by Mike Hall
Ohio voters today resoundingly overturned the anti-worker agenda pushed by Gov. John Kasich (R), Republican state lawmakers and outside interest groups which took away the right of public employees to collectively bargain for a middle-class life.
Moments ago, the vote was called: Buckeye State voters said “No” to Issue 2. The “No” vote on Issue 2 repeals Kasich’s S.B. 5 that eliminated the collective bargaining rights of some 350,000 public employees, including teachers, nurses and fire fighters.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who joined working families in phone banking and canvassing said Issue 2′s defeat ”is a major victory for working families in Ohio and across the country.”
Ohio’s working people successfully fought back against lies pushed by shadowy multi-national corporations and their anonymous front groups that attempted to scapegoat public service employees and everyone they serve by assaulting collective bargaining rights.
In short, Trumka said,
Ohioans from all backgrounds and political parties rejected the crazy notion that the 99 percent — nurses, bridge inspectors, firefighters,and social workers — caused the economic collapse, rather than Wall Street.
After the Ohio legislature rammed the law through in late March—ignoring an outpouring of public opposition including demonstrations that brought thousands to the state capitol in Columbus—Ohio working families began a massive mobilization to repeal the law.
In just a matter of weeks, volunteers from the We Are Ohio coalition collected more than 1.3 million signatures to put S.B. 5 repeal on the ballot. With polls showing growing support for repeal and a rapidly shrinking approval rating, in August Kasich even offered a so-called compromise. But working families rejected the deal and continued the fight for full repeal.
As the election drew near, unions and community groups knocked on doors, made phone calls and distributed literature around the state. In the past weekend alone, volunteers knocked on more than 450,000 doors.
But while activists from dozens of states as far away as Alaska gave up their nights and weekends
to call Ohio voters from home to get out the vote, S.B. 5 supporters turned to out-of-state money from extremist groups for misleading, and at times down right false televisions ads and dirty tricks.
For example in October, Cincinnati great grandmother Marlene Quinn—whose family was saved by firefighters—was featured in We Are Ohio television ad urging a “No” Vote on Issue 2. But shortly after, one of the right-wing groups backing Issue 2 pirated footage for their own ad and doctored Quinn’s words to make it seem as if she was endorsing Issue 2.
Just today, some voters received “robo calls,” telling them Election Day was “tomorrow.” Read more on voter suppression and voter manipulation attempts here.
This post originally appeared on the AFL-CIO Now Blog.