Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Recently, Maine United States Senator Olympia Snowe decided not to run for reelection.


Well, let's allow Senator Snowe to speak for herself as she did in a Washington Post Op-ed on March 1st:
... I have spoken on the floor of the Senate for years about the dysfunction and political polarization in the institution. Simply put, the Senate is not living up to what the Founding Fathers envisioned.
The Senate of today routinely jettisons regular order, ... ; serially legislates by political brinkmanship, ... ; and habitually eschews full debate and an open amendment process in favor of competing, up-or-down, take-it-or-leave-it proposals
Again, the reason?  Frustration with how organized Republicans and Democrats put political party interests above the the nation's interest.

Oh! that we had an Olympia Snowe in Ohio.

For the nation, the state and localities desperately need politicians who will stand apart from their political party agenda on crucial  and important issues and push to develop policies that are in line with what is good for us all.

But we do not.

The battle over Senate Bill 5 ("the collective bargaining bill" - State Issue #2 on the November 8, 2011 ballot) is a demonstrative of the intransigence that plagues "organized" Republicans and Democrats in our state.

When he realized that the Democrats and their union allies were going to be successful in overturning SB 5, Republican Governor John Kasich wanted to compromise.

Simply unbelievable!

And it was a pity too.

Because, as Stark County assistant prosecutor Michael Bickis (a Democrat, by the way) said in his analysis of SB 5 to the Stark County commissioners in July, 2011, there were some very helpful provisions in the bill for local government officials to use in getting their finances in order.

Kasich and his highly politicized minions in the Ohio General Assembly (which included Republican state Senator Kirk Schuring and state Representative Christina Hagan) did what Olympia Snowe described as happening in the United States Senate, to wit:  "take-it-or-leave-it" on Ohio Senate Bill 5!

Had the Republicans included the Democrats and organized labor in pre-Senate Bill 5 passage negotiations, chances are  that some of the Bickis-described "good parts of the bill" would now be Ohio law.

But no.  The Republicans had to engage in political machismo.

So Ohioans and Stark Countians will face a round of highly politicized confrontations beginning in January, 2013 on the detritus of SB 5 in a piece by piece by piece fashion.

It will be "up-or-down" vote after "up-or-down" vote after "up-or-down"vote and "take-it-or-leave-it" vote after "take-it-or-leave-it" vote after "take-it-or-leave-it" voter after "take-it-or-leave-it" vote!!!

You can bank on it.

And the votes will be followed a "repeal-that-bill" initiative after "repeal-that-bill" initiative after "repeal-that-bill."

You can bank on that too.

The only way for Ohio to get out of this morass of confrontation politics is for someone to take the lead of Maine's Angus King.

A former "independent" governor, he is running to replace Snowe.

According to a USA Today (Maine candidate:  don't assume party affiliation, June 19, 2012) article King says:  "He is running a campaign on a platform of changing Congress and resisting partisanship ... ."

So should everybody running for a national or state legislative post.

There is nothing wrong with "checked" partisanship.

But that is not what we have on both sides of the aisle in Ohio.

No doubt that Oelslager (he voted against Senate Bill 5), Schuring and Slesnick (a Canton Democrat) are better than most of their fellows in the Ohio General Assembly, but they all still could stand some distancing from their respective political parties.

Christina Hagan (Republican - the 50th)?

She is the personification of the worst kind of example of the "up-or-down," "take-it-or-leave" it mentality that dominates in the Ohio General Assembly.

Pure and simple.  She should not be elected to the House.

But she is exactly the kind of politician that a political party caucus will go all out for.


Because she will do whatever the caucus tells her to do!

No comments: