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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 18, 2013

For now, Right to Work issue in Ohio appears dead

Ohio Republicans have decided that now is not the time to try to make the Ohio a so-called Right to Work state.

The issue appears to be dead despite the recent introduction of two bills in the Ohio General Assembly that aim to prohibit public and private sector workers from being required to join a union as part of their employment.

Ohio General Assembly Republicans argue that workers should have the freedom to chose whether they want union representation.

Democrats aren’t letting the opportunity pass to use the issue to help them raise money and energize the party base.

They charge that the measures are an attack on collective bargaining and aim to weaken union membership.
A Cleveland-based political action committee named Keep Ohio’s Heritage even ran a recent television spot titled “Middle Class Minute.”

Democrats also say Right To Work comes with reductions to the average rate of pay for workers when compared to states that have a collective bargaining system like Ohio.

State Rep. Kevin Boyce, D-Columbus, who previously served as Ohio treasurer for two years starting in January 2009, recently sent out an email fundraiser appeal to Democratic supporters.

“This threat is real. The bills have been introduced and are just sitting there for Gov. (John) Kasich and his extreme Republican colleagues to bully through at a moment’s notice,” Boyce wrote. “Together we can win like we did against Senate Bill 5.”

The success of the Ohio Democratic Party and union members was evident when a galvanized effort spearheaded the repeal of Senate Bill 5 in November 2011.

It was precisely that fundraising effort that Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, referred to in deciding it was the wrong time to try to change the state law regarding Right to work.

A hearing on the issue that had been scheduled for last Thursday was cancelled.

My hunch is at some point the issue of Right to Work will appear on statewide ballots in some form.
I believe it would either be to repeal a bill that changes the state law making Ohio a Right To Work state or one that lets voters ultimately decide the matter.

Lake-Geauga YRs

The Lake-Geauga Young Republicans are the host club for the 2013 Ohio Young Republican State Convention on June 7-8 at LaMalfa Centre in Mentor.

Local speakers during the convention include state Rep. Matt Lynch and 11th District Court of Appeals Judge Colleen M. O’Toole. Keynote speaker for the dinner program will be U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta. U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce will be inducted into the local club’s hall of fame.

Contact Matt Jaworski or Brian Wollet for more details.

Filed petitions

Recently filing candidacy petitions in Lake County were David Anderson for Willoughby mayor; and Dennis Morley for Eastlake mayor.

Taken out petitions

Recently signing out candidacy petitions in Lake County are R. Robert Umholtz and Donald P. Webbe for Kirtland Council at large; and Geoffrey W. Weaver for Lake County Common Pleas Court; John R. Murphy for Painesville Council at large Jan. 3 term; Chuck Hillier for Painesville Township trustee; Joshua J. Strickland for Painesville Township trustee; and Mark Timm for Leroy Township trustee.


The weekly deadline to submit information for this column is prior to 5 p.m. each Wednesday. Email or fax is preferred.


n Fundraiser for Geauga County Commissioner Mary Samide, 4:30 to 7 p.m. May 30 at S.O.S. Inc. in Munson Township. See Samide or Jacqueline Moskal.

n Lake County Commissioner Robert E. Aufuldish, 18th annual golf outing, 11:30 a.m. registration May 31 at Powderhorn Country Club in Madison Township. See Kathie Aufuldish-Freshour or Ernie Koenig.

n Lake County Sheriff Daniel A. Dunlap’s Golf and Steak Fry, 10:30 a.m. shotgun start June 7 at Painesville Country Club. See Lu Dunlap or Frank Leonbruno.

n Willoughby Hills Councilwoman Nancy Fellows hosts Flag Day Family Picnic from 6 to 8 p.m. June 14 at Campbell Park in Willoughby Hills. See Nancy or Dale Fellows.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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