Friday, May 31, 2013


It is quite a turnaround for a guy who has made his reputation in his some 25 years in the Ohio Legislature in promoting the enhancement of Democracy in Ohio to suddenly reverse course South on open and transparent government.

Back on April 26, 2010, the SCPR did a blog which recited current state Senator Scott Oelslager (Republican - Plain) and his storied political history in promoting Ohio's Open Meetings law.  (LINK)

In yesterday's Cleveland Plain Dealer, the editorial board expressed concern that Senate Bill 67 was rushed through passage in the Ohio House (Wednesday) and the Ohio Senate (yesterday) in order to insulate Jobs Ohio from audit by the State of Ohio Auditor (Republican David Yost).

At issue, according to the Columbus Dispatch (LINK), is 100 million in state whole liquor profits (leased by Jobs Ohio) which the Kasich administration defines as being "private money" and therefore not subject to audit.

In order to remove all doubt on the question of Yost's ongoing desire to audit Jobs Ohio, SB 67 was offered up this week for a fast track vote (co-sponsored by Oelslager) who, along with Statehouse Republicans from Stark County (Schuring - R/Jackson and Christina Hagan R/Marlboro) voted for
the bill.

In recent times Oelslager has been on the outside looking in on Republican leadership.  He has from time to time shown some independence of various votes against the wishes of various Republican governors and the leadership of the House and Senate.

Apparently, he has wiggled his way back into the good graces of the Republican leadership circles as evidenced by his appointment as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and  he is not about to blow it again.

Who knows, he may, if he stays long enough, one day be come president of the Senate or, if he gets term-limited out once again, Speaker of the Ohio House on the likelihood that he will once again play musical chairs with Kirk Schuring and change over to the 48th House District in 2018 with Schuring switching back to the 29th Ohio Senate District.

It appears to the SCPR that Oelslager has completely lost interest in Stark County except for the county being his ticket to Columbus.

His goal now appears to be his own personal status in insider Columbus politics and government.

Oelslager, to the SCPR, has left his trademark political career "open meetings, open records," transparency, accountability and the like in the dust of his ambition as a final act to crown his time Columbus with having been somebody.

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