Not since 2005, when California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to impose spending controls and rein in public-sector power, has Big Labor mobilized as effectively as it did in Ohio in recent weeks to push its agenda.
Voters went to the polls in a number of states Tuesday to pass judgment on a variety of interesting proposals. But the measure to kill Ohio’s new law restricting collective bargaining for government workers was perhaps the most high-profile referendum in the country.
As they did years back in California, organized labor pumped millions of dollars into the Ohio race – complete with the requisite TV ads portraying the terror and mayhem that would ensue if public-sector workers are laid off or can’t keep their perks. And as they did in California, the unions prevailed easily.
That’s democracy. Perhaps supporters of the law must do a better job connecting the dots between the fiscal pain many state and local governments now endure and the skyrocketing costs of public-sector pay and benefits.
In more encouraging news from Tuesday, Ohio voters also opted to reject the individual insurance mandate contained in ObamaCare. Mississippi voters defeated a measure that would have declared life begins at conception, and they overwhelmingly embraced a measure to restrict the use of eminent domain for private purposes.
Meanwhile, New Jersey residents approved a measure allowing sports betting — which would require federal approval. Nevadans may want to watch how that process plays out to get an indication of how Congress might eventually end the prohibition of online poker.