Rick McKiddy has a new video that reminds voters that the Republican Assembly voted to refuse $400 million in federal money that, if accepted, would have funded a high speed train in Ohio. The video says that, because of this refusal, Ohio lost 6000 good jobs.
McKiddy is seeking election to the Ohio Senate to represent District 6 and is challenging the Republican incumbent, Peggy Lehner. The proposed high speed train would have had a potential big impact on District 6, because one of its planned terminals would have been in Riverside, close to the Air Force Museum. Citizens throughout District 6 were anticipating a potential economic boom that the train could bring to the region, but Lehner voted with the Republican majority to refuse $400 million from the federal government and to stop the project. The $400 million that Ohio could have received instead went to California.
In his campaign McKiddy also is reminding voters that Lehner voted for Senate Bill 5 — the legislation that attacked public employee unions and last year was overwhelmingly overturned by a public referendum known as Issue 2. SB-5 was strongly opposed by firemen, policeman, and teachers.
McKiddy has a great life story. He started working on the assembly line for General Motors and eventually worked his way through college and became a lead negotiator for the UAW.
The story of SB-5 helps explain why the grass roots are awakening, and it explains one of the reasons why I decided to run for this office. My opponent, Republican Peggy Lehner, was appointed to the State Senate last year to fill a vacancy. At that time, the anti-worker Senate Bill 5 was being introduced, and Governor Kasich needed support for his agenda. A Dayton Daily News article quotes Mrs. Lehner, as saying, “I have voted along with the Republican party 98.8% of the time (320 out of 324 times).”
Six Republican Senators refused to support SB-5 — it was just too far out of the mainstream — and instead, voted “No.” The final vote was 17-16. Mrs. Lehner’s vote made the difference. Ultimately, the bill was overturned after more than one million Ohioans signed petitions and voters repealed it. However, I am convinced the governor and Lehner, unless they are stopped, will ignore the votes and voices of Ohioans, and will simply go after our public sector employees one group at a time.
The way I see it, the Republicans in Columbus are not out of control, they are in total control. Under Kasich they control all branches of State Government. They are a monopoly and are guided by an ideology that hurts the middle working class.
The Republicans have controlled the State Senate since 1985. Every bit of legislation passed during the last 26 years has their signatures on it. While they’ve been in control, Ohio has lost over 600,000 jobs, and, unemployment and underemployment has continued to rise. The loss of these jobs has led to home foreclosures and an erosion of the tax base.
The General Assembly made things worse by giving tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy and by drastically cutting funding to local government and local schools. In the Kasich budget approved by Mrs. Lehner, communities are losing over $2 billion. Many communities will need to raise local taxes or reduce services to make up the difference. Balancing the state budget by transferring taxes from the state level, to the local level, moves more of the tax burden from corporations and the wealthy to working citizens.
The assault on working citizens has not been isolated to jobs and taxes. The Assembly attacked voting rights in HB-194 — legislation approved by Mrs. Lehner and condemned by the League of Women Voters