Republican Attacks on Workers Backfire in Ohio

by Manny Herrmann – Reposted from the AFL-CIO NOW Blog

Remember when Ohioans overwhelmingly voted to repeal Senate Bill 5—Gov. John Kasich’s attack on middle-class jobs that was designed to destroy collective bargaining rights in Ohio?

According to Reuters, repudiating S.B. 5 was just the beginning of a big backlash against tea party overreach. In Ohio, many so-called “Reagan Democrats” are turned off by extreme attacks on working families waged by Tea Party politicians and are abandoning the party. Meanwhile, online fundraising for Ohio Democrats has quadrupled.

What we’re seeing in Ohio and other states that have faced attacks on collective bargaining rights is that attacks on working families are turning Reagan Democrats—and Republican union members like teachers, firefighters and police—against the tea party’s extremist agenda.

Brian Barnhart, a 33 year old lieutenant with the Columbus fire department, says it all: “I am socially conservative, I am a registered Republican voter and voted a strict Republican ticket in 2010 – but I am voting with Democrats in ’12.”

The main reason is the attacks on workers that I have been seeing with the Republican Party.

“Mitt Romney said that he supported Senate Bill 5 and Issue 2, so he’ll have a lot of explaining to do to police officers and firefighters, nurses, teachers and working people in general as to why he was on the wrong side of where Ohioans were,” says Tim Burga, the president of the Ohio AFL-CIO.

You can read more about Ohio’s backlash against Republican overreach here.

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