Ohio Republicans deceive voters with fraudulent ad in effort to end collective bargaining

    Apparently, in Ohio, like in Wisconsin, there’s been a concentrated effort to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights. The legislation that would do this in Ohio, called Senate Bill 5, has already passed the Republican legislature, and now there’s a state-wide grassroots effort to repeal it via voter referendum. If the repeal effort, which is called “No on Issue 2,” fails, it would mean, among other things, that fire fighters would no longer be able to negotiate how many people were necessary to effectively fight a fire. Seizing on this fact, those against Senate Bill 5 have produced a television ad in which Cincinnati resident Marlene Quinn talks of the fire fighters who rescued her grandson and great-granddaughter, and contemplates what might have happened had there been fewer fire fighters on the crew dispatched to their home.

    As Republican douche-baggery knows no limits, though, that wasn’t the end of it. No, the folks on the other side of the debate copied the footage of Marlene Quinn, reedited it, and released it as a “Vote Yes on Issue 2″ ad. In their version, Marlene, after recounting how her daughter was saved, urges people to vote yes on the referendum, her reasoning being that, unless the people of Ohio strip public employees of their right to collectively bargain, there will be less money to pay our heroic fire fighters, and therefore fewer of them to rescue our loved ones.

    Here are both ads side-by-side.

    In addition to being incredibly evil, I think you’ll have to agree that this second ad, produced by a group calling itself Building a Better Ohio, is also pretty brilliant… which is why I’ve decided to share it with you today. I know it’s wrong to hope that someone’s house burns down, but it’s hard to watch this and not find yourself thinking very dark thoughts about the men behind it.

    Mrs. Quinn, by they way, had the following to say upon seeing the new ad.

    “It’s insulting to the brave firefighters who saved the life of my great-granddaughter. I’m outraged they are using my face and my words to push their harmful agenda. They certainly did not ask my permission. I feel violated.”

    To add insult to injury, while a number of television stations have stopped running the ad, network affiliates in two of Ohio’s largest markets – Cleveland and Cincinnati – are continuing to do so… It would appear that the millions of dollars in undisclosed contributions being offered are pretty hard to say no to.

    If you know of people who are registered to vote in Ohio, please forward this to them, OK?

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      48 Comments

      1. Posted October 12, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        Just wait for the other shoe to drop, when they try substituting convicts for fire fighters, like they’re starting to do now in Georgia.

      2. Edward
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        I wouldn’t want a state full of firemen as enemies. Of course, this ad campaign was probably developed in a DC think tank, 700 miles away.

      3. Posted October 13, 2011 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        Yeah, I’m sure that firefighter’s “excessive benefits” are the reason little girls will die. How dare they want to retire or have their health care covered after a life of climbing into burning buildings to save others. Greedy bastards.

      4. Kim
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        I think they’re trying to shift the blame away from fire fighters, Joel, so it’s more a question of those other greedy state employees, like teachers. It’s their demand for a living wage, that’s responsible for there being fewer fire fighters. They’re trying to make it look as though they’re on the side of the fire fighters, when they’re clearly not. It’s pretty clever, terribly twisted, and definitely evil.

      5. Eel
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        At least they didn’t try to do a voice over as her lips moved, saying “my great granddaughter’s life is a small price to pay for lower taxes.”

      6. Tommy
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Divide and Conquer has worked for centuries. It has worked especially well in terms of Republican tactics against opponents on various issues. Public servants are not royalty – that is the message that needs to get out.

      7. Posted October 13, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        What we should do is just privatize fire fighting. People can then pay for it with a subscription service.

        If you don’t pay, the fire department will come and burn your fucking house down.

      8. Posted October 13, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Americans should be self-reliant, and put out their own fires.

      9. TeacherPatti
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Speaking of us highly paid teachers….
        Well, I finally looked at my union’s new salary schedule with the 10% decrease and step freeze increase. All told, I am earning $10,000 less than I should be and I am now earning about half as much as the highest paid teacher in the richer suburbs.(not to say they have easier jobs though). I don’t even want to think about how much less I am earning than the professors at UM because I will start biting people and the closest people right now are my sweet, adorable kiddos who are earnestly taking their MEAP tests.

        So yeah, it’s all my fault that we will have to use Inmate Number 234908 to fight fires and put our learning disabled kids to work picking up trash…sorry!!!

