-Inside Pitch
7:04 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Cincinnati firefighter: Republicans are attacking middle class

Cincinnati firefighter Doug Stern - who campaigned hard to repeal Senate Bill 5 in last year's election - told the crowd at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night that the Republican Party is guilty of an assault on working people - particularly public employees like firefighters and police officers.


"Republicans must stop obstructing the middle class,'' said Stern, a member of Cincinnati Firefighters Local 48 to the crowd at Time Warner Cable Arena. "They must pass the president's jobs bill."


Stern told the crowd about Senate Bill 5, a bill passed by Ohio legislative Republicans that would have curtailed collective bargaining powers of public employees unions, representing firefighters, police, teachers and others.


Organized labor - with help from the Obama campaign organization - mounted a successful referendum campaign to repeal Senate Bill 5.


"Sixty-three percent of Ohioans went to the polls and said no,'' Stern said, to the cheers of the crowd. "They said enough of this vilification of people who work for a living."


Stern concluded his four-minute speech by telling the Democratic delegates that "this firefighter - this former Republican firefighter - stands with you today."