It’s candidates like Nan Whaley who cause “right-to-work” (for less) bills

When the Montgomery County Democratic Party chose to endorse Nan Whaley in the May 7 “primary/run-off” election, instead of endorsing both her and longtime Dem A.J. Wagner, they made a major mistake. Two candidates will advance after May 7- so, they could have endorsed two, but since they aren’t really there to elect Dems- just their inner circle, they alienated a lot of people, including some of the unions. A few of the union leaders said that they’d endorse her, but vote for him. He’s been around a lot longer.

But, never mind their rank and file’s preference, three unions contributed $10K each, and a bunch more tossed at least $1,000 her way. She’s been spending it like crazy, mailings, robo-calls, TV, radio, yard signs etc. She’s already probably spent as much in the last 8 weeks as Rhine McLin spent 4 years ago to get beat by Gary Leitzell, over the whole campaign- and we’ve still got 6 months to go.

This kind of money and foot soldiers scares Republicans- who can usually count on a few rich people to donate large sums, but can’t get 10 volunteers to go out and canvass, while the unions supply cash and shoe leather.

So once again, Republican Ohio lawmakers are trying to level the playing field:

Republican state Reps. Ron Maag, of Lebanon, and Kristina Roegner, of Hudson, plan to introduce two bills — one for the public sector and one for the private sector — that would end mandatory membership and dues payments to unions. In letters seeking support from House members, the representatives wrote that their respective bills would eliminate any requirements that public employees join or pay dues to unions and prohibit private employers from requiring union membership.

via Two state reps plan to introduce right-to-work bills.

The sad thing is, this is nothing new. My father supported Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota for the Democratic nomination for president in 1968. The union decided to back and give money to LBJ. He went to the American Civil Liberties Union and complained when the Cleveland Newspaper Guild gave a dime per capita to COPE (The AFL-CIO’s Committee for Political Education, which backed the re-election of LBJ). Nothing became of it.

If unions stayed out of politics, and stuck to improving the conditions for their workers, maybe, we wouldn’t see union dues being turned into a political football.

It’s going to be especially sad when the voters tell Nan that she’s not ready to be mayor of Dayton no matter how much of other people’s money she squanders on her inane campaign. It’s time to send a message to politicians and unions alike- stop trying to buy your way into office and screw up our democratic system. Big money isn’t the answer. Better answers are.

Donations to Whaley from Labor (this campaign only):

  • AFSCME Ohio Council 8 LA1273 6800 North High Street Worthigton OH 43085 3/13/13 check $10,000.00
  • Ohio State Association Plumbers & Pipefitters PCE 947 Goodale Blvd., Suite 209 Columbus OH 43212 2/23/13 Check $2,500.00
  • Communications Workers of America Ohio Legislative Action Committee LA166 20525 Center Ridge Rd., No. 700 Rocky River OH 1/24/13 Check $1,000.00
  • Communications Workers of America Ohio Legislative Action Committee LA166 20525 Center Ridge Rd., No. 700 Rocky River OH 3/15/13 Check $10,000.00
  • Laborers Dis. Council of Ohio·LPL 152 Dorchester Sq., Westerville OH 43081 3/1/13 Check $1,000.00
  • Dayton Area Sheet Metal Workers PEC OHlOSS 4949 Northcutt Place, Dayton OH 45414 3/22/13 Check $100.00
  • Plumbers & Pipefitters U62 SSFPCE local, 1200 E. second Street, Dayton OH 45403 3/22/13 Check $1,000.00
  • Ironworkers Local 290 290 PCE 606, Hillrose Ave., Dayton OH 45404 3/27/13 Check $100.00
  • OAPSE AFSCME Turnaround Ohio PAC LA 1269, 6805 Oak Creek Drive, Columbus OH 43.Z29 4/2/13 Check $1,000.00
  • Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen PAC C00099234, 1370 Ontario St., Cleveland OH 44113 4/4/13 Check $500.00
  • United Food and Commercial workers International Union, CLC Active Ballot Club C00020, 766 1775 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20060 4/10[13 Check $10,000.00
  • Ironworkers Political Action League Multi Candidate Committee C00027359, 1750 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C., 20006 4/15/13 Check $1,000.00
  • Dayton Area Sheet Metal Workers PEC OHlOSS, 4949 Northcutt Place, Dayton OH 45414 2/2.8/13 Check $250.00
  • Dayton Building Trades Council PCE, 1200 E. 2nd Street, Dayton OH 45403 12/29/12 Check $100.00
  • Ironworkers Local 290 PCE, 606 Hillrose Ave., Dayton OH 45404 12/03/12 Check $500.00
  • Dayton Building Trades Council PCE, 1200 E. 2nd Street, Dayton OH 45403 12/06/12 Check $250.00
  • Plumbers & Pipefitters Local #162 PCE, 1200 E. 2nd Street, Dayton OH 45403 12/06/12 Check $1,000.00
  • Dayton Area Sheet Metal Workers Political Education Committee OH1055, 4949 Northcutt Place, Dayton OH 45414 12/17/12 Check $300.00

