Saturday, January 17, 2009


The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has learned that when the Ohio House of Representatives voted in April, 2008 to pass the new legislative regime "regulating" (if that is what you want to call it) utility companies operating in Ohio, one, probably two area legislators, did not know that the likes of American Electric Power (Ohio Power) and First Energy (FE - Ohio Edison) were given veto power over any regulatory action the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) took on electric utility rates.

An area elected official has told The Report that in a discussion within the past few days he had with Republican Scott Oelslager (51st House District - Jackson Township) that Oelslager revealed that did not know about lines 1073 to 1086 in SB 221 which gave AEP and First Energy the right to veto any scaling down of proposed rate increases and go market rate.

Also, The Report has learned that the then chair of the Ohio House public utilities committee John Hagan (R - Marlboro) could not answer certain questions about the bill when asked by one of his constituents.

What is going on?

Oelslager's excuse. The bill was bipartisan and passed unanimously.


So he didn't read the bill because the word was: "there's nothing in the bill to be concerned about, after all both political parties are supporting it and no legislator plans to vote against it."

How lame and, if The Report may add - LAZY!"

Obviously, Oelslager is not an actively engaged legislator who seeks to protect Stark Countians from the likes of Ohio Power and Ohio Edison.

He has said that he plans to play musical chairs again in November, 2010 (to circumvent the spirit of term limits passed - by the way - by his political party) and run for the 29th District Ohio Senate seat currently held by fellow musical chair Stark County politician Kirk Schuring.

The Report's plea to Oelslager. Don't do it. Anyone who lacks the energy or inclination and enthusiasm for the job to thoroughly understand legislation he is voting on; shouldn't be in the legislature.

At least Stark Countians are now rid of John Hagan.

What does this mean for Stark Countians and their monthly electric bills?

An example: If the PUCO denies AEP its request for a 52% rate increase over three years (which The Report fully expects it will), then AEP (Ohio Power) can veto the PUCO action and go ahead and increase rates by the 52% or even higher.

What's next?

An effort is under way by a local elected official to get Oelslager, Slesnick (Democrat - 52nd) and Todd Snitcher (Republican - 50th) and Kirk Schuring to work together to fix the unacceptable "veto power" given AEP and FE in SB 221.

Stark Countians should be flooding the offices of these elected representatives with demands that they take united against to undo this aspect of SB 221.

Here are the e-mail links to each of these officials.

Click on the name.









Anonymous said...

Who is the Stark County elected official trying to get them (the StarK Legislator's) to fix this? Is there anyone in Stark County that can run against Oeslager that is not affraid to take him or Schuring on to stop the marry go round? Why won't you identify the elected official or person that is taking this on at the local level? I for one would like to see a piece done by the Report about who would be a viable challenger to Oeslager or Schuring that we can send to Columbus that will work for Stark Countian's. We thank him (Oeslager) for public records access but what else has he done for us? Schuring only talks about school funding at election time and goes beck to Columbus and does nothing about it. Come on Report give us the name or some idea who we should support and trust to finally get something done in Columbus? This person can start with the electric companies and move on to school funding. This also something (Oeslager and Schuring) have refused to fix for the last 20 plus years. Found in contempt of court but we just keep re-electing them don't we? Why is that? Bocceri is in Washington, is here anyone else? Fixing school funding starts by admiting that it is broken, fixing S.B. 221 it looks to be the same way don't you think? It sounds like Oeslager is not willing to admit that is broken either! WE ARE DOOMED! Like I said I am looking forward to you suggestions of someone better to to run and I will work to try to get him or to do such..

Anonymous said...

Until the parties are willing to put the country's interests ahead of their own we are probably destined to experience more of the same. Legislatures, courts, councils and public officials, all controlled by the two party system, know the drill and it does not necessarily involve doing what is right or what is in the public's interest.
Perhaps we are no longer the democracy that we tout to all these upcoming democracies like Iraq? More of the "do as I say not as I do".

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to note that you hold Oleslager accountable for not reading each & every line of this UNAMIMOUSLY passed bill, but NOT Slesneck or Snitchler? Did Oleslager whiz in your Wheaties?

Martin Olson said...

Oelslager is singled out because he is the "dean" of the Stark County legislative delegation.

As a longstanding Republican leader in the Ohio House he should have stood up to Jon Husted (Speaker of the House) and fellow Stark Countian John Hagan (House Public Utilities Committee chair - and "gofer" for Husted, at the time).

Snitchler was not yet elected.

Slesnick (52nd/House) bears responsibility as does Schuring (29t/Senate), Okey (61st/House) and Boccieri (33rd/Senate).