Two Ballot Initiatives in Ohio to Watch


With Election Day here, everyone will be poised to prophesy about 2012 based on today's results. I don't know about any of that, but to the extent that Ohio remains an important electoral state very much in play, here are two ballot initiatives worth watching.

First up is an initiative that would repeal SB 5, Gov. John Kasich's restriction of collective bargaining rights that was passed earlier by the Ohio legislature. The Buckeye State has something like an $8 billion shortfall over the next biennial budgeting period and the clampdown on collective bargaining was sold as a way of reducing the deficit; the bill also calls for public sector workers to pay more for their health care and retirement plans, an end to automatic step increases for many salaried public employees, an end to last-hired-first-fired practices, and other (generally) common-sense practices. Politifact Ohio says SB 5 will save Ohio taxpayers money, but it's not clear how much.

Currently, it looks like SB 5 will not just repealed, but repealed with extreme prejudice. A no vote is for repeal and Public Policy Polling says:

Labor is poised for a big victory in Ohio Tuesday.  PPP's final poll on Issue 2 finds 59% of voters plan to reject Senate Bill 5, with only 36% voting for approval.

What might be most remarkable about the 23 point margin in this poll is that it's exactly identical to what we found the first time we polled on this issue all the way back in March. Voters were furious then and that anger has continued all the way to November.

Hat tip on that link: Hot Air's Allahpundit. Other polls show a less lopsided vote in favor of repeal, but a clear win nonetheless.

The other interesting initiative on the Ohio ballot is Issue 3, The Health Care Freedom Amendment, which would ban mandatory enrollment in any state-wide health care system. It's currently ahead among Republicans, Indepedents, and Democrats, and looks ready to roll to victory. The intention of the initiative is to preclude a Massachusetts-style health care plan and the implementation of Obamacare over the next couple of years. Reason.tv talked with one of the backers of the initiative, Chris Littleton, who argues that the because Issue 3 is the result of a ballot initiative (rather than enactment) by a state legislature), its passage may provide extra grounds for constitutional challenges to Obamacare. Here's that interview:

NEXT: Reason Morning Links: Obama Shakes up His Inner Circle, Mitt Romney Refuses to Make a FOX Appearance, Herman Cain Pleads His Innocence on Jimmy Kimmel's Show

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I do not approve of that photo, Nick. Not. At. All.


    1. I-O!

      In all seriousness, Ohio voters suck. They rode the Republican wave in 2010 and kicked out Strickland, and instantly gave Kasich a sub-50% approval rating, even though Kasich has really not done anything to warrant his miserable rating. Our mouth-breathing electorate couldn’t even bother to wait to see how the guy was going to do.

      Also, I look forward to the defeat of SB 5, just because the legislature and the governor are going pass the bill in unrepealable pieces anyway. So suck it, Ohio Welfare Lovahs.

      1. Screw them – give the unions everything they want and pass it all on to the voters as tax increases.

        1. Yep, we’re going to get what we want, good and hard.

          When college students, police officers, firefighters, teachers, and my retarded Facebook friends are all opposed to something, that tells me exactly how I need to vote.

          I am hoping that the entire Columbus City Council gets bounced on its ass for that abominable Arena bailout.

          1. That’s not gonna happen. Nice to see a couple Libertarians running for Council but Columbus is owned by the Dems now days. All the GOP have moved out to the ‘burbs or up to Delaware County. The OSU vote and the Black vote pretty much control the city now which means Dems for the forseeable future.

            1. Agreed. I moved my family to Upper Arlington to keep our daughter out of the lousy public schools. How can a city go to shit with a black mayor, black school superintendent, and a black chief of police?

      2. Oops, I was wrong. Our dumbass state gave Kasich a 30 percent approval rating two months after his swearing in:

        The first poll taken after Ohio Gov. John Kasich released his budget plan a week ago shows the governor with an approval rating of 30 percent

      3. The news media caused the Kasich backlash. They went after his budget like orphans and widows would be thrown into the streets and have to sell their organs for there next meal. Is far as Issue 2 goes the adds were 20 to 1 against. Tough to outspend those unions. I’m still gonna vote and hope for a miracle. I think Issue 3 is more of a protest vote, if the Supremes declare the mandatory HC purchase constitutional they’ll trump the states.

        1. news media?

          pure radio entertainment.

          kasich’s even pissed-off the ohio gop w his ham-handed, tone-deaf kochtopus-driven initiatives which are driving a dem resurgence in a KEY BATTLEGROUND STATE.

          kasich is obama’s good friend now !

    2. Brutus Buckeye was incredulous. Check out the entire mascot on mascot violence.

      1. That pic would be better representative if the Bobcat mascot were replaced by a Penn State rep and Brutus with a 10 y/o boy.

        Too soon?

        1. Yes Sloopy. Too soon. I have no love for PSU, but goddamn that is a fucked up situation. Shame to see JoPa go out with this type of scandal.

          1. I can’t see where JoePa did any wrong here. He gets third-hand info of something happening and he turns it in to the school.

            The assistant coach, Curley I think, should have gone to the cops. JoePa can’t be responsible for filing a police report on something he never saw, was not party to, and could not confirm.

            1. I agree with you, JoPa is not culpable in this instance. But the stink from this scandal is going to cling to his legacy anyway. I assumed he would be retiring soon as a true CFB legend, among the all-time greats. Now, there will always be mention of this scandal. Kinda’ sucks.

              1. Joe got the info from an eye witness, if I recall. He told the AD. Why didn’t he follow up, or ban Sandusky from campus, or beat his ass? Fuck JoePa.

                1. He did follow up. It went to a prosecutor in 02 and no charges were filed. JoePa had no relationship with the guy when it happened. And how could he ban someone from campus? He was a football coach and lacked the authority.

            2. The Duke lacrosse-style rush to judgment, and a bunch of self-righteous assholes in the media knowing how Joe Paterno should be acting now, is really irritating.

              I hope the rule of law isn’t one of the casualties of this case.

              1. I really like JoePa. I’m not gonna let this affect my memory of him, any more than I let how Woody went out affect what a great coach and man he was.

  2. Public unions need to die.So should retirement packages for congress,pres. and state lawmakers.

  3. Public unions need to die.So should retirement packages for congress,pres. and state lawmakers.

  4. I really don’t care what people in Ohio choose to do with themselves. As long as I’m not force to pick up the tap to bailout their pension shortfall, go ahead and do what you want.

    1. Except you are going to pick up that tab, so there’s that.

      1. Well, I’m not. I live in California! Everybody is picking up my state’s tab.


        1. That’s a nice thought, but last time I checked California was a net loser in the Federal Tax game. The state pays out more than it takes in…so yeah you are picking up the tab.

          This is the most recent study I can find.

          1. So, as a California resident, I am basically the middle man in a human centipede?

            Meh, that sounds about right.

          2. The problem I have with those kinds of things is stuff like “how do they split national defense dollars?”

            Is CA getting defended in proportion to its population or in proportion to its land mass?

          3. Yeah, but a lot of that is just because California has so many rich millionaires and is a rich state. Since they keep electing Democrats, they have no problem about the 1% being taxed to help the less fortunate, right, and they’re certainly no fans of states’ rights, correct?

            I get extremely tired of hearing Democrats from wealthy states complain about that. Tax the rich, oppose federalism and states’ rights, and it’s the obvious logical result.

  5. The Ohio result, ugh, demonstrates why Walker left out cops and firefighters from his law change. The Ohio bill does not, and suffers politically for it.


    1. Yep. Apparently if the bill isn’t repealed, ravenous fire breathing wolves will descend on the state to devour the middle class, and the firefighters won’t be around to stop it. Or something. Some of the ads actually show burning homes and shit. Extremely deceitful.

  6. Voters were furious then and that anger has continued all the way to November.

    Who cares? I don’t live in Ohio; let them spend themselves into oblivion. It will make a good case study.

  7. I find this news neither overwhelming nor underwhelming but merely whelming.

  8. Fuck Ohio. It’s a giant sinkhole, and I am glad I escaped when I could.

  9. The core problem is that public service union contracts are negotiated at the local level, and before the ink is dry on the agreements, the municipal politicians and the unions are racing to Columbus to demand that the state taxpayers pick up the tab.

