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Ohio’s 3 major newspapers look past the union hysterics, do the homework on Issue 2

What happens when you look at the facts involved with Issue 2, instead of basing your decision on the emotional hysteria coming from unions bent solely on preserving their power?

You find out that the need for reform is real, and that Ohio NEEDS Issue 2.

That what the newspapers from Ohio’s three largest cities found out when the looked past the rhetoric, and focused on the facts. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Columbus Dispatch, and the Cincinnati Enquirer all agree. Ohioans should vote YES on Issue 2. And what they say pretty much mirrors what we have been telling you.

Some key quotes from The Plain Dealer:

Ohio law must not impede reform, and it won’t if it creates a level playing field for public-sector workers and their employers.

Right now, that field is tipped in favor of the unions. Recognizing that reality does not mean we oppose public-employee unions or that we do not appreciate what their members do and the sacrifices some already have made…

In schools, the emphasis has to be on the progress of children, not the comfort of adults. In city halls and county offices, the impact on those who pay the bills — and the sheer magnitude of those bills — must be paramount.

Rules that made sense in 1983 do not make sense anymore. Ohio needs a fresh start…

When they mark their ballots, Ohioans cannot worry about what is best for any political party or interest group — on either side of this debate. They need to consider what’s best for the future of their children, their communities, their state.

They need to pass Issue 2.

The Columbus Dispatch looked at the facts honestly, and they concluded:

Elected officials should be in control of public expenditures. For the nearly three decades since the advent of Ohio’s extremely lopsided collective-bargaining law, elected officials have had too little control over the overwhelming majority of their budgets: salaries and benefits for public employees. That was always poor public policy, but in better economic times, it was sustainable. It isn’t anymore…

The claims of the anti-Issue 2 campaign have been intellectually dishonest. Chief among them is the suggestion that, with some bargaining-table leverage restored to them, state agencies and local governments instantly will begin slashing positions for firefighters and police and stop buying the equipment needed to keep the public safe. What possible motivation would a politician have for decimating safety services?

In fact, the opposite is more likely. With more ability to control the escalation of salary and benefit costs, governments won’t be forced as often to impose layoffs, and might be able to afford to keep even more police and firefighters on the streets.

And most recently, The Cincinnati Enquirer put aside the nastiness of this entire campaign, and looked at what Senate Bill 5 does for Ohioans.

For decades, Ohio has been on an unsustainable path of rapidly increasing public-sector benefits. SB 5 would give the people we choose to manage our money, our safety and our schools greater flexibility in benefits and work rules for public employees, bringing them closer in line with what comparable workers receive in the private sector. That could relieve the pressure to raise taxes and thus help, not hurt, middle-class Ohioans…

So we urge a “yes” vote on Issue 2.

If Issue 2 fails, the political climate may make it impossible to enact reforms for years to come, putting Ohio further behind the curve. We can’t let that happen. Vote “yes” on Issue 2.

(Note: all emphasis mine.)

The people we elect should have the final say on the cost of our local government services. Whether they are Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, moderates or independents, those elected officials answer to Ohio voters. Third-party arbitrators and union bosses DON’T.

Ohioans demanded change last November. Though the process hasn’t been pretty, nor perfect, Senate Bill 5 delivers the reforms that Ohio communities need. Don’t throw away this chance to balance the playing field, Ohio. Vote YES on Issue 2.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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