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Ohio's GOP leadership is having trouble corralling some members
"Right-to-work" bills may be the latest example of the mavericks running their own race

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M.L. Schultze
S.B. 5 triggered a series of protests and a voter referendum that cost Republicans public support.
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Ohio’s Republican Senate President Keith Faber is pretty open about why he’s not supporting a set of GOP bills that would make Ohio a “right to work” state. He fears it would gin-up Democratic fundraising and turnout. And WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, he’s very likely right.

SCHULTZE: Running on and away from right to work

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The right-to-work bills – exempting public and private employees from union dues – were introduced by Republican House members in the afternoon and disavowed by the Republican Senate leader within just a few hours.

The fear by Republicans is that the bills would ignite the same kind of backlash as S.B. 5, which would have stripped public employees of most collective bargaining rights. Voters overwhelmingly overturned it in November of 2011.

David Cohen is a political scientist at the University of Akron who watched that fight. He says Republican leadership – including Gov. John Kasich, got the message. But they’re having trouble corralling some of their members.

"Clearly, based on the trouble that the governor's had in terms of getting his agenda through, his budget through, there's a real lack of party discipline in the Ohio Legislature right now on the Republican side. They have a lot mavericks, a lot of people that have tea party sympathies, and there's just not a whole lot of willingness to cow-tow to leadership."

At the top of that leadership is Gov. Kasich, who’s  likely to run for re-election in 2014. If lawmakers passed the right-to-work bills, the bills could face a referendum on the November 2014 ballot.




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