The spokesperson for Michelle Rhee's "Students First" organization would have you know it's not that Rhee and Students First really wanted Ohio's SB 5 to pass and eliminate collective bargaining for public employees—it's just that they saw it as an opportunity to slip in some of their own, somewhat more subtly anti-union measures, and hired an ally of John Kasich to work on that:
Between January and April of 2011, StudentsFirst employed Robert Klaffky, the president of firm Van Meter, Ashbrook & Associates and a close adviser to Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) to help push various aspects of education policy.
In particular, the group, established by Rhee after she left the D.C. school system following then-Mayor Adrian Fenty's defeat, had Klaffky work on SB5, the infamous anti-collective bargaining bill passed into law but already facing the likelihood of referendum.
According to the Rhee spokesperson,
"She has never spoke specifically on SB5," said Hobson. "I know our first meeting there when we had a press conference she and the Governor were very clear that there were things she didn't agree on. People think she is against collective bargaining and that just isn't the case."
Gee, it's a mystery why people think Rhee is against collective bargaining just because she works with the most anti-union governors in the country and adds amendments to the most anti-union legislation in the country. It's true that her style is not always the full frontal assault of Kasich and Scott Walker (though bear in mind that she did basically make her name by bragging about firing teachers without due process). But banking on the worst of the worst as a vehicle for passing her own, largely complementary agenda shows where she really stands. See more: