Ohioans Prepare to Send a Message

It’s judgment day in Ohio, and the voters there are set to deal John Kasich a black eye, as they strike a blow for workers’ rights.

Like Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Kasich declared war on public sector workers almost from the moment he took office.

He and the Republicans in the legislature used one sleazy move after another to get Senate Bill 5 through, a bill that severely restricts the collective bargaining rights of public employees in Ohio.

Thanks to an excellent state constitution, the citizens of Ohio have the right to overturn laws by referendum.

They needed 231,000 signatures to get this referendum on the ballot, and they turned in more than 5 times that many.

Kasich’s popularity has plummeted. And polls have consistently shown that a large majority of Ohioans wants to overturn the law. That’s why Kasich and his cronies tried to shrink the balloting by eliminating early voting.

But I doubt they’ll prevail.

Turnout seems high already today, and 88,000 people mailed in absentee ballots.

If this hideous anti-labor law goes down, as it seems likely to do, the working people of Ohio will have sent an unmistakable message: You can go after us, but you’re going to pay a price. And we won’t stop till we get our rights back.

A powerful message for all of us.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Why I Got Arrested in Madison."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter