I could't be in Columbus for the protest today, but I have been closely following the developments on Twitter for the past hour or so. And because I just happened to have some numbers from last falls election close at hand, I've noticed something I find rather amazing.
The conservative official estimate of the crowd at the Statehouse seems to be 8,500 at the moment. The Unions are tossing around the figure of 20,000+.
Just to be on the safe side, let's stick with the 8,500 estimate for the moment. Looking at the election results from last year, the difference in votes between John Kasich and Ted Strickland amounted 77,127.
When you throw those together, it means that the equivalent of a double digit percentage (11.02%) of John Kasich's margin of victory is outside the Statehouse protesting.
If you replace the 8,500 estimate with 20,000, the percentage rises all the way to 25.93%.
And again, these are just the people standing in and around the Statehouse.
Constituents who have contacted the office of State Senator Jimmy Stewart are finally getting a form response, and it doesn't sound very promising.
While Stewart doesn't actually commit one way or the other, he talks about changes to the bill and finding "common ground".
"Significant changes to this bill are being made and will be made before this legislation will be considered on the Senate floor for a possible vote. I am continuing my efforts to meet with constituents, the bill sponsor and various representatives from the labor community in an effort to search for common ground."
Stewart will have to stand for reelection next year, and his district has a very large union presence.
It is savagely immoral and profoundly inconsistent to insist that women endure unwanted — and in some cases dangerous — pregnancies for the sake of “unborn children,” then eliminate financing designed to prevent those children from being delivered prematurely, rendering them the most fragile and vulnerable of newborns. How is this humane?
And it doesn’t even make economic sense. A 2006 study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies estimated that premature births cost the country at least $26 billion a year. At that rate, reducing the number of premature births by just 10 percent would save thousands of babies and $2.6 billion — more than the proposed cuts to the programs listed, programs that also provide a wide variety of other services.
This type of budgetary policy is penny-wise and pound-foolish — and ultimately deadly. Think about that the next time you hear Republican representatives tout their “pro-life” bona fides. Think about that the next time someone uses the heinous term “baby killer.”
I just received an email from ODP reporting that the number of protesters being allowed into the Statehouse has been limited to 750, leaving many out in the cold.
COLUMBUS – According to sources at the Statehouse, thousands of Ohioans who travelled from all parts of the state are being shut out and not allowed to make their voices heard. Sources say that only 750 people have been allowed in.
“This is the people’s house. Ohioans came from all over the state today to make their voices heard,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said. “To make them stand in the freezing cold and snow today is an unfathomable and unprecedented step. Thousands and thousands of people were allowed in the Statehouse last week to voice their opposition to Senate Bill 5, and they must be let in today. I call on John Kasich to immediately instruct the Highway Patrol to open the Statehouse and let these people in.”
Redfern is a former member of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board. “I’ve seen more than 750 people in the Statehouse for a wedding,” Redfern added. “We routinely received and approved requests from associations and organizations that numbered in the thousands. What is happening now is intimidation, plain and simple. The people’s house has suddenly been closed.”
Last week, thousands and thousands of Ohioans were allowed to enter the Statehouse and make their voices heard. Independent estimates put last Thursday’s crowd at 3,800.
The current weather in Columbus is 26 degrees and snowing.
Couldn't have said it better myself...
Here is what I am doing in Sacramento, where they are holding a 5:30 PM event this coming Tuesday: (1) I signed up as an organizer (2) with any luck they will contact me and I will have an “in” (3) in or not I will be there and am asking as many other people as can get there to come with, all of us in SEIU shirts (those who don’t have them we can possibly buy some from vendors likely to be there) (4) we are going to target the many TV cameras and reporters looking for comments from the members there (5) we will approach the cameras to make good pictures… signs under our shirts that say things like “screw the taxpayer!” and “you OWE me!” to be pulled out for the camera (timing is important because the signs will be taken away from us) (6) we will echo those slogans in angry sounding tones to the cameras and the reporters. (7) if I do get the ‘in’ I am going to do my darnedest to get podium access and take the mic to do that rant from there…with any luck and if I can manage the moments to build up to it, I can probably get a cheer out of the crowd for something extreme.This is something they've tried before. Be on the lookout Tuesday.
Just a little item of note. It seems Governor Kasich may be trying to clear his schedule for Tuesday, when massive protests are expected over SB 5. He's cancelled a scheduled appearance at a special luncheon of the St. Clairsville Chamber of Commerce, where he was supposed to explain his JobsOhio plan.
I wonder which it has the most to do with: several thousands of his closest friends coming to visit, or the proposed leader of his privatized department of development being unconstitutional.
I've given up trying to figure out what goes on inside Kasich's head, but he strikes me as the type that would want to get out of town during a protest.
I noticed this morning that someone had gotten hold of the dashcam video of John Kasich’s traffic stop the led to him calling a police officer “an idiot”. While watching, I noticed that after a few seconds there was sound to the video. It was quiet and there was a lot of traffic noise, but you could hear two voices.
So I played around with it. What I’ve got isn’t great, but it’s louder and a lot of the traffic noise has been filtered out.
You’ll hear Kasich remark that he’d like to know what he did wrong. The officer explains that Kasich failed to move over for another police officer, and Kasich agrees and seems to be stating that he didn’t see the other cop (which is clearly visible in the dashcam video). The officer then seems to instruct Kasich to remain in the car a moment while he goes back to his cruiser.
And looking at the actual video, it’s clear that Kasich was clear to move over and yet hugged the white line at the edge of the road. While the part of the video where the actual ticket was issued isn’t included, I see nothing at all wrong with Officer Barrett’s conduct.
Hey, that seems to be what this guy wants...
What a winner.
Video from ProgressOhio.
I really can’t comprehend what (if anything) is going on within the mind of our new fearless leader, but I can certainly tell you that all the pistons aren’t firing. And what better proof of that statement than this YouTube video that’s recently surfaced.
If you’ve watched it, you just saw John Kasich repeatedly refer to a police officer that dared to pull him over as an “idiot”. You know, a police officer not that different from the ones that are in charge of securing his private residence. And security is a top priority for Kasich, remember it was his reason for trying to hold his swearing in ceremony without any press in attendance.
But I digress.
It is absolutely reprehensible for the Governor of Ohio to speak about a police officer in such a way, especially when it sounds like he was only doing his job. One YouTube commenter aptly described it as follows:
So you were pulled over for failing to move over for an emergency vehicle on the side of the roadway...you were cited for this offense (a law that was put in place to protect emergency workers and others from being struck by vehicles) and the officer explained to you that this offense required a court appearance and failure to appear would result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. What part of this made the OFFICER the idiot?
And this is hardly the first instance of John Kasich treating people atrociously. Here are a few of his greatest hits:
- Demanding Teacher’s Unions take out full page newspaper ads apologizing for not supporting his campaign if they ever want to meet with him as governor.
- Kasich screamed at a 16 year old cashier, who asked him to provide ID in order to pay with a check.
- John Kasich jumping on stage at a Grateful Dead concert, and screaming his name as he was pulled off stage.
- John Kasich knocking hot coffee on an aid while throwing a tantrum.
- John Kasich screaming at someone in a hospital for saying hello to him.
- And we have John Kasich telling a potential ally that his associations name was stupid.
I could go on. I still have several tabs open, but I assume you get the point by now:
John Kasich is the absolute last person that should be commenting on how to properly interact with others.
Update: 7:49 PM 2/16/11
The wife of a police officer who was killed has posted a very strong letter condemning Gov. Kasich’s remarks. An excerpt is below, but I recommend reading the whole thing here.
If you had issue with how this officer treated you, you and I both know there are much better and effective ways to incorporate a change to this problem. Using a public speech to take a cheap shot at the officer, certainly is not the appropriate place to vent your frustrations. From what I watched of your speech and my experience with law enforcement it seems to me that the officer was simply stating a fact to you. Is it not a fact that if you don’t pay your ticket or appear in court that a warrant will be issued for your arrest, and is it not this officer’s duty to inform you of that fact? Thus I must conclude that you are calling this officer an idiot for nothing other than doing his job of enforcing the law. In this situation, a law I might point out was created to ensure the safety of the very officer you are calling an idiot. A law that dear friends of mine testified to have passed after their son was killed directing traffic at an accident scene because a car failed to yield to emergency vehicles and struck and killed their son and a firefighter. I have much more sympathy for their loss than I do for your inconveince [sic] of ticket and perceived attitude from a law enforcement officer.
I’ve spent the last hour or so searching for information about the officer who ticketed Kasich, Robert Barrett. I’ve yet to find a single complaint.
What I have found, are mentions of Barrett laying down a spike strip to stop a police chase and an account of Barrett keeping a smile on his face while being taunted by rowdy college students.
In fact, the only ‘idiotic’ thing I can find about Robert Barrett is his willingness to do a highly stressful job that seems to get very little respect.
That's the score, in case you're wondering, in our newly GOP-controlled state government. And, smartly, the Ohio Democratic Party is starting to push back with an online petition telling Ohio's GOPers to do what they promised to do: focus on creating jobs instead of reviving their culture war fantasies.
Yesterday's Dispatch editorial on JobsOhio caught my eye, for all the wrong reasons. While I agree with the basic premise that HB1 needs to be amended to provide for greater transparency as to how Ohioans tax dollars will be spent on economic development, the editorial contains some falsehoods that are worth mentioning. First of all, it claims that "Ohioans know the state needs a new approach to promoting economic development."
Really? Is that why Ohio won Site Selection magazine's Governor's Cup for having the best economic development program all 4 years that Gov. Strickland was in office, is because it needed a new approach to economic development? And who says that privatizing the state's development department was the right approach? Isn't the state of Florida, which also has an ideological GOPer as its governor, un-privatizing it's development department? Did Gov. Kasich or the Dispatch take that into consideration before writing this editorial?
The Dispatch also claims that "Few Ohio statesmen have earned the wide respect accorded House Speaker William G. Batchelder." Oh really? Is this the same House Speaker that has no less than 6 bills on the floor of his chamber attacking a woman's right to choose, while currently having Zero bills that will actually create jobs in Ohio? Is that what makes him a widely respected Statesman, Dispatch?
If Batchelder were really a "statesman" he would refuse to bring a single one of these 6 bills up for a vote until the budget has been passed and at least 6 bills that generate jobs that Ohioans desperately need have been passed. Instead, Batchelder is throwing red meat to the far right culture warriors who have been salivating for years and without whom the GOP would not exist.