I’m not even going to total it up – someone else can.

From her 2013 pre-primary and her 2012 annual campaign finance reports.

Do you wonder why Republicans want to kill unions? It’s about protecting their jobs.


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Dave C.
Dave C.

Here’s the really sad part: Not only do we have a bumper crop of sleazy local politicians, but they’re third-rate sleazy local politicians.
In other communities, the bought-and-paid-for party hacks are at least competent politicos. They’re generally capable of giving a decent speech, look good in a suit, and can look you right in the eye while lying, cheating and stealing. They’re crooked, but they’re good at it. They’re pro-level sleazeballs.
Nan and A.J. are amateurs. Bumblers. They’re just not very good at being bad. They’re the scratch-and-dent sale sleazy local politicians.
Even in the world of sleaze, we can do better.


If unions stayed out of politics, and stuck to improving the conditions for their workers, maybe, we wouldn’t see union dues being turned into a political football. I don’t necessarily always agree with Unions, and sometimes (as in this case) they support candidates I don’t, and make the wrong call. That’s OK! They’re an important political force for good, even if we aren’t always on exactly the same page. That’s why this statement is really troubling to see from you, as well as being spectacularly naive. If you think Republicans dislike unions because of their partisan politics, you don’t have any sense of how power is organized in the modern Republican party. Unions allow workers to negotiate for higher wages, which cuts against the interests of a group of people who are  represented in Republican party politics. RTW laws are pursued for  both reasons of self-interest and reasons of ideology–their hatred of unions is overdetermined; they don’t like the political activism, but if that wasn’t there, they’d fall back on plenty of other reasons. Unions obviously need to focus on organizing, as well as engaging in political activism.  How much of their limited resources should go into each category is tough question I’m in no position to answer. But the notion that vacating the latter will help the former is absurd, especially in the wake of recent events in Michigan and Wisconsin, which demonstrate unions have a very strong interest to limit the control of the contemporary Republican party in government. Furthermore, anyone who is frustrated with the emerging plutocracy in this country, as you seem to be, should really treasure and value union political activism. Right now at the national level, we have one party that is about 95% captured by the hyper-wealthy, and another that’s probably something like 60% captured by the hyper-wealthy. In the second party, where the interests of the 1% are tempered somewhat by other interests, one of the biggest and most important ones being unions. If unions vacate the political sphere, who do you think will fill that void? I’m going to vote for… Read more »

Lela Klein
Lela Klein

Unions and union members are, indeed, willing to get out and pound the pavement for candidates like Nan who are vocal and engaged in workers’ issues.  And, on a national level, our “boots on the ground” power is one of the few counterbalances to the unlimited campaign money that anti-worker rights donors are able to pour into politics. You really think there is something wrong with that?
Instead of passing legislation to undermine the power of unions, couldn’t the republicans try getting union members’ votes by, I don’t know, supporting legislation that helps protect workers from exploitation?  Like ENDA and comprehensive immigration reform and the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and many more examples!  
And remember, laws and regulations like OSHA, FMLA and many other workplace protections that we enjoy would never have been able to pass over the objections (and lobbying dollars) of employer-protective groups like the US Chamber of Commerce, National Restaurant Association and others, if unions had stayed out of the mix.
I’m not saying I agree with every choice every union in this country has made.  But unions can’t stay out of politics and just “focus on organizing” because the labor laws in this country are too dysfunctional and weak to protect workers.  The labor movement is under attack and it is absurd to criticize unions for soliciting and spending COPE money to support those who support our issues.


