Thursday, October 10, 2013


UPDATED:  09:00 AM

I recall that when Republican state Representative Christina Hagan's father John, when he was the representative for Ohio's 50th, now, of course, passed down to the daughter (a family "rite of passage," no doubt?) wrote to The Hartville News how much he revered the constitutions of the United States and of Ohio and how utterly seriously he took his oath of office to uphold both.

Of course, that was all political melodrama that was not borne out by his actual work as a legislator.

He along with many, many state legislators since Ohio passed its constitution in 1851 have routinely violated the provision of that very constitution that requires "that no bill shall contain no more than one subject."

As unthinking as John Hagan is, it probably did not occur to him how out-of-tune his own conduct was in relation to his politically inspired rhetoric.

And it appears that daughter Christina is just as unthinking as Dad as, apparently, are her fellows in the Ohio General Assembly from Stark County constituencies; namely, Scott Oelslager (R - Plain, the 29th Ohio Senate), Kirk Schuring (R - Jackson, the 48th Ohio House) and Stephen Slesnick (D - Canton, the 49th Ohio House).

It simply never occurs to them how contradictory some of the legislative actions are compared to the "supreme" law of Ohio.

A haven for the contradiction is the biennial (once every two years) Ohio budget bill.

If there is a piece of legislation, other than a budget item, that:
  • can't make it on its own, 
  • needs to avoid being scrutinized by the public through the legislative hearing process, or which
  • a legislator does not want to be held accountable in voting for
then the place for it is an omnibus (all encompassing) budget bill.

The political analysts name the various political processes being implemented as being:
  • logrolling,
  • ridering, and
  • avoiding accountability and transparency
In a sense, to place these labels on the overall process is to clothe it in political talk and there somewhat disguise what really is going on.

They are violating their oaths of office and they are violating the supreme law of Ohio, which is to say, the Ohio Constitution.

And they do so, "clueless" in the process.

The only saving grace is the Ohio Supreme Court.

Since the Ohio Constitution was instituted by Ohio's voters (1851), the legislature has been challenged some 212 times on alleged violations of the "single subject" requirement of Article II, Section 15(D).

Well, you can chalk up number 213 with the filing of a lawsuit by (who else?) the American Civil Liberties Union this week in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

Here is the vote on the "offending" budget bill (HB 59):

Here is a LINK to go to the Ohio House website to get a look at the "throw everything in but the kitchen sink" monstrosity that three (Oelslager, Hagan and Schuring) of Stark County legislators helped pass.

Here is a sampling of what you will see in the 699 page listing, said sampling happens to be part of the objection that the ACLU has to non-bugetary bills being included.

Democrat Slesnick gets no pass from the SCPR inasmuch as, during Democratic Governor Ted Strickland's administration, he did the very same thing.

For the Stark County Political Report it is immaterial what the subject matter is of the offending legislation.

The real topic of concern, if not outrage, is the blatant violation of "the rule of law" by lawmakers.

Beneficiaries of the violating law will find reason to support the violation of "the rule of law;" whereas losers will be quick to come to the defense of "the rule of law."

Folks who "really" believe in "the rule of law" will be outraged no matter that the like or benefit from the illegally included in the budget bill legislation.

Back in 1997, believe it or not, the Legislature itself took a serious look at getting its house in order and respecting "the rule of law."

But, of course, the legislation went nowhere.

Oelslager, Schuring and the-now Massillon clerk of courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr (D - Tuscarawas Township) would have constituted the Stark County delegation to the Ohio General Assembly.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a Stark County politico about Christina Hagan trying to find a legislative identity.

So far, she hasn't.  But she has only been legislator a little over two years.

Since her father has an utter reverence for the oath of office and the constitutions of Ohio and the United States and assuming she "is a chip off the old block," why wouldn't she want to revive the 1997 House Bill 524?

And, beyond that, the next time a budget bill comes up and her fellows "throw in everything but the kitchen sink" why doesn't she show her family's articulated respect for "the rule of law."

Come on Christina.

Redeem the family "legislative," "rule of law" honor!

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