Protests in Columbus over Senate Bill 5. (Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011) Terry Helmer
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'We Are Ohio' launches TV campaign against Senate Bill 5

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The fight to repeal Senate Bill 5 takes to televisions around Ohio.

"We Are Ohio," a group campaigning against the bill, started airing commercials on Friday in major cities across the state, including Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown.

On the November ballot, voters will have a chance to decide if the controversial collective bargaining bill stays or goes. "We Are Ohio" is urging Ohioans to vote no on Issue 2 because the law is "unfair and unsafe." This is the same group that gathered the signatures necessary to get the SB 5 referendum on the November ballot.

"I'm honored to stand with my fellow first responders today to say I'm voting NO on Issue 2 because Senate Bill 5 goes too far," said Doug Stern, a Cincinnati firefighter, in a news release from the organization on Friday. "Senate Bill 5 makes it illegal for me to fight for safe staffing levels. This puts the safety of the people I'm trying to serve and protect, as well as my safety at risk."

The group "Building a Better Ohio", which supports Issue 2, issued the following statement after the ad's release:

"The ad actually backfires and proves the need for the reasonable reforms of Issue 2. The biggest threat to public safety right now are the layoffs of our good police officers and firefighters. Today local communities are struggling to balance their budgets and hard-working safety personnel are being laid off across the state. Issue 2 would provide some reasonable reforms and give local officials more tools to get costs under control and keep more of these public servants on the job."

In a surprise move last month, Ohio Gov. John Kasich invited "We Are Ohio" to negotiate changes to the referendum in exchange for taking the issue off the ballot. The group "We Are Ohio," which represents public unions, delivered Kasich a letter, saying repeal the law that comprises Senate Bill 5, then they'll talk compromise.

To see the "We Are Ohio" commercial, go to:

Copyright Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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