Yesterday, the Ohio Senate voted to deny public employee unions their right to collectively bargain. This union-busting campaign is reopening debates that we have not had in many years in this country and represent a huge over-reach by Republicans who won in November for a variety of reasons, but not because they pledged to bring us back to the Coolidge era. If I were one of the newly elected GOP members of the state legislature, or of the U.S. Congress, I would be very concerned. At a time when most people are concerned about jobs, and most observers agree the November elections were a referendum on the economy, the GOP is attacking working people, not the fat cats on Wall Street who got us into this mess. There is no incumbent so vulnerable as a first-term incumbent, and no state in the Union that is more of a bell-weather than Ohio. Republicans were given a chance to lead that state to improve the economy. Their decision to interpret their mandate as an invitation to attack unions will not sit well with voters, especially Independent voters who pride themselves on moderation.
We should hope that the Ohio Catholic Conference will, like their brother bishops in Wisconsin, join the fight to preserve workers' rights, honoring the traditional teaching of the Church.