    I voted yes on 2, but I would have preferred to see the statehouse pass a simpler (

  10. AAArrrggghh

    The core problem is that public service union contracts are negotiated at the local level, and before the ink is dry on the agreements, the municipal politicians and the unions are racing to Columbus to demand that the state taxpayers pick up the tab.

    I voted yes on 2, but I would have preferred to see the statehouse pass a simpler (

    1. wtf

      I voted yes on 2, but I would have preferred to see the statehouse pass a simpler (

      1. Again, wtf

        The state taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pony up for a deal when they don’t have a seat at the table.

        1. I’m curious to know what parenthetical sentiment you were pushing that was too hot for Reason to let you publish.

  11. Anyone else having a hard time reconciling support for government pensions-fueled bankruptcy and the lack of government health insurance popularity?

  12. The State budget is now fixed, but largely through reductions in funding to local government entities. This bill was supposed to help local governments reign in their expenses. Once it goes down (by 20 points), I eagerly await the solutions to be offered by the unions for local government budget issues.

    1. Tax the rich. Gotta go, have to use the rest of my 16 weeks of vacation before the year ends.

  13. re: alt text

    Rufus Bobcat.

    Bearcat is the mascot for Cincinnati, that was Ohio U’s bobcat.

  14. WTF, Ohio?

  15. Is it just me or did most of the trolls disappear overnight? Bannings? Whatever it is, I praise jebus for it.

  16. The phrase “collective bargaining RIGHTS” annoys me.

  17. Have you heard of the Buckeye State?
    Public unions sure think that it’s great.
    The pensions are sweet,
    And the pay can’t be beat.
    Come and get some before it’s too late.

    1. C-

  18. Yes Sloopy. Too soon. I have no love for PSU, but goddamn that is a fucked up situation. Shame to see JoPa go out with this type of scandal.

    1. There is a potential silver lining to the story. With the turmoil going on at Penn State and the difficulty in their remaining schedule, it is very possible that tOSU will win out and end up in the BigTen championship game. All they need to do is have PSU lose to either Wisconsin or Nebraska.

      This could work out well.

      1. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We can only ride the horse named Boom for so long. Miller’s going to have to keep growing up very fast and possibly be able to complete more than 10 passes in a game (to his own team).

        1. Miller also needs receivers that can get open and not drop the ball. He also needs pass plays that have him rolling out so he’s not a sitting duck while he’s waiting for someone to get open. It was bad enough losing Posey but then losing Reed. It’s hard to see us winning out without any receivers and also with such a young secondary. I’ll be rooting for them though.

      2. Until the NCAA drops a post-season ban on our asses 3 days before the B1G championship game

        1. I don’t think that would actually impact the Big 10 Championship game? I think everyones assuming we’re not going to be allowed to go to any bowls.

  19. Okay, squirrel…

    If you want to see a truly maudlin essay on the Shame Which Has Besmirched a Once Noble Athalettic Endeavour, be sure to read George Vecsey’s editorial tear-spattered letter (not, unfortunately, a suicide note) from the fainting couch.

  20. Sorry, Ted- no link.


  21. Polls close in 30 mins. Regardless of what happens with issue 2, I will never believe anything the polls say. I voted YES today and everyone I work with did too. If the NO wins, it will be ala acorn-style cheating plain & simple. I agree there were smarter ways to package it, but an economy this awful doesnt need a perfect bill to start the recovery. Ohioans know that but the ballot stuffers may prevail.

    All in all, I remain in good cheer, we will see massive firings of teachers, firemen & police. We’ll get these concessions because the money is not there and will never be. Patience my pets. ;o)

  22. just a followup. Ohioans rejected State Issue #2 and by extension Senate Bill #5. An earlier voter said Ohio voters are stupid. We are not, we are corrupt.

    Lets keep at it until the wages & benefits of the public sector equals the supply of willing workers.

  23. That’s a good share. Thanks, I learned it better now.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.