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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Why Ohio Is Not Wisconsin

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Interesting analysis in the "progressive" Mother Jones of the difference between the two states: why the union lost the argument in Wisconsin and why they appear to be winning in Ohio. which votes tomorrow. They miss on key difference, though: in Wisconsin, the reforms have been implemented... and they are working.

The similarities between Ohio's John Kasich and Wisconsin's Scott Walker are unmistakable. Both men are first-term Republican governors who rode into office on 2010's conservative wave. Both represent Midwestern swing states. Both wasted no time pushing large-scale, often controversial reforms, including stripping away collective bargaining rights for public workers and weakening organized labor's political clout. And both men stood firm in the face of statewide protests, capitol occupations, and plummeting popularity.

The two rookie governors' efforts to restrict the rights of public workers are often lumped together, seen as two fronts in the same war pitting Republicans against "Big Labor." But when it comes to the blowback against Kasich and Walker's anti-union agendas, there are key differences that help explain why unions and their allies will likely repeal Kasich's SB 5 on November 8, while their colleagues in Wisconsin have yet to notch a satisfying win since Walker's union fight began. Here are four reasons, based on dozens of interviews and on-the-ground reporting in both states, why Ohio's clash is fundamentally different from Wisconsin's...

Throughout Wisconsin's union fight, Walker could count on the support of top conservative opinion-makers like Charlie Sykes, a Milwaukee radio host who could be called the Rush Limbaugh of Wisconsin. But one of Ohio's leading conservative taking heads, Bill Cunningham, surprised some listeners last month when he announced his opposition to Kasich's bill. Enough GOPers have broken with Kasich on union issues that they've started their own group, "Republicans Voting No on Issue 2."

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And then there is this: the success of the Walker reforms

 

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