      10. John Galt
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Stop the class warfare, Patty. Why can’t you just accept that some people are better, smarter, and therefore more financially secure than you are?

      11. EOS
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        An 18 year old high school graduate can get hired as a firefighter recruit for an average salary of 40K. With 1 – 4 years experience, 47K and with 10 years experience 65K. When overtime is considered, most make twice the reported salaries or more. Retirements are calculated on the take home pay, not the salary level. And retirement with full pension and free medical comes after 20 – 25 years of service. Once retired, a firefighter can still work for another municipality, where after 10 years they can qualify for a second full pension.

        Harrisburg, the capitol of Pennsylvania, filed for bankruptcy this week and there are an estimated 16 cities in the U.S. that will also file bankruptcy this year. Why shouldn’t these union contracts be renegotiated?

      12. John Galt
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        And I’m sure you do a great job with your students, but wouldn’t they be just as well off if we sat them down in front of a television showing Bible Man DVDs for 8 hours a day?

        http://www.bibleman.com/dvd.shtml

      13. K2
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        While I disagree with you, EOS, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the fact that you leave comments that are coherent and on-topic. After a few months with Taters, I find it refreshing. Please don’t ever ask him to take over for you again, alright?

      14. Meta
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Speaking of deceptive Republicans ads, have you seen this one against Elizabeth Warren?

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/the-hysterical-and-deceptive-conservative-response-to-elizabeth-warren/2011/10/12/gIQA2qIUfL_blog.html

      15. Brainless
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        EOS, stay on-topic. We’re not discussing the facts of what someone should or should not be paid here. We’re talking about outright lying. Nothing more. Nothing less.

        Surely, someone as noble and clear-thinking as yourself can understand that re-editing the words of a woman praising firefighters for anti-union purposes is abominable, no? (It’s actually criminal, but who’s counting?) Or would you rather just sweep that under the rug for political purposes?

      16. Elviscostello
        Posted October 13, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        EOS, hate to call you a liar, but you need to prove your statement. Both local departments require firefighter 1 and 2 certification and a basic emt license just to apply. Retirements with full pension and free medical? Oh, I guess the 10% that yfd firefighters contribute to their retirement every year they work is just because they want to, not to build a retirement system and help cover retiree medical expenses. If there are enough firefighters to do the job, you wouldn’t need to pay overtime, but of course, the dirty little secret is that overtime is cheaper than putting on more firefighters with their outrageous demands, like medical insurance. EOS, how about you do one of three things, either volunteer for a local department, stay trained, and be available for all callouts; buy an engine, learn how to use it and put out your own god damn fire, or stop by the station and thank those who are willing to run into your burning house, when you are running out.

      17. EOS
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 5:29 am | Permalink

        Elvis,
        The numbers I cited were national averages. If you want proof, try a Google search. Funny you should suggest volunteer firefighting. Most communities use a volunteer force that doesn’t get paid 6 figures while sitting around a firehouse.

      18. Tommy
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 6:53 am | Permalink

        EOS – I love that last sentence of yours. Just forgot to add to your – doesn’t get paid 6 figures while sitting around a firehouse – … a teacher who babysit brats all day, a cop to ride around in a patrol car eating fucking donuts all day, a nurse who sits on her ass at a desk and hands out medication, an EMS worker who sits at the freeway exit eating McDonalds . These people are not royalty, they chose to do what they do. They are not producers, they are not job creators. They are Public Servants and deserve your respect.

      19. Posted October 14, 2011 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        EOS enjoys throwing around figures but still can’t get her head around the reprehensibility of misusing someone words for political aims, which is what the post was about.

        Although off topic, personally, I prefer a paid force.

        One day, I had a flat in front of the local volunteer fire fighting garage. The lights were on and the door was open so I went to go and borrow a roller jack.

        Trouble was, there was no one there.

        I went back the next night just to check. Again, no one there.

        I wouldn’t trust a volunteer police department, what makes a volunteer fire department such a good idea?

      20. EOS
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        71% of firefighters in the U.S. are volunteers.

        I don’t start fires, have a home that is up to code, have smoke alarms, and keep all electrical equipment in good repair. I’ve never had a house fire and doubt I’ll ever need to ask for help to fight a fire. If everyone did the same, we would have far less need for firefighters.

