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New Poll and Petition: Ohioans of Faith Reject Gov. Kasich’s Unfair Budget Proposal, Attacks on Workers

March 31, 2011, 12:02 pm | Posted by Kristin Ford

1,000+ Send Petition to GOP Leaders Protesting Restrictions on Collective Bargaining, Budget Cuts

A new survey of 2,000 Ohio registered voters, commissioned by Faith in Public Life and conducted by Public Policy Polling, finds that Catholics and evangelical/born-again Christians in the battleground state of Ohio overwhelmingly reject restrictions on collective bargaining, as well as Governor Kasich’s proposed budget that cuts spending on vital public services while preserving corporate tax loopholes and low tax rates for the wealthiest residents of the state. More findings from the survey below and here.

“We need responsible leaders who will work together to protect families and good jobs, but Republican leaders in Congress and states like Ohio and Wisconsin are using our faltering economy as an excuse to push an immoral agenda that punishes innocent people and makes working families pay for tax giveaways to corporate special interests,” said Rev. Jennifer Butler, executive director of Faith in Public Life. “Attacks on workers’ rights and reckless cuts to needed investments in education, public safety, and protections for the most vulnerable don’t honor our values, and people of faith are standing up to these immoral policies.”

Several Ohio clergy leaders, including Rev. Tim Ahrens of First Congregational Church and Rev. Mark Diemer of Grace of God Lutheran Church in Columbus, and Fr. Vinny McKiernan, C.S.P. of Ohio State University, gathered at the Ohio Statehouse today to deliver petitions to Governor Kasich, Ohio Senate president Sen. Tom Niehaus and Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder.

Father Vinny McKiernan, a campus chaplain at Ohio State University and member of Catholics United said, “I’m here today for a very simple reason: workers deserve a voice in their workplace. This is a fundamental principal of Catholic Social Teaching. By stripping public employees of their right to collectively bargain, we are also threatening their dignity as human beings.”

The petitions, sponsored by Faithful America, Catholics United, and Interfaith Worker Justice, stand against attacks on collective bargaining rights and budget cuts to education, health and public safety measures for thousands of Ohioans. Petition text here and here.

Poll Findings (full question text and religion and party identification crosstabs available here):

People of Faith Reject Gov. Kasich’s Budget Proposals and Restrictions on Collective Bargaining Rights

 

• Strong majorities of Ohio people of faith oppose restriction of collective bargaining. Sixty-one percent of Ohio registered voters think restricting collective bargaining is the wrong thing to do, as do 57% of Catholic and 59% of evangelical/born-again Christian registered voters.

• Sixty-one percent of Catholics and 63% evangelical/born-again Christians think Kasich’s approach to address budget shortfalls is unfair, as do 66% of registered voters overall and 59% of independents.

Evangelical and Catholic Ohioans Say Education, Public Safety More Important than Across-the-Board Tax Cuts

 

• Strong majorities of Ohio people of faith say providing a quality education and safe and healthy communities is a more important moral responsibility for state government than cutting taxes for all.

o Sixty-six percent of Catholics said “to help make sure that citizens have a quality education and safe and healthy communities, even if it requires raising taxes on businesses and people with the highest incomes” is a more important moral responsibility for state government than “to cut taxes for all, including the wealthiest people and large businesses, even if it requires cutting education and other public services.” Only 26% of Catholics said cutting taxes for all even if it requires cuts to education and other public services was a more important moral responsibility.

o Fifty-seven percent of evangelical/born-again Christians said “to help make sure that citizens have a quality education and safe and healthy communities, even if it requires raising taxes on businesses and people with the highest incomes” is a more important moral responsibility for government than “to cut taxes for all, including the wealthiest people and large businesses, even if it requires cutting education and other public services.” Only 30% of evangelical/born-again Christians said cutting taxes for all even if it requires cuts to education and other public services was a more important moral responsibility.

Majority Disapprove of Gov. Kasich, Think Ohio on Wrong Track

 

• Over half of religious groups surveyed said they disapprove of Governor Kasich, including 53% of evangelical/born-again Christians and 52% of Catholics. In addition, 58% of Ohio registered voters overall and 54% of independents disapprove of Gov. Kasich.

• Fifty-six percent of Catholics and 58% of evangelical/born-again Christians said Ohio is on the wrong track, as did 62% of registered voters and 58% of independents

*This survey was commissioned by Faith in Public Life and conducted by Public Policy Polling. The survey is of 2,000 registered voters in Ohio, was conducted March 25-27, 2011, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.2% for the overall sample; 4.5% for Catholics; and 4.1% for evangelicals.

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