Chamber of Commerce risks massive backlash

Attacking your neighbors, friends and family is hard, attacking your customers is just plain dumb
Tea party members are squarely in its corner, and it's widely assumed that conservative corporate entities from inside and outside Ohio will pony up at the appropriate time.

But will the real leader of the pro-Senate Bill 5 movement please stand up?

Those opposed to Senate Bill 5 - the new law that limits collective bargaining for Ohio's public employees - have a political action committee, are gathering signatures and are identifying multimillion-dollar revenue streams to fund a referendum campaign this fall.
[...]
Kasich has said he will campaign in favor of the bill, and he used a campaign fundraising email last week to talk about his support of the bill. But he and his staff are deflecting questions about who will lead Senate Bill 5's defense.

Tea party officials and business people say they simply don't know, and Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine said preliminary discussions to answer some of these questions are under way.
Many businesses simply do not support S.B.5, and those that do may find themselves on the wrong end of a public relations backlash. Hundreds of thousands of people adversely affected by this extreme legislation are also their customers and neighbors. We see this playing out in microcosm in Youngstown
Three more companies have left the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber as a result of the chamber board’s endorsement of Senate Bill 5
As OhioDaily notes
What will it take for this Chamber to realize that they ought to be helping to strengthen businesses in this challenged area and not endorsing partisan bills that weaken its workforce?
Local businesses that threaten their customers are going to come under intense scrutiny, and for what gain?

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Education cuts should be a wake up call

While lawmakers begin to debate the administrations reckless budget proposal, it's plain for all to see that a more balanced approach is required to preserve our future, our schools and local economies. This is evident in a number of reports today

Devastating news from Cleveland
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland Metropolitan School Board voted to layoff 835 employees, 643 of those are teachers. The board also voted to close seven schools.

Columbus city also finds itself in trouble
The district is now looking at an estimated $16 million loss under a budget proposal that's being considered by the state legislature, and a potential $6 million loss from local property-tax collections because of falling home values, Harris said after a board meeting tonight.

She said it means that staff cuts are inevitable before the start of school this fall.
Delaware
The $2.5 million in cuts for next school year include eliminating 14 staff positions, limiting field trips and phasing out German and Latin classes.

"We understand, to really be financially able to get what we need, it's going to take a combination of the district making significant cuts and asking the community to support the schools through new money," Backus said.
Hudson
Hudson -- Almost 200 people, many of them wearing the blue union shirts of the Hudson Education Association, listened as the School Board on April 4 voted to eliminate 37 positions before the start of the 2011-12 school year.

The eliminated positions will save the district $2.9 million in salaries and benefits but leave about 34 people out of work, according to Assistant Superintendent Phil Herman.
These cuts should be a wake up call to lawmakers, to consider a more balanced, less reckless approach to the budget.

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Teachers union poll - teachers still popular

Marist just released a poll, primarily of New York City schools, however it contained this nudger of information we continue to see repeated in poll after poll - Teachers and their unions are popular, contrary to what some might have you believe.
A majority of residents -- 55% -- say that, when thinking about the public school system in New York City, the teachers union does more good than harm. 35% disagree and believe that it does more harm than good. Nine percent are unsure.

Younger New York City residents are more likely than older ones to think the union does more good than harm. 67% of Millennials and 56% of those in Gen X think this way compared with 51% of Baby Boomers and 43% of those in the Silent-Greatest generation.
The poll also had this, which I am sure many of us are feeling right now
Less R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Teachers
Almost two-thirds of New York City residents -- 65% -- say that today’s public school teachers receive less respect than when they were in school. One in five -- 20% -- think they garner the same amount of respect while 7% believe they get more. Eight percent are unsure.
Perhaps if our leaders starting offering more respect, others would follow.

The poll results can be found here (warning large PDF).

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Teachers ready to fight Senate Bill 5

From the Morning Journal - Local teachers ready to fight Senate Bill 5
LORAIN — Local teachers concerned about the affects of Senate Bill 5 gathered yesterday in the auditorium of Lorain High School, 2600 Ashland Ave., to learn how they can fight the law that limits the collective bargaining rights of municipal and state workers.

William Leibensperger, Ohio Education Association vice-president, along with State Rep. Dan Ramos, D-Lorain, spoke during the Q & A session, which was held to better educate teachers on the law and rally them against it.

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Top 3 Today

The top 3 news stories for you today.

  1. Savings fostered by collective-bargaining law anything but a sure thing
The Administration uses fuzzy math to calculate savings from S.B.5 - savings that come out of paychecks in the form of eliminated step increases and increased health premium contributions. The Administration then claims the savings don't come from salaries.
"He can't have it both ways," said Dennis Willard, spokesman for We Are Ohio, the coalition pushing the November referendum, arguing that the governor cannot say there will not be pay cuts but at the same time promote the kind of savings that will come out of workers' paychecks.
  1. 1 signature vs. 3,000
Just two business days after Kasich signed SB 5, We Are Ohio was able to collect more than enough signatures to start the referendum process. Now we wait the ten business days to see if Secretary of State Husted will certify at least 1,000 valid signatures and if Attorney General DeWine will certify the proposed summary.
  1. Rally supports referendum on SB 5
DAYTON — More than 200 representatives from local unions, community and religious groups opposed to the passage of Senate Bill 5 gathered in the auditorium of Teamsters Local 957 Monday night to rally support for a referendum on the November ballot.

The rally was one of more than 1,000 labor events across the country commemorating the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn., where he had gone to stand with striking sanitation workers.

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An election to watch tomorrow

There's an election tomorrow worth keeping an eye on. The Wisconsin Supreme Court election has turned into a proxy battle for the union busting "budget repair bill" Scott Walker rammed through.
The fate of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill may hang in the balance Tuesday, when the state's voters head to the polls. The April 5 election, which pits conservative supreme court justice David Prosser against liberal assistant attorney general JoAnne Kloppenburg, will determine whether judicial conservatives or liberal activists have a 4-3 majority on the highest court in the state.

In a typical year, Prosser would win another 10-year term in a walk. But 2011 is far from typical. The left and unions are angry and energized over the Budget Repair Bill that curtailed the collective bargaining power of public employee unions. And while a Prosser victory is possible, all of that energy means that Kloppenburg is favored to win tomorrow's very low turnout election--historically, only about 20 percent of the state's voters show up to the polls in springtime elections.
It's been an ugly campaign as you can see from this recent ad

Prosser was elected in 2001, unopposed with 549,860 votes
. In a 2007 election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the winner prevailed 487,422 votes to 342,371.

What to look for tomorrow? It would have been a stunning upset for Kloppenburg to win, so that's the first test of how organized and angry pro-middle class voters are. But also keep an eye on the votes cast for each - that will give us a rough indication of the effects these labor busting moves are having on real voters, in real elections.

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