the one Wisconsin's Scott Walker championed. Senate Bill 5 (SB5) was passed and signed into law in March, and eliminated most collective bargaining for state workers, as well as increased the amount of money they had to pay for their pensions and made it harder for unions to collect dues.
It spawned mass protests that might have been overshadowed in the public imagination by the sheer size of the Madison resistance. But progressives sat up and took notice when Ohio activists, led by the coalition group We Are Ohio, collected 1.3 million signatures on a petition to allow Ohioans to vote on the bill themselves, putting it on the ballot in November's election. Ohio's "Citizen Veto" is an unusual law; it gave activists 90 days to collect a minimum of 231,149 signatures to stop the bill going into effect until the voters have a chance to decide. The results were so outstanding—more than five times the required number of signatures--that the group and 6,000 supporters held a parade through the city of Columbus to deliver the signatures to the secretary of state's office.