Making the Ohio labor fight all about Obama

November 4, 2011

This mailer, which was dropped in Ohio by the conserative group Alliance for America’s Future, perfectly captures how large the stakes are in the Ohio labor fight for unions and national conservatives alike.

The mailer ties the battle directly to Obama by arguing that a NO vote on the two referenda on the ballot would make liberals cheer and give Obama momentum. Though the mailer references the two measures on the ballot, the one that really matters and has far reaching national implications is Issue 2. It would affirm Governor John Kasich’s law rolling back the public employee bargaining rights — and it has emerged as the central front for national conservatives in their quest to break labor’s back in the middle of the industrial heartland.

Obama has not full-throatedly endorsed Issue 2. But the group seems to be invoking him as part of a last-ditch effort to drive up turnout in a fight that seems to be going labor’s way. In a sense, the mailer really lays bare what’s on the line here — a defeat for the referendum would provide a huge boost for labor in a critical swing state, giving “help” to Obama by giving him and Joe Biden “momentum” heading into 2012.

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This is not the first time we’ve seen the anti-labor forces try this tactic. A recent mailer dropped by conservatives blared that “Obama’s policies are failing our country,” even though Obama has nothing to do with Issue 2, beyond generally supporting public employee bargaining rights.

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.
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