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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Should Senate Bill 5 Be Repealed?

A new poll shows that a majority of Ohio voters believe that Senate Bill 5 needs to be repealed.

Results from the survey conducted by independent Quinnipiac University also show nearly half of registered voters disapprove of how Gov. John Kasich is doing.

The poll surveyed 1,379 registered voters with a 2.6 percent plus or minus margin of error.

Live interviewers called land lines and cell phones when conducting the survey.

Results show that voters by a 54-36 margin believe that Senate Bill 5 should be repealed.

The law, which has a referendum drive under way with many groups working to collect 231,147 valid signatures to place the issue on the November ballot, changes and restricts collective bargaining for public employees.

The governor has said that local governments and school districts need the law as a tool to help them better manage costs.

Keep in mind it is still very early in the process involving any potential repeal as the effort has yet to be certified as an issue on the statewide ballot.

Plus, the mass media marketing campaigns — both for and against the potential repeal — have yet to begin, so there is still time for things to change.

Voters disapprove of Kasich’s job performance by a 49-38 margin, according to the poll.

But the numbers show that the governor has picked up some support since March when the margin was 46-30 — meaning 8 percent more now approve of the job he’s doing.

When it comes to the how governor has handled the state budget, a majority of registered voters continue to disapprove — a 53-35 percent margin compared to a 51-31 percent disapproval in a March 23 survey.

The poll also asked if the governor’s proposals are unfair to people like them, and voters by a 53-36 margin said the proposals are — identical to the results from the March 23 survey findings.

Not surprisingly, the poll numbers tend to follow party lines, with independent voters swaying the pendulum against the governor and in favor of repealing Senate Bill 5.

Independents are typically the voters who can make or break a campaign or issue.

If these results hold up, the governor will have a lot of work to do to ensure his agenda’s success.

Democrats call for repeal of Senate Bill 5 by a 72-14 percent margin, and independent voters were at 56-35 percent, according to the poll. Republicans support the law by a 58-33 percent margin.

Independent voters disapprove of Kasich’s job performance 47-37 percent, which is an improvement from than the 49-25 percent disapproval in March.

Republicans approve how Kasich is doing 66-22 percent compared to 63-18 percent in the last survey, while Democrats disapprove 73-15 percent compared to 67-11 percent in March.

Someone’s listening?

The Ohio Senate’s Government Oversight and Reform Committee has accepted a substitute version of Senate Bill 148 that includes a provision to eliminate special elections in February and August.

As I wrote in a column earlier this month, the board of trustees for the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, which represents the 86 county boards of commissioners and the executive and county councils in Cuyahoga and Summit counties, recently approved a proposal to ask the Ohio General Assembly to eliminate special elections during these two months.

Lake County Commissioner Daniel P. Troy, an outspoken proponent of the proposal, spearheaded the idea to CCAO.


* Lake County Sheriff Daniel A. Dunlap, 19th annual golf outing. Shotgun start at 10:30 a.m. June 10, Painesville Country Club. See Frank Leonbruno or Sheryl DePledge.

* Councilman Doug Davidson, who is running for Kirtland mayor, will host a hotdog roast from 6 to 8 p.m. June 13 at the Kirtland Community Center Pavilion. See Jim Yarborough or Gina Davidson.

* Euclid Mayor Bill Cervenik, annual golf classic: Shotgun start at 1 p.m. June 24 at Briardale Greens Golf Course in Euclid. See Beth Cervenik.

* Fundraiser for Madison Township Trustee Pete Wayman: 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 27 at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Madison Township. See Tim Gorka.

* Desirea Thompson, a candidate for Mentor-on-the-Lake Council, hosts a spaghetti dinner 5 to 9 p.m. July 16 at the Stadium Grill in Mentor. See John Thompson.

-- John Arthur Hutchison

Twitter: @newsheraldjah


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