Friday, June 28, 2013


Everybody knows that the Republican Party has lopsided control of the Ohio General Assembly (OGA) these days.

And one of the "prime" mantras of the GOP from the national level to the local level is what?

You've got it!

Less government is better government.

Back in October, 2011 a Zanesville area resident released a slew of wild and exotic animals from his property which resulted in law enforcement having to slay some four dozen of them in order to protect the public.

While it was a tense situation, the fact of the matter is that  state of Ohio officials and local law enforcement were up to handling the bizarre actions of the Zanesville wild and exotic animal owner.

The outcome is lamentable.

But, again, it got handled and it is hard to see how another layer of government would have altered the outcome more in tune with the sensitivities of animal lovers.

In signing the bill (Senate Bill 310, sponsored by Zanesville Republican Senator Troy Balderson), Republican Governor John Kasich said he didn't think such an incident would ever occur again.

Implicitly, Kasich acknowledged at the signing that the Legislature got bullied by a "'small but loud and emotional' animal owners group."

How unRepublican?

But the SCPR does have to hand out kudos to Stark Countian and state Representative Christina Hagan (R-Marlboro; hardly a favorite of The Report) for being loyal to her political beliefs in not unnecessarily expanding government in voting "no" on SB 310.

Predictably, Stark County Democrat Stephen Slesnick (Canton - 49th House District) voted for the bill.  Democratic officeholders, by and large, love to expand government.

Interestingly enough so did (who knows what his political philosophy is, if he has one) Republican Kirk Schuring (Jackson - 48th House District) and a bunch of other supposedly "less government" Republicans.

In the Ohio Senate, Scott Oelslager (R - Plain Township - the 29th Senate District) followed Schuring's lead.

Note that in the Senate, there was only one Republican true believer in smaller government is better government.

Democrats do not have enough votes to pass (or even get out of committee) bills on anything in the OGA.

But they were probably "ga-ga" over the opportunity in April, 2012 to join with Republicans in a "perfect political storm" setting to add another layer of state and local government (and its expense of implementation and continuing operation) on Ohioans.

Just look at all the things that SB 310 does (LINK).

And take a look at the work of the Ohio Department of Agriculture in getting the bill implemented and grafted into the permanent bureaucratic scheme of Ohio and local government (LINK).

A clear cut example of the expansion of unnecessary state government at the hands a Republican supermajority, no?

On Wednesday Director Tim Warstler of the Stark County Emergency Management in responding to the bureaucratic overlay put in place by SB 310 under the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

He appeared before Stark County commissioners in his bureaucracy imposed job to get a Dangerous Wild Animal Response Team (DWART) initiated.

Warstler needed a commissioners' resolution authorizing same for Stark County and he got it.

In his presentation, Warstler did muse on whether or not SB 310 was an overreaction on the part of the legislature.

In a one-on-one interview with the SCPR after his session with the commissioners,  Warstler gave the most persuasive case for the OGA having passed SB 310 and Stark County having a DWART.

He said that perhaps an unarticulated reason for the law was the fear that terrorists would latch onto the idea that they could create mayhem among the population by releasing secured wild and exotic animals from the controlled environment.

Nearly every county of Ohio has some facility or citizens who harbor wild and exotic animals.

A prime example for Stark County is the Stump Hill Farm (LINK) which is located on Klick Road.

And here is a list of Stark Countians who are being considered for membership on the Stark County DWART.

In the end, the SCPR thinks that the next time a Stark citizen hears a Republican candidate/office holder opine about "less government is better government," the citizen should say "Oh, yes!  Tell me about the Republican initiated and passed Chapter 935 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Is ORC Chapter 935 legislation an example of "less government is better government?"

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