Ohio's Issue 2, a referendum on a controversial law curtailing collective bargaining rights for public employees, picked up the endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Friday.
A "yes" vote on the issue would uphold S.B. 5, which bans public employees from being able to collectively bargain for benefits and requires employees to pay a certain percentage of their health and pension benefits. A "no" vote repeals the law.
Palin said on Facebook, "As a proud former union member and the wife, daughter, and sister of union members, I'm encouraging you to learn the facts about Issue 2 in Ohio." She added: "To the hard working, patriotic, selfless union brothers and sisters in Ohio and throughout our country: I believe that Issue 2 is needed reform. It will help restore fairness to Ohio taxpayers and help balance the budget."
Issue 2 looks, however, headed for defeated in next week's vote. Recent polls show it losing by double digits.
Conservative nonprofits are spending their funds to pass the measure. Alliance for America's Future, a conservative group whose leadership includes Mary Cheney, sent out mailers tying the measure to President Barack Obama.
"Liberals Want You to Help Him by Voting NO on Issues 2&3" reads one mailer showing Obama. The second page of the mailer reads: "This November, Stop Their Momentum Before it Begins," showing a picture of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. (Issue 3 is a state constitutional amendment that would prohibit a federal, state or local government from mandating people to buy health insurance, rebuking the president's health care law.)
A White House spokesperson recently told The Huffington Post that the president supports efforts to overturn S.B. 5, after White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to take a position on it in a press briefing. Obama is unpopular in Ohio, with 52 percent of voters disapproving of him and 43 percent approving of his job performance, according to a late October Public Policy Polling survey.
Citizens United, better known as the plaintiff in last year's landmark Supreme Court decision that changed the campaign finance system, launched an ad buy of over $100,000 supporting Issue 2.
Despite Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) campaigning for Issue 2 and signing into law S.B. 5, experts say that he will face few long-term consequences from the vote, since he has three years left in his term.
Ohioans vote on Nov. 8.
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