A Democrat's bold plan to force GOP to re-legislate SB5

Frank Jackson may actually be a political mastermind, even if his roots are firmly planted in the corporate education camp's garden. His education "reform" plan contains provisions ripped right out of the pages of SB5.

Part of Jackson's plan asks the legislature to eliminate seniority as the sole factor in employment decisions and to allow the district to institute a merit pay plan. The changes would apply only to Cleveland as the state's sole district under mayoral control.

Both provisions were part of Senate Bill 5, a controversial collective bargaining law that would have affected public employees statewide. The law, which was put to a referendum as Issue 2 on the November ballot by a labor coalition backed by Democrats, was stomped by Ohio voters.

Rep. Mike Foley and state Sen. Nina Turner, both Cleveland Democrats, said they weren't ready to endorse what Turner called "Senate Bill 5 Lite." But both said they were keeping an open mind.

Mayor Jackson is calling for provisions that voters overwhelmingly repealed to be re-legislated by Ohio's Republican controlled general assembly.

Public Policy Polling just released their latest poll results of Ohio and found

After a little over a year on the job, Ohioans appear to be having voter’s remorse over the election of Republican John Kasich as Governor. Kasich holds a 53% job disapproval rating compared to just 33% approval. Independents disapprove by a 38-47 rate, just 9% of Democrats approve compared to 80% who do not, and 25% of Republicans disapprove while only 58% approve.

25% of Republicans disapprove. A majority of that disapproval comes as a result of the bitter SB5 fight. Those workers regardless of party, seemingly have long memories and are not ready to forget their betrayal. The thought of re-legislating pieces of SB5 might not be so appealing once heads clear.

The picture is further complicated for a number of Republican incumbents. For example, Plunderbund reports on Republican candidate Eric Spicer who is running for the Ohio House's 73rd District against State Rep. Jerrod Martin.

Spicer was an early voice against SB 5. “We tried to shove through bad legislation,” Spicer said, “that was a fiasco.” Spicer argued, “Ronald Reagan believed the Republican Party was a big tent party,” so Spicer wants the district represented by someone who can work with all parties and help build consensus.
But equally upsetting to Spicer is votes Martin did vote with his party, such as with SB 5 (which was repealed when Issue 2 failed) and the state budget.

In talking about his opposition to SB 5, he added, “and 60% of the voters agree with me.” What particularly bothered Spicer about SB 5 was he believes it “had unintended consequences that would have created a windfall for trial lawyers by getting rid of binding arbitration.”

Spicer is not the only Republican challenging an incumbent, primarily over SB5. Craig Schweitzer a very conservative Republican running for the 67th District, had this to say in an email obtained by Join the Future

The Ohio legislature with our current State Representative chose to embark on a path that used professional educators, as well as other members of the public sector workforce and their collective bargaining units as a scapegoat for Ohio’s financial difficulties. It was a bad choice and in my view a disingenuous tactic that ultimately failed. No single group of, teachers, law enforcement officers, or firefighters is responsible for Ohio’s state budget shortfalls.

Democrat Frank Jackson, urging Republicans to re-legislate SB5 lite in an election year may be the boldest part of his plan.