I don’t live in Dayton, so I won’t be voting in this election (though I would probably vote for Leitzell if I was). We all know that many voters don’t vote on important stuff, like issues, they often vote on stupid stuff like who has the most pleasant sounding name, whose name they have seen on the most obnoxious signs, who has the better hair, etc. Is this wrong? Sure. Is it a fact? Absolutely.

In that same vein, I was shocked to see video of Nan on the news this morning, looking like she had just baled some hay then appeared at a campaign event. For god’s sake, woman, wash and style your hair (and quit getting the $4.99 cut at Great Clips), put on some makeup;and why has no one in your life (mother, sister, friend, spouse, the bagger at the grocery) told you to ditch the ill-fitting polyester suits? I’m not commenting on attractiveness, I’m commenting on sloppiness. I would be equally critical of the sloppy appearance of the male candidates, but they seem to own mirrors, so it hasn’t come up.

In all seriousness, as a female voter, these things matter to me. If someone can’t put 10 minutes of effort into themselves, I’m not going to be convinced they put much effort into anything else.


I didn’t say I’m anti-union. I come from a Union household. I’m saying that Republicans who want to both represent the 1% and don’t want to run against hugely union supported campaigns- are going to try to put the kibosh on unions.
David, in the passage I quoted, you claimed, with a “maybe” caveat, that the Republican attack on unions via RTW laws should be understood as a retaliation for unions supporting democrats, and perhaps unions would be safer if they didn’t support democrats.  This doesn’t work if you know anything about the modern republican party–their donors and their ideology. Unions are their enemy. Political activism by unions can do three things: put more union friendly Democrats on the ballot, help those Democrats beat Republicans, and make existing politicians of both parties more afraid to give in to anti-union forces. Your suggestion seems to be that unions give up on all of that, and simply hope that Republicans will be grateful for this gift (and Democrats won’t be pissed off about the loss of support) and that politicians won’t retaliate. Unions are highly vulnerable to legal changes at the state level.  I am relieved the unions of this country have more political acumen–and less faith in the generosity and decency of the Republican party–than you do.
Unions have plenty to do- in terms of collective bargaining and asking for laws that protect workers rights- but, what they don’t have the right to do- is buy political favor.
Is supporting candidates who refuse to vote for laws like RTW and Issue 2 the same thing as “buying political favor” for you? I get it–you don’t like politics, or getting your hands dirty. That’s a luxury you can afford, but the union movement can’t.


Christ, Alison, you’re going to force me to defend Nan Whaley.
Our society is obsessed with female politicians’ appearance to a far greater degree than male politicians. Both are beyond irrelevant; the disparity is a distraction. Let’s aim higher, shall we? 


A vision of an ideal world isn’t the same thing a guide to wise action in the fallen world we inhabit, no matter how lovely a vision it is.

Dave C.
Dave C.

Casual is fine. Slovenly is not.
If you work from home and nobody ever lays eyes on you, then wearing a Speedo, ball cap and flip-flops is fine. For the rest of us, a little effort at personal appearance shows basic respect for the others in our presence.
If you are in a job that involves people looking at you, make an effort. 
Old fashioned? Yep. 


@djw: Allison clearly stated that the males, presumably Gary and AJ, have dressed suitably. I presume that jeans and a polo shirt aren’t acceptable enough vs a suit and tie while she’s critical of Nan’s outfits, no matter what she wears. 
I mean, come on….