        I did call HVA once to get a transport for a broken leg. Called the ambulance company directly and told them it was a non-emergency transport. The fire engine showed up as the patient was being loaded in the ambulance. Another “response” to add to statistics and justify the necessity of a larger force.

      21. Edward
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        You must be one lonely, angry dude, EOS.

      22. kjc
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        “I’ve never had a house fire and doubt I’ll ever need to ask for help to fight a fire.”

        Studies show that there are no first-time fires.

      23. Code Breaker
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        What EOS is trying to say is that he doesn’t want to pay for fire fighters who are just going to be pulling black children out of houses without alarms.

      24. Posted October 14, 2011 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        “It can’t happen to me.” – EOS

      25. EOS
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        It could happen – just not likely. I could always get firebombed by the same asshole who continually implies that I am racist.

      26. Posted October 14, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        I never implied you are a racist.

        I have stated emphatically that you are a racist.

        “Code Breaker” is not me, however.

      27. Code Breaker
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        OK, I don’t know definitively that EOS is racist. Maybe he’s just classist. I get the sense from his posts, though, that he definitely doesn’t give a rat’s ass, in spite of his professed Christianity, about those lower down the socioeconomic ladder than himself. On the subject of fire protection, I think he’s pretty clear when he says, ‘I’ve got some detectors, and new appliances with non-frayed wires, and others should do the same.’ That says to me, tough luck if you’ve got ten people living in a house built for four, and someone starts a grease fire. I’m reminded of a family of kids who died a few years back in Ypsi public housing. They died upstairs because of a kitchen fire, and a mother who had wondered off. Are we supposed to feel smug about that? Did it serve those kids right for not having a shitty mom? You can keep your John Wayne ‘I’ll take care of my stuff, you take care of yours’ bullshit. The truth is that we need each other. If your house catches fire, regardless of how unlikely that might be, you can’t put it out on your own. If that’s the life you want, move to rural Montana. We live in a society.

      28. kjc
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        I like Code Breaker.

      29. Tommy
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        To get back to the original point of this thread and to tie it in to EOS’s obvious Christian superiority, Republicans are a bunch of mean spirited cocksuckers who have no empathy for anyone or anything that does not fit into their idea of an ideal America. People struggle? Fuck ‘em; it’s their fault. Public servants? Fuck ‘em; the country would be better off without this drain. Greater Good? fuck that it’s time to go fuck my Ronald Reagan skull now.

      30. Elviscostello
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Great, EOS! Please call your local department and tell them you’d like to keep your $50.00 a year for full-time fire protection, and not to show up if you call. As a matter of fact, if you’d like to opt out, I’m willing to kick in $20.00 and start a fund to pay you back for your share of fire millage, as long as you will refuse to let them help you. It would be a fine Galtian experiment.Also, make sure you call your insurance agent, I know he will be happy to increase your rates. There are plenty of area departments who are volunteer and would be glad to have you live there, and help out. You are certainly welcome to move there, I’m sure your efforts would be appreciated.

      31. Posted October 14, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        EOS doesn’t need insurance as nothing bad will ever happen to her, provided she keeps those pesky black people at bay.

        Jesus is her insurance agent, though I don’t think he’d like to see her calling other people “assholes.”

        I think you’re onto something, Elvis.

      32. EOS
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        The City of Ypsilanti will be in a similar spot to Cincinnati in just a few years. If they won’t renegotiate firefighter contracts, then they’ll won’t be able to afford 75% of the force. If the fire department operating at full force could not save the children trapped upstairs in public housing, how do you think a much smaller force will fare? The poor and disenfranchised families who can’t afford smoke detectors aren’t able to afford higher taxes either. Municipal funds are not unlimited and hard choices have to be made when allocating scarce resources. Those who make tons of money might easily sit back and say everybody should pay more, but those of us who are barely making it better understand the economic realities. Advocating for less government and more personal responsibility is not an elitist position. Its just the only way we’ll be able to pay our bills and survive these tumultuous times.

      33. Robert
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        How far have we gotten in our investigation of EOS’s identity? Peter, I know EOS appears to be very effeminate, but have we confirmed that we are actually dealing with a female. I bet I can identify EOS just by what they’ve posted so far on this page. I have found that people rarely realize how much information they are giving away by implication.

        Mark, will you grant me a thread dedicated to EOS and the investigation into their identity? Is anybody willing to place a wager betting I cannot discover it by a certain date and time?

        Just for fun, I think I am going to put together a profile of EOS based on details from their comments here over the years.

      34. wetdolphinmissile
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        for me…it hard to believe EOS is a woman…however I am the idiot that used to think that voting for women was a good thing…like we all we’re on the same page…NOT

      35. Posted October 14, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        No, we have not confirmed that EOS is female, though I suspect it. I have no proof, but it’s fun to address her as a her.

        I’d love to see this profile. My favorite was when BrachAche outed her as a pool cleaner.

        I think you’re onto something, Robert.

      36. EOS
        Posted October 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        I do like the idea that Robert and Peter are combing through the old posts and rereading everything I have written. Maybe they’ll be enlightened and reborn as conservative Christians too!

      37. Posted October 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Do Christians normally call people assholes?

      38. Posted October 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Peter — I believe they’re guided by Matthew 25:40.

      39. EOS
        Posted October 15, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        We are compelled to speak the truth.

      40. Posted October 15, 2011 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
        2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Mk. 4.24
        3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
        4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
        5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

      41. EOS
        Posted October 15, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Peter,
        If you really believe that man should not make judgements, on what basis do you claim the authority to have judged me to be a racist for the past several years?

        The passage you quoted is not from the Book of Mark, but is Matt 7:1 – 5. Keep reading the same chapter in Matt and you’ll find:

        15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

        Only God can judge a man and his motives. We will all be judged one day. In the meantime, we need to inspect the fruit and discern the right path.

      42. Meta
        Posted October 20, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Good news. It looks like this Koch-funded attempt to eliminate collective bargaining in Ohio is going to fail.

        http://www.politicususa.com/en/koch-backed-ohio-union-busting-bill-heading-for-a-crushing-defeat

      43. Posted November 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        And fail it did.

        Ohioans repeal law limiting union rights.”

      44. Watching Laughing.
        Posted November 9, 2011 at 6:44 am | Permalink

        I guess, Sean Hannity having his show on the Columbus State House Steps the other day with John Kasich as a guest didn’t work.
        LAND SLIDE!!!Freakin losers.

        Watching Laughing.

      45. Posted November 9, 2011 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        Good.

      46. Mr. X
        Posted November 9, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        My father just sent me the following.

        Be interesting to know where the $30 million came from.

        Ohio Turns Back a Law Limiting Unions’ Rights

        The landslide vote to repeal the bill — 62 percent to 38 percent, according to preliminary results from Ohio’s secretary of state — was a slap to Gov. John R. Kasich, a Republican who had championed the law as a tool for cities to cut costs. The bill passed in March on a wave of enthusiasm among Republicans fresh from victories. A similar bill also passed in Wisconsin.

        Labor fought harder, observers said, because its stakes were higher. We Are Ohio, the main group that opposed the law, poured about $30 million into the campaign, said Melissa Fazekas, the group’s spokeswoman, and had about 17,000 volunteers out over the weekend knocking on doors to persuade residents to go out and vote. The main group supporting the bill, Building a Better Ohio, said it spent just under $8 million.

        “What we were actually fighting for was our livelihood,” said Monty Blanton, a retired state employee and union worker who said he spent 14 hours a day knocking on doors in southeast Ohio in the last month. “We’ve been to places you had to get to with a four-wheel drive.”

        Obviously, something sinister is going on here.

      47. Robert
        Posted November 9, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        The trend in yesterday’s election results suggest the GOP is turning the public against them. They, of course, have been making excuses and blaming others for their defeats. I hope they continue to believe their own bullshit, and flush themselves right down the toilet again in 2012.

      48. K2
        Posted November 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        I’m not sure where to put this, but I thought that people might be interested in this note that I just received from People for the American Way.

        What a huge day for progressive power! Yesterday, voters in nearly every region of the country turned out and resoundingly defeated right-wing attacks on:

        Workers’ Rights (Ohio);
        Choice (Mississippi);
        Voting Rights (Maine);
        Marriage Equality (Iowa);
        Immigrant Civil Rights AND Government By the People (Arizona);
        Public Education (North Carolina);
        AND MORE.

        In the nationally-watched races and ballot initiatives across America, progressives won across the board. These hard-fought victories are not just wins for people in these states. The results have important ramifications moving forward into the 2012 elections, with this flexing of political muscle providing a good source of hope that maybe 2012 can be our 2010.

