The Stark County Political Report has always taken Republican Todd Snitchler (Ohio House - the 50th) to be "the real deal" when it came to be a political "kool-aid" drinker of the rightest of Republican political positions.
Ending of the state income tax (co-sponsored HB 400 - 128th Ohio General Assembly), ending of the estate tax, and the ending of most government regulation of business are some of the numerous items of the Republican right agenda that Snitchler is for.
So it was just a little mind-boggling when reports began to surface that Snitchler has applied to be one of two Republican appointees to be made to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).
When one is as anti-government as Snitchler is, why would one - first - even want to be a legislator, and, - second - in one of the agencies of government (the PUCO) which is quintessential government in terms of meting out government in spades.
Here is what the PUCO says about itself:
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) affects just about every household in Ohio. That's because the PUCO regulates providers of all kinds of utility services, including electric and natural gas companies, local and long distance telephone companies, water and wastewater companies, and rail and trucking companies. The PUCO was created to assure Ohioans adequate, safe, and reliable public utility services at a fair price. (emphasis added)
The SCPR figures there are one of two reasons.
First, it could be that the apparent devotion to partisan political principle is all a charade for Snitchler and that he has chosen to be a Republican rightest kool-aid drinker because he realizes that it plays well in Ohio's 50th House District which in a largely rural/suburban area that rings Stark County (Lake Township [where he lives], as well as Marlboro, Nimishillen, Osnaburg, Pike, Sandy, Sugarcreek, Bethlehem, Perry [part of] and Lawrence Townships and the unincorporated populations, villages and small cities located in the townships).
Second, it could be that "a man has gotta do what a man gotta do" to take care of his family. If Snitchler gets a PUCO appointment, it means a couple of things. He won't have to face the rigors of running for office every two years (the fundraising, the door-to-door and attending the many political and public official functions of a state representative) and, moreover, he will have a more stable, ordered life within which to be a family man providing him with the opportunity to spend consistent time with his wife and daughters. Finally, it will mean a significant pay raise, perhaps, more than doubling his pay.
Third, it could be that Snitchler is beginning to come under heavy political pressure because there appears to be a high likelihood that the Kasich administration will be cutting funding to local governments big-time in a number of ways: ending the estate tax, restructuring and cutting local government funds (Snitchler serves on the local government committee), stop reimbursing local government for the 12.5% property tax rollback et cetera.
Snitchler is already hearing from some of his local government Republican political pals (e.g. Revoldt of North Canton) to understand what he will be doing to the viability of local government financing, if he joins forces with the Kasich administration to significantly defund local government.
Snitchler, if he remains state representative, faces severe Stark County-based political peer disapproval should he fall in line with the projected huge cuts in local government funding that many local government officials see coming down as the Legislature puts together the FY 2012-13 budget that needs to be in place by July 1, 2011.
Had Snitchler gotten his way last year (Republicans were in the minority in the Ohio House), this is what his "end the estate tax" posture would have cost Stark County communities:
Does Snitchler have the stomach to face up to local governments as they go belly-up at the hand of a Republican administration of which he serves as a handmaiden of?
Finally, it could be none of the above. Perhaps Snitchler is a supreme political con artist and that he has no political principles at all but merely calculates (as all too many politicians do) what is best for him politically/personally and that's what he is going to do.
The SCPR believes that Snitchler has applied for PUCO for a combination of explanations of two and three above.
If The Report is correct, though better than explanations number one and four, it still bespeaks a guy who is not the "pure - man of political principle" he likes to project himself as being.
In the end, Stark Countians now know that Todd Snitchler is a man who looks out primarily for his selfish interests even if he has to hold his nose as he participates in a government unit doing quintessentially government things (i.e. regulating business).
Whether or not he gets the PUCO job, he can no longer claim that he is a man of political principle seeking to apply that principle for the betterment of the public.