Ohio's Issue 2 was a referendum on repealing SB5, a bill that reduced certain public sector union benefits. The repeal effort passed by a wide margin -- 61-39.
Correspondent Amalaur describes the lay of the land:
Turnout in my conservative area of the city was very light. This wasn't an issue election for most voters I guess... unless they were members of a public sector union. To their credit (or at least to the taxpayers' credit, since they're funding the public sector), the unions swamped the airwaves with messages like "Vote no on 2 or you'll call 9-1-1 and no one will answer" and "if your house catches on fire, it'd be a shame if no one showed up."
Really sleazy and dishonest stuff. And the worst part is, many union members are going to pay for their mistake with their jobs. They were sold down the river by the union bosses. The layoffs are gonna come fast and furious (heh!), because the cities and towns have no way to pay their bills. SB5 would have helped the municipalities employ more cops and firefighters, not less.
What was SB5 all about? Oh, my, it was so onerous:
• Government employees would have to pay at least 15 percent of their health care costs
• Government employees would have to contribute at least something to their pension plans
• It preserved collective bargaining, but reduced the impact of tenure on schools' hiring decisions
But the loss wasn't nearly as bad as it looks. Turnout was relatively low, and the vote to crush Obamacare (Issue 3 - by dismantling the individual mandate) passed by a wider margin than Issue 2 -- 66% to 34%.
That tells me that even Democrats despise Obamacare.
And 2012 will be the ultimate referendum on that particular clusterf***.
Furthermore, unions from around the nation sent $30 million into Ohio to defeat SB5 -- against roughly $7 million to oppose the repeal effort, gathered from a hodgepodge of grassroots groups.
The executive summary: don't be disheartened. Ohio's labor victory was an anomaly, thanks to truly deceptive advertising, a huge spending disadvantage, and low turnout.
2012 will offer only the first of these tactics to Barack Obama. And the electorate will be anything but disinterested.