Kasich: Let’s Make A Deal On My Anti-Union Bill — And Call Off The Repeal Referendum
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Wednesday offered a deal to the state's public employee unions: Let's compromise on my law stripping away your collective bargaining rights -- and withdraw the referendum where you could get it repealed.
The Columbus Dispatch reports on Kasich's press conference, at which he was also joined by top Republican legislative leaders:
Kasich said avoiding a fight is in "best interest of everyone, including public employee unions." He asked the unions to "set aside political agendas and past offenses."
The governor said the offer stems from him being a "believer in talking," and not out of "a fear we are going to lose." Kasich asked for a delegation of 10 public employee union leaders to talk with state officials.
The law has not actually taken effect, but was put on hold by the petition process that triggered the referendum for this November. A recent Quinnipiac poll from this past July showed that repealing the bill had a lead of either slightly under or over 20 points, depending on the wording of the question.
According to the Dispatch, the possible deal from Kasich's side would include a modified binding arbitration system, the right to strike for non-public safety employees, and the likely restoration of "fair share" payments to unions by non-union employees that the law would have eliminated, among other issues that would be put on the table. A main fiscal austerity part of the bill, requiring increased contributions by public employees to their health care and pensions, would have to be agreed to in some form.
We Are Ohio, the lead organization behind the repeal referendum, put out a statement in response -- saying no to a deal, and that Kasich and fellow Republicans should repeal the law in its entirety if they want to avoid the referendum. Key quote:
Today We Are Ohio once again stood firmly with the 1.3 million Ohioans who signed petitions to repeal SB 5 by telling the extreme politicians who passed it, to repeal it. Following a press conference held by Governor Kasich, Speaker Batchelder and Senate President Niehaus, We Are Ohio issued the following statement:
"We're glad that Governor Kasich and the other politicians who passed SB 5 are finally admitting this is a flawed bill," said Melissa Fazekas, spokeswoman for We Are Ohio. "Just like the bill was flawed this approach to a compromise is flawed as well. Our message is clear. These same politicians who passed this law could repeal it and not thwart the will of the people. They should either repeal the entire bill or support our efforts and encourage a no vote on Issue 2."
So now, that the law is polling over TWENTY POINTS DOWN IN THE POLLS, the Rethugs wannna talk?
Let me remind you of how they passed this nonsense in the first place.
They actually had to THROW A REPUBLICAN OFF THE COMMITTEE that disagreed with them, and stack the committee with other Rethugs.
They were all big and bad in passing this bill.
Now, they can let DUE PROCESS take effect.
Let the voters of Ohio have their say.
How serious is the Governor?
He told the PRESS, before he called any of the Union Leaders.
THAT should tell you anything you need to know about the ' sincerity' of the Governor.
I wouldn't care if he actually did get the Rethugs together to repeal the bill.
Go forth with the repeal by the voters and set that IN STONE.
You think that if they were, say, 5% points down, they'd be talking this nonsense?
See, the margin for disgust on this bill is beyond the margin that they can election fraud, which is what scares them.
Rachel Maddow has a piece on this:
Ohio State Representative Armond Budish, general assembly minority leader, talks with Rachel Maddow about Governor Kasich's sudden reversal on his newly passed anti-union legislation.
Ed Schultz too: