September 17, 2014

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Union members, Democrats rally at Labor Day festival

Gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald speaks to residents of Lorain County the 20th annual Lorain County AFL-CIO Labor Day Festival at Black River Landing in Lorain Sunday. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

Gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald speaks to residents of Lorain County the 20th annual Lorain County AFL-CIO Labor Day Festival at Black River Landing in Lorain Sunday. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

LORAIN — “We’ll remember in November” was the theme of Sunday’s 20th annual Lorain County Organized Labor Day Family Celebration.

Several elected Democrats and Democratic candidates urged voters to hold candidates accountable in the November election.

They said Democrats better represent the values of working people and union members than Republicans.

State Rep. Dan Ramos, D-Lorain, said Ohio is likely to become a “right-to-work” state like neighboring Indiana and Michigan if Republican Gov. John Kasich is re-elected. In “right-to-work” states, union dues aren’t automatically removed from paychecks at unionized businesses.

By receiving the benefits of union workers without having to pay dues, union leaders say workers have little incentive to pay dues, greatly diminishing union ranks and worker power. Last year, just 11.3 percent of American workers — 35.3 percent public, 6.7 percent private sector — were unionized, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The percentage was the lowest since 1916.

To overturn Republican majorities in the State Senate and House of Representatives, Ramos said Democrats need a big turnout in November and voters need to closely scrutinize candidates’ records.

“We also need to ask, ‘Who are your allies? Who’s putting you up to run?’” he said. “Is it working people or out of state interests?”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald reminded the crowd that Kasich supported Senate Bill 5, the law struck down by voters in 2011 that stripped public union members of most of their bargaining rights. He said Kasich represents corporations and the ruling class.

“We work for the average middle-class, working-class person in the state,” he said. “That’s who we believe in. That’s who we’re going to fight for.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, said Republicans have become far more extreme than when he took office as a congressman in 1993 and senator in 2007. Brown said that includes Republicans at the local level.

“You’re getting Republicans that have supported Mitt Romney, that are supporting John Kasich, that are supporting anti-labor, anti-women’s health, anti-voting rights agenda that national Republicans have,” Brown said as Republican Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams stood on stage, shaking his head in disagreement. “Let them criticize those right-wing members that have been bought off by the Koch brothers and bought off by the (anti) labor movement.”

Williams, who didn’t speak, said after the event that he confronted Brown after his speech and Brown didn’t know who he was.

Williams, who is being challenged by state Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria, said he supports workers and unions.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter at @egoodenowct.


  • Conservator440

    Ah, the annual Democrat Love-in. I live over a mile away from the venue and you could hear all the puckered lips assuming the position. You are swimming upstream. With Lorain county being solidly democratic, we have seen the effects of their policies. While the pols believe that they can run things better with their policies, reality has shown that it is exactly the opposite. We have done it your way with disastrous results. True that the President inherited a bad economy, then, through his policies, has made it summarily worse. We are pulling more oil and gas from our own ground, and gas prices are double what they were when he was inaugurated. While job growth has occurred, in spite of the policy because we are Americans and that is what we do. You can’t have a robust economy with less than three percent growth. You can talk about how good things are, and the malinformed sheeple (aka democratic voter base) will buy it, but reality says otherwise. Democrat policies have nearly nothing to do with making things better, it is about controlling every aspect of our lives. One of their latest ideas is to track every motor vehicle with GPS under the guise of safety and better traffic flow. Now, do you actually think that the government won’t use this information for THEIR advantage. As Ben Franklin said, (paraphrased) “The man who choose security over liberty will have neither.” Great wisdom in this phrase that the most dangerous words in the English language :”I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Beware sheeple–these policies will strip you of whatever freedom you have, and the sad thing is that you really don’t care.

    • Beentheredonethat

      Well said!

  • levtrotsky

    Progressive/Marxist Sherrod sang to his choir and blamed everyone but his current miserable golf-addicted leader & handpicked administration. Thursdays Schultz column will undoubtedly praise & reinforce his BS.

  • SniperFire

    This Marxist propaganda smear piece brought to you by your commrades @ the C-T.

    • Pete

      You whine so much about this rag yet it consumes most of your life. Quit reading it if it’s so bad!

      • SniperFire

        Sorry, peter. If I may call you peter. It isn’t whining, it is exposing.

  • SniperFire

    If they actually ever did ‘remember in November’ they would turn on the Democrat policies of dependency and hate which has them locked into their sorry state affairs with absolute NO HOPE OF REDEMPTION. But they will vote for more suck.

  • Pablo Jones

    The funny thing is that when people in Ohio were asked about the individual items on SB5 they overwhelmingly supported them.

  • oldruss

    A Labor Union rally for Labor Day (not held on Labor Day, BTW) and Democratic Party candidates making speeches. That’s almost a newsworthy as observing that the sun came up in the morning, or that it set at night.

  • Sis Delish

    Ed FitzGerald publicly thanked the UAW for making Roomy Back Seats in their line of small-man SUV’s.

    • SJ82

      That burns… lol

  • Otter

    Roll up your pant’s, it’s too late to save your shoes.
    I think the part about scrutinizing a candidates record has got to be my favorite statement to date…from someone supporting a candidate that has refused to release his records, priceless.

  • todd

    Sherrod Brown. Lol. Talk about too big for his britches. Man was a good politician at the local/state level. Now he’s just a sellout puppet, just like the rest of Congress. Man has supported everything Obama stands for just as a good yes man does.

    • Bill Love

      I agree but he is a senator

    • Conservator440

      Add to that the fact that in his entire adult life, he has been on the public dole–never held a job in the real world, never worked for anyone but government. He is the product of his ideology.

      • Scout

        Perfect puppet for the marionetter (sp) in the white house.

  • golfingirl

    A union rally is more like a wake at a funeral these days.

    A dying class of workers, with only 6.7 percent of the private sector being unionized….and declining as I write this.

    We have all seen the results of Democratic rule in Lorain County….and now they want to spread their despair across the state.

    The polls show a strong Kasich lead, and catering to the 6.7% of union voters, who vote Democrat anyways, will do nothing to close the gap.

    Good riddance FitzGerald.

  • golfingirl

    Did FitzGerald drive himself to the rally?

    “You’re getting Republicans that have supported Mitt Romney….”Brown said.

    Looks like Mitt was right after all, as were those who voted for him.

    • tickmeoff

      You claim to be independent. Yes, you certainly show it. LMAO !

      • HankKwah

        Actually, what she’s showing is common sense. Something that is severely lacking, if not completely non-existent, in the democratic party.

      • Tomas Pane

        You’re definitely a party parrot stooge if you can’t concede what history has already proven: the Obama Presidency has been an absolute train wreck, particularly as it applies to the working man and the dwindling middle class. Just take a glance at our southern border. On the president’s order, the borders were opened and an influx of “unaccompanied minors” streamed across. Inevitably, the strain on our state and local resources will further plummet as communities across the nation are literally being forced to absorb this flood of humanity. Take note labor.

        The president’s act of opening the borders will directly impact the working man. More labor competition. Cheap labor. Union labor ain’t cheap. Labor loses and slides further into decline in importance and influence. Standards of living inevitably decline. You’d think a president who has been universally lauded as brilliant, articulate, and well-versed in all issues law and of socio-economic import could foresee the inevitable impact of that simple “humanitarian” act of opening our borders. The destruction of the American worker. (Not to mention the recently announced Terror Alert on our southern border. Duh!? You opened the borders. What did you think would happen?)

        Need further evidence of this administration’s disregard for the plight of the working man and middle class is his kibbutzing with big business and emerging from those meetings talking about signing an executive order inviting into this country another 800,000 foreign workers. A questionable decision seeing that approximately 105,000,000 plus Americans are currently enrolled on the public dole. That’s a third of the country. Think about that. One-third.

        Perhaps some of those jobs could be set aside for American workers, especially those who’ve been suffering under the yoke of unemployment: those enrolled on the public dime, dependent on a cradle to grave nanny state. I’m curious to gauge labor’s reactions to these new realities. Those aren’t actually labor friendly policies. Ironically, it will likely sound labor’s death knell. And yet, there we sat, eagerly waiting to be fed the latest slogans: “We’ll remember in November!”

        Did I miss a presidential recall or something?

        If labor wants to rally and hold someone responsible, they should look at the top of the ticket and those who have enabled him.

        • golfingirl

          That was a great summary!

          Very well written.

      • golfingirl

        Just calling it as I see it….and the facts speak for themselves.

        If Sherrod Brown was a Republican, Independent or Libertarian, he would never receive my vote,

  • Sis Delish

    From the Picture posted as part of this story, I now know why FizzyGerald prefers to “do business” at 4:30 a.m. That man hasn’t Seen the Sun in a very long time… next time anyone gets near him, take a mirror with you… lemme know if he casts a reflection!

  • Don Grantzki

    Does anybody recall Sherrod Brown ever having gainful employment? Or, has he always stayed alive by feeding at the public trough?

    • John Boy

      He taught at the Mansfield branch of the Ohio State University for 2 years, debatable if that could be considered gainful employment.
      He is a good example of term limits for all branches of government. Of course being a carpet bagger he loves his adopted home of Lorain County, oh wait he moved to Cleveland after becoming a Senator.

      • SJ82

        Term limits indeed. Career politicians have turned our government into a system of blatant wag-the-dog incest.

    • Conservator440

      No

  • John Boy

    “By receiving the benefits of union workers without having to pay dues, union leaders say workers have little incentive to pay dues, greatly diminishing union ranks and worker power” That is the story right there. The union leaders want power and money that is all. If they are concerned about the worker they should be happy that they don’t have to pay union dues to receive the “union” benefits, isn’t it about the people? If you are paying less in taxes er I mean “dues” don’t you have more money to spend to help the economy.

    • Scout

      Exactly.

    • guest

      What do the unions do with all that money?

  • GreatRedeemer

    Was there free hot dogs for the brethren

    • Conservator440

      Is 50 cents free?

  • HankKwah

    They said Democrats better represent the values of working people and union members than Republicans.

    LMAO

    Right. Thanks for the laugh!!

  • SJ82

    Lorain is a fine, thriving example of a Union town…

    Wait, it’s a rathole and most of the businesses have fled.

    • SJ82

      seriously, it’s a damned joke, driving down Broadway to get to the socialist love-in. Half the town needs bulldozed, and other parts are worse than areas of Anbar province.

      (and it’s all Bush/Romeny/ pick a Republican’s fault.)

      • John Boy

        I haven’t been to downtown Lorain much, but I was down there on a Saturday early evening and was surprised at the lack of people, but then again why would anyone want to be in downtown Lorain.

        • Conservator440

          Our downtown is great if you love bars and lawyer’s offices.

      • Scout

        That’s if you can drive down the road without your car falling apart from the rough ride.

  • workingmiddleclassman

    I have just one word for all you Republithugs posting here… Hillary :) )

    • SJ82

      Good luck with that, window licker.

    • Conservator440

      Here’s two for you Elizabeth Warren

      • SJ82

        Scary but true. If the left plans to run a woman, it ain’t looking good for Hilary.

        Fauxcahontas is younger, and doesn’t cause that instant, visceral hate in half the population that the Hildebeast does.

    • SniperFire

      She still married to that s-exual predator?

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    The federal minimum wage was increased by 27% while Bush was in office and only 10% since Obama was sworn in. Which party is for the working man?