Monday, April 5, 2010


Even though they have not gotten through their respective primaries (both running unopposed), the SCPR is ready to call the 29th Ohio Senate (the 29th encompasses all but extreme eastern Stark County) race for "musical chair" candidate Scott Oelslager.

Oelslager does not deserve to be re-elected to public office, but he will be.  He will handily defeat Democrat Richard D. Reinbold, Jr. in November.

How is it that the SCPR says that Republican Oelslager does not deserve to be re-elected?

First, he has achieved very little being a state legislator despite being in office for a quarter of a century.  The worst part is that for a good part of the 25 or so years Oelslager was part of a majority (i.e. the Republicans controlled the Ohio General Assembly)  and for a space of time a supermajority.

Second, though he likes to point out his connection to public education (his parents were educators), he has not been an - despite enjoying senior legislator status - effective force for the fixing of the inadequate funding of public education in Ohio.  He merely repeats the Republican legislative caucus talking points that they (the Republicans as majority) did put more absolute money into pre K -12, which is true.  More true is the reality that the funding and structure of Ohio public education remains broken a la the DeRolfe line of cases.

Third, Oelslager and Kirk Schuring, who currently holds the 29th (he is term limited out this election cycle and is running for the 51st - which Oelslager currently holds) have broken the trust of Stark Countians on the issue of term limits.

Both supported term limits when the Republicans were in a minority as a vehicle to majority status.  Now that they are in office, they play this game of switching back and forth between the 29th Senate and the 51st House as an "in effect" defeat of the will of the voters of Ohio.

Fourth, he does not brook criticism very well. Several years ago, when yours truly criticized his failure as a legislator he blew off yours truly in a face-to-face encounter and he persistently fails to answer the Report's emails on legislative questions.

The foregoing are some of the reasons why Oelslager should not be re-elected.

However, the Ohio Democratic Senate Caucus, in picking Dick Reinbold (a retired Stark County Common Pleas Court judge) came up with one the most colorless and uninspiring candidates the Caucus could possibly have found in all of Stark County.

If Reinbold is indicative of the Caucus's picks, then the Democrats have very little chance to make inroads on the 21 to 12 majority currently held by the Republicans.

The SCPR thinks Stark County could do better than Oelslager, but is clear that Dick Reinbold would not be better.  He has no legislative experience whatsoever and therefore would merely be a foot soldier for the likes of Capri Cafaro, the Democratic leader in the Senate.

If Oelslager does have anything to recommend himself, it is, that on occasion, he does cross the aisle and vote with the Democrats.  Moreover, a number of Democrats (e.g. Healy and Slesnick) have told The Report that he graciously extends a hand of bipartisanship in helping newly elected legislators "to learn the ropes" of being a legislator)

In the end, this race is a "no-brainer" for the SCPR and The Report hereby declares this race as a "lost cause" for the Democrats and candidate Richard D. Reinbold, Jr!

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