        Let’s remember that most of the Republican presidential candidates came down on the losing side of virtually every one of these issues, showing how out of touch they and their party are with Americans’ values. Frontrunner Mitt Romney, whom many consider to be the presumptive nominee, after his usual hemming and hawing, came out strongly against workers’ rights in Ohio and said he would support the shockingly extreme “personhood” amendment in Mississippi that would have given fertilized eggs the rights of human beings. Even the overwhelmingly Republican — and culturally conservative — electorate of deep red state Mississippi rejected that radical position by a whopping 58%-42%. An astute political observer might accurately say that Mitt Romney was in fact yesterday’s, and thus Election 2011’s, biggest loser.

        Ohio — workers’ rights and defending the middle class WIN

        In Ohio, voters stood up their neighbors — their nurses, teachers, policemen and firefighters — and successfully repealed the right-wing governor’s Wisconsin-style attack on the fundamental collective bargaining rights of public employees — the law known as SB 5. Tallies are showing that over 60% of voters voted “No” on Issue 2, to repeal SB 5, with only six counties in the entire state showing majorities in favor of keeping the law. In all those counties, Republican Governor John Kasich won with more than 60% of the vote in 2010.

        We worked hard, with PFAW activists in Ohio playing a critical role in the effort. Our allies in Ohio, especially our friends at We Are Ohio, led an inspiring and effective campaign. This victory will have a lasting impact in Ohio and national politics, as it staved off an attack that could have been crippling to progressives in a critical swing state.

        The attacks on working people in Ohio, Wisconsin and other states are part of a right-wing effort to break the back of organized labor, which is a major source of progressive power and one of the only political counterweights to the corporate special interests that fund the Right. Like laws that disenfranchise voters in communities that traditionally vote more progressive, these new policies are a naked partisan power grab by Republican politicians, and at the same time serve as a big gift, basically a policy kickback, to their corporate contributors like the Koch brothers.

        We will work hard to help replicate nationally for 2012 the Ohio organizing model that mobilized a middle-class revolt against right-wing extremism in that state.

        Mississippi — reproductive rights WIN

        As I mentioned above, voters in Mississippi, a state in which Democrats didn’t even bother to run a candidate in several statewide races, overwhelmingly rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have defined a fertilized egg as a person. That dreadful law would have effectively turned ALL abortions, without exception for rape, incest of the health of the mother, into murder under state law. It would have done the same with many popular forms of birth control and the processes involved in fertility treatment, even creating legal suspicion around miscarriages.

        A similar “personhood” amendment had twice been rejected by voters in Colorado by similarly large margins, but polling leading up to Election Day in Mississippi showed a toss up. It’s important to note that while many anti-choice conservatives expressed reservations about the far-reaching extremity of the amendment, just about every Religious Right group and Republican supported it … and it lost by 16 points … IN MISSISSIPPI.

        Maine — voting rights WIN

        Maine voters yesterday voted to preserve their same-day voter registration policy after the right-wing legislature passed a law to repeal it.

        In another example of the Right doing everything it can to make ballot access more difficult for some voters, after Republicans took control of the governorship and the legislature in 2010, one of the first things on the chopping block was Maine’s same-day voter registration law.

        Voters have been able to register at their polling place on Election Day in Maine since 1973 — if there is anything ingrained in the voting culture of Maine it’s same-day registration. Same-day voter registration is the reason Maine has one of the highest voter turnouts in the country (states with same-day registration average 6% higher turnout than states without it). It’s good for democracy … but apparently that’s bad for the Right.

        Republicans had used the bogus straw man argument about “widespread voter fraud” — even though it’s never been a reported problem in Maine. They amazingly trotted out the argument that people who wait until Election Day to register are not “engaged” enough in the process, even though same-day registrants are simply abiding by the law of nearly 40 years, and showing up on Election Day is the ultimate demonstration of “engagement.”

        The Maine Republican Party even ran a full page newspaper ad just before the election trying to portray the ballot initiative to “repeal the repeal” and save same-day registration as some sort of gay activist plot. The ad implied that Equality Maine’s support of the referendum was somehow insidious and revealing of some problem with the long-standing, pro-democracy law. In reality, LGBT rights groups did have stake in the results of yesterday’s same-day voter registration ballot initiative because if Mainers would not join together to defeat such a radical right-wing usurpation of voters’ rights, then the Equality movement in that state concluded there would be little hope in waging another campaign to enact same-sex marriage equality by referendum. So, yesterday’s victory for voting rights effectively leaves the door open for a future victory for marriage equality as well.

