Published on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 by The Nation
Cheney Family Values: How Liz Cheney is Funding the War on Labor Rights in
by John Nichols
Dick Cheney was once a union man -- after flunking out of Yale, the future vice president worked as an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers lineman in
The essential battle for organized labor in
If the anti-labor law is upheld, Kasich will be thanking Liz Cheney. The daughter of the former vice president has -- along with former White House political czar Karl Rove -- taken a leading role among the out-of-state groups that are raising money and implementing media campaigns to support the law.
Heavy-spending by a group Cheney heads, in combination with spending by other corporate-allied narional groups, offers Kasich the only hope he's got for winning a fight that is turning uglier by the day. And don't doubt for a moment that Dick Cheney's a part of this push; Liz Cheney has throughout her adult life worked closely with her father (she helped him prepare and promote his autobiography) and Liz's sister, Mary Cheney, says: "I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any daylight at all between Liz's and my father's views. It's not because she's been indoctrinated. It's because he's right."
Reasonable people might debate whether "he's right." But there's no doubt that the Cheneys are playing hard in
In so doing, they are positioning Liz Cheney as a major mover on the political right -- since the state-based fights in
After the anti-labor law was enacted earlier this year, Ohioans reacted with passionate opposition to the gutting of collective bargaining rights for public employees. They were frightened by the threat the law posed to the ability of unions to advocate for firefighters, police officers, teachers and other public employees in the workplace, and to the prospect that weakened unions would be unable to counter corporate spin at election time. More than 1.3 million Ohioans signed petitions to put a veto referendum on the ballot. And polls from last summer indicated that likely voters were overwhelming opposed to Kasich's law.
Now, however, the fight over Issue 2, the referendum on whether to keep the anti-labor legislation on the books, is getting closer. Polls still show that most voters intend to cast "No on 2" ballots, indicating their rejection of the law and their desire that
Acknowledged spending in
That's a safe bet, as national corporate and conservative groups are rushing to defend Kasich and his anti-union policies. The Columbus Dispatch suggests that overall spending by groups that back the anti-labor law could easily top $20 millon.
How much Cheney's groups will spend in
That's certainly been the case in
Cheney's group began last month to flood
A mailing that just went out statewide declared that: "We just can't afford to pay 100 percent of government employee benefits too."
"In this tough economy," the mailing continues, "it's just not fair to ask taxpayers to pay even more for salaries and benefits for government employees." Voting yes on Issue 2, it says, "means that government employees will make modest contributions to their benefits" by paying "at least 15 percent toward their health insurance coverage" and "just 10 percent toward their own retirement."
A Cleveland Plain Dealer/PolitiFact Ohio review of the mailing concluded that it was "problematic" beacuse the piece "leaves out important details needed to put the statement in context." Ultimately, the analysis concluded that the Cheney mailing rated "Half True" on its "Truth-O-Meter."
But it's worse than that.
The real lie is one of omission. The Cheney mailings don't say is that the law undermines basic labor rights, eliminates effective collective bargaining and encourages communities to balance budgets on the backs of firefighters, police officers and teachers. Nor does Cheney mention that the cuts will undermine public services and public education at a time when
Of course, Liz Cheney is not concerned about the harm done to Ohioans and their communities by Kasich's law.
Cheney lives in northern
Eveny campaign starts somewhere, however, And Liz Cheney has decided to wade into electoral politics as a champion of corporations who is willing to fund the drive to eliminate collective bargaining rights and wipe out trade unions.
Copyright © 2011 The Nation
John Nichols is
Source URL: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/10/18-10
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs