Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ohio GOP State Senator faces nasty threats from unions on Facebook, in restaurant

With the whole world watching the labor unions’ behavior in Wisconsin while they’re protesting Gov. Scott Walker’s budget plans, the media hasn’t paid much attention to their antics in Ohio – until now. Newly-elected Ohio Republican State Sen. Frank LaRose has received several distasteful threats from his state’s union members, including a high-ranking official in the police officers’ union.

LaRose, a 31-year-old Iraq war veteran, was the tiebreaking vote in Ohio’s Senate, which just sent a bill similar to Wisconsin’s budget bill to the State’s House of Representatives. That caused Michael Piotrowski, the general counsel for the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), to siege LaRose’s Facebook page.

“Funny thing about cops,” Piotrowski posted on LaRose’s Facebook wall, “they hold a grudge.” In another comment responding to someone’s criticism of his comment, Piotrowski wrote: “Nick, with all due respect, I don’t care about your views. You don’t know what you are talking about.”

Perhaps most surprisingly, though, the cop union’s top lawyer compared Republicans calling union violence “union thugs” to using the “n-word.” “When Republicans talk about ‘Union Thugs,’ they may as well be calling people the n-word.”

The folks who discovered Piotrowski’s comments and identity were College Republicans from the University of Akron. Joe Manno, the chair of the student group, told The Daily Caller that Ohio’s bill had some provisions that are “even more anti-union than Wisconsin, so the unions around here have been going kind of crazy, similar to what’s going on in Wisconsin. But, it’s starting to get a little more violent and a little more hostile environment here in Ohio.”

After the vote LaRose cast for the union-crippling budget bill, Manno said, “the kind of hostility and the un-civility started coming out on his Facebook wall. It really started to escalate.”

After Piotrowski wrote the nasty comment on LaRose’s Facebook wall, Manno and other College Republicans took to defending LaRose under the impression that Piotrowski was “just some upset cop.” But, after Googling around for him, Manno said he and his friends found out he was a high-ranking leader in the state’s cop union.

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