        Iowa — marriage equality WIN

        While the victory in Maine opens the possibility of a future win for marriage equality in that state, in Iowa, the state’s existing marriage equality law won a major victory with the election of the Democrat running in a special election for state Senate. Party control of the Senate hinged on this race and if the Republican had won, the legislature would surely move to undo marriage equality for same-sex couples in Iowa.

        The Senate seat in question became open when Republican Governor Terry Branstad appointed incumbent Democratic Senator Swati Dandekar to a high paying post on the Iowa Utilities Board. Republicans knew full well that the bare majority Democrats held in the Senate would then be up for grabs, and with it, the fate of marriage equality. Congratulations to Democratic Senator Elect Liz Mathis, the voters who elected her and all the people of Iowa whose rights will continue to be protected by a state marriage law that holds true to our core constitutional values of Fairness and Equality.

        Arizona — immigrant rights and democracy WIN

        Voters in Arizona really made an impressive show of strength yesterday when they voted to RECALL Republican State Senator Russell Pearce, the architect of Arizona’s infamous draconian “show me your papers” immigration bill, SB 1070. Arizonans did themselves and the country a great service in rejected the lawmaker who pioneered the shameful racial profiling bill.

        This is not just a victory for fair and humane immigration policy. The often untold story of SB 1070 is that it was engineered by the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a policy group funded by corporate special interests that essentially rights many of the laws pushed every year by right-wing state legislators across the country. SB 1070 was on its face an ugly, racist backlash against undocumented immigrants, but it was also a handout to the powerful private prison industry, which stood to benefit financially by mass roundups of undocumented immigrants who would, of course, be held in prisons.

        The successful recall of the right-wing, anti-immigrant icon Russell Pearce was a win for fairness, for civil liberties and for the dignified treatment of America’s immigrant communities. But it was also a triumph over corrupt corporate influence in government and a victory for Government By the People.

        Wake County, North Carolina — public education and racial equality WIN

        Last month, voters in Wake County, North Carolina decisively defeated four conservative school board candidates responsible for scrapping the district’s lauded diversity policies. Yesterday, the final runoff election was decided by Wake County voters who handed victory, and majority control of the school board, to the Democrats.

        The ousted board members had been backed by the Koch-funded Tea Party group Americans For Prosperity (AFP). This past summer, People For the American Way and PFAW’s African American Ministers in Action (AAMIA) program joined with Brave New Foundation to cosponsor the release of their “Koch Brothers Exposed” video that told the story of AFP’s involvement in the school board election and the board’s effort to resegregate schools. I’m proud that we were able to help shine a light on the Right’s unconscionable attack on public education, racial equality and civil rights.

        More Notable Results

        The citizens of Missoula, Montana passed a resolution in support of amending the Constitution to end corporate personhood and undo the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision in Citizen’s United v. FEC. The referendum was initiated by a City Councilwoman Cynthia Wolken, an active member of our affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Official (YEO) Network.

        In Kentucky, Democrats won four out of five statewide races with incumbent Democratic governor Steve Beshear winning in a landslide over his Republican challenger.

        In New Jersey, after two years on the losing side of confrontations with Gov. Chris Christie, Democrats seemed to turn the tide, fighting off well-funded Republican challenges and gaining one seat in the state Legislature.

        And in Virginia, the GOP was expected to take majority control of the state Senate — which they only needed two seats to do but might have fallen just short. With a paper-thin margin of 86 votes in one race handing preliminary victory to the Republican, there will surely be a recall and Democrats are at least publicly optimistic.

        There were more progressive victories in local races around the country, and some losses. For the most part, however, the losses were either very minor or very expected. Where the eyes of the nation was focused, and where progressives put energy and resources, we won across the board. This morning, as we look ahead to 2012, the Right should be very nervous.

        Thank you for your ongoing support — it makes all the difference, every time … and 2012 will be no exception.

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      1. [...] –collective bargaining — in the relationship between government and people.” Ohio and Wisconsin have had their fights, and now it’s our turn. I will be voting YES, and [...]

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