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Ohio Right to Work: Not This Year

This week the Ohio Attorney General approved ballot language for a Right-to-Work amendment to the Ohio constitution. I agree with fellow Third Base Politics writer Bytor, who covered the issue a couple months ago: a Right-to-Work amendment in November 2012 is a terrible idea.

The Senate Bill 5 campaign proved Ohio voters remain too receptive to union rhetoric. Trying to rehash the same arguments during a presidential campaign already focused on Progressive class warfare would be a nightmare.

Summer 2010 - Banners from OEA staffers on strike
Class: During a 2010 strike, Ohio Education Association staff hung a banner telling the OEA boss to kill himself.

The ridiculousness of public unions prompted me to start writing and researching with a purpose beyond, “here’s what annoys me today, and I know my friends wouldn’t want to hear this rant.” I wish I were more effective at making the case for union reform! If you could find another sap who spent more free time than I did over the past year arguing for the need to reform Ohio’s government union law, I would be amazed. On this subject, Ohio conservatives have a lot of work left to do.

Big Labor’s pockets are deep, and any attempt at union reform means attacking the strength of people who get rich pushing class warfare for a living.

LaborUnionReport, in a terrific summary of Right-to-Work, had this to say about the proposed amendment to Ohio’s constitution:

This brings us back to Ohio.Ron Paul supporter and Tea Party consultant Chris Littleton is spearheading an effort to put Right-to-Work on Ohio’s November ballot. If successful in getting enough signatures to have the initiative placed on the ballot, Littleton and his compadres will likely do nothing more than ensure an Obama victory in Ohio.

With unions collecting more than $8 billion per year in union dues, no amount of money Littleton can raise will be enough to outspend the unions on the issue Right-to-Work—as evidenced by the recent fight over SB5 (Issue 2) in November.

In fact, union bosses and Democrats are likely hoping for Littleton to get enough signatures to put Right-to-Work on the ballot. [Don't be too surprised if unions, either directly or indirectly through third-party operatives, quietly encourage people to sign the petitions.] Once Right-to-Work is on the ballot, unions can turn Ohio into World War IV (again).

Regardless of the amount of money Littleton and his associates may make from putting Right-to-Work on Ohio’s ballot, his efforts put the rest of the nation at risk of seeing Barack Obama win Ohio and, as a result, likely re-election. This is something that, hopefully, even Littleton’s presidential pick, Ron Paul, would see the practical ramifications of avoiding if it meant putting Obama back in the White House for four more years.

  • Even though Ron Paul has been cagey on stating he would not run as a third-party candidate, his son, Rand Paul, has stated that it would be impractical, knowing that it would ensure an Obama victory. Hopefully, his Ohio supporters are as practical in that regard when it comes to placing Right-to-Work on November’s Ohio ballot.

As the saying goes: “Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” Or, in the case of Ohio, another way to put this is: Forego the battle for now, if it helps you win the war later.

With the nation nearing $16 trillion in debt and owing $117 trillion in unfunded liabilities, despite the legislature in Indiana winning Right to Work, putting a Right-to-Work initiative in Ohio is not worth the risk. Not now. Not this year.

I’ve got no beef with Chris Littleton. The 1851 Center and the Ohio Liberty Council do good work, as brilliantly demonstrated by the success of the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment last November. I don’t expect many people to care about my opinion, but I will not be signing a petition to get Right-to-Work on the 2012 ballot.

Before telling me what a spineless pushover I am, take a few minutes to review my work for Senate Bill 5.

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Cross-posted at that hero and Third Base Politics.

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