Political activity by city employees- could we have a ruling please?

I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.

I’ve always been bewildered by the role that union employees play in Dayton politics. Phonebanks staffed by union employees, literature drops, sign distribution, the list goes on.

However, according to the City of Dayton Personnel polices and procedures manual- city employees are forbidden from taking part in any political campaign for elective public office.

I’ve scanned and ocr’d the three page document for you to review: City Political Activities policy

It would also suggest that the circulation of petitions within city hall by elected officials would be a violation, but this is a routine process.

How can unions, such as AFSCME, IAFF, or FOP endorse candidates- if their membership is all city employees?

Why can’t employees, on their own time, participate in the election process- as long as they don’t identify themselves as city employees?

This seems to be an Ohio law, in my quick Google searches- I find that other state, like California allow employees to campaign as long as no government resources are used and they don’t identify themselves as government workers:

You may make political contributions, perform volunteer work, endorse* candidates, and take a
position on a ballot measure, as long as these activities do not involve the use of City
time, property, facilities, or equipment.


Yet, an Ohio State policy seems to be different: http://legal.osu.edu/politicalactivity.php

Any legal geniuses want to weigh in on this?

Thank you.

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