Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Yes, there was an election on Tuesday

In my little town of Ramsey, MN, we had one contest for school board and three referendums for the school district. While important, it didn't have the "sex appeal" of Congressional and Presidential elections.

But if there was one takeaway from this year's elections, it was the state of Ohio having an opportunity to follow the example of Wisconsin and curb the public employee unions' inordinately high power. Sadly, by a vote of 61-39 percent, Ohio voters turned back Gov. John Kasich's proposal to overhaul collective bargaining for said unions. As a result, the status quo will be maintained, thus putting further strain on Ohio's delicate fiscal outlook. Truth be told, I couldn't help but feel genuine sympathy for those union members who were openly rejoicing the vote's result. What they don't realize is that Tuesday's celebration will soon turn into devastation for some of their peers when necessary layoffs commence.

Since Ohio has been a key swing state in Presidential elections for nearly 70 years, could this be a precursor to what will happen next year? Since 1944, Ohioans have sided with the losing candidate only once – opting for Nixon over Kennedy in 1960. So for those Democrats who were rejoicing over GOP Governor Kasich getting his finger slapped, don't automatically assume President Obama will take Ohio (and thus be reelected) in 2012. What was conveniently under-reported in light of Tuesday's p.e. union "victory" was also a very sharp rebuke of the President's signature legislation --- Obamacare. In fact this ballot initiative, known as "Issue 3" (Ohioans not being forced to participate in a health care system), passed by a larger margin than Issues 1 (raising mandatory retirement age for judges) and 2 (restricting collective bargaining for public employee unions) failed.

Ahhh elections. We're just gettin' warmed up.

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