Monday, December 15, 2014


One of The Stark County Political Report's favorite sayings is:  getting hoisted by one's own petard.

A number of years ago, yours truly used the expression in a Lake Rotary Club meeting in describing the comeuppance visited on the perpetrator of act as a recipient of the effect of his own action.

A table mate burst out:  "Martin, do you know what that expression means?"

"Ya gotta be kidding," I said.

But maybe he was asking the question to the wrong person?

Perhaps the questioner ought to have been around in the inner circles of the Ohio House/Senate Caucuses when they teamed up being behind the effort of putting the 1992 proposed legislation as an Ohio constitutional amendment on that year's ballot.

Used in tandem with control of the redistricting process gained by the Ohio Republican Party in the 1990 statewide elections, the Republican beginning in 1995 a control (except for the Ohio House in the first two years [2007 and 2008] of Democratic governor Ted Strickland's term in office); Republicans have had a virtual stranglehold control over Ohio government ever since.

In Stark County, Republicans Scott Oelslager (the 29th Ohio Senate District) and J. Kirk Schuring (the Ohio House, the 48th) have traded off Stark County's senate seat and the Jackson Township House seat (the number and configuration of both have changed slightly) in a game of musical chairs except in this game each get a chair to sit in; only its a different chair as a way to defeat the effect of term limits.

For being the Ohio General Assembly for a combined 50 years and much of it with Republican control (or in a supermajority), Oelslager and Schuring have produced relatively little for Stark County.

Their time in the legislature appears to more about their personal longevity as elected officials (reference:  "the musical chairs thing") and not much about taking care of the needs of Stark County.

In the 2014 election, Republicans increased their control in the Ohio House.

But the problem is that the veto-proof Ohio General Assembly Republican  majority could prove to be like "a drunken sailor at the helm of 'the ship of state.'"

The Ohio House in particular is dominated by right wing extremists (e.g. Christina Hagan of Marlboro Township) who in recent years have been tamped down "somewhat" by one William Batchelder who has been 101st Ohio Speaker of the House beginning in 2011.

Batchelder's significance to keeping the political wackos from gaining control of the asylum was noted in yesterday's Cleveland Plain Dealer, to wit:
Years of experience are walking out the Statehouse door on Dec. 31 when the 130th Ohio General Assembly expires, and with it the terms of term-limited state legislators.

First and foremost is the loss of House Speaker William Batchelder, a Medina Republican who was conservative before many Ohioans even knew what the word meant.

Term limits will retire Batchelder, one of the smartest and most adroit legislators the Statehouse has ever seen. The irony is that term limits, which Ohio voters approved in 1992, were directed first and foremost at Democrats' 22-year control of the Ohio House, and the 20-year speakership of Democrat Vern Riffe, not at Republicans, and certainly not at Bill Batchelder.
 Beatchelder, being a House member in 1992 (having initially become a member in 1969), undoubtedly voted for term limits.

Generally, one-party-control is bad for the people and good for the political party.

However, the one-term-limit aspect of the Ohio GOP gaining supermajority status might prove to be bad for the people of Ohio and Stark County it could also end up being bad for the Ohio Republican Party.

Without the thoroughly conservative but stable Batchelder being at the helm, it could be that especially in the Ohio House that redistricting power and term limits will put the "inmates in control of the asylum."

Only Governor John Kasich, not exactly a "flaming political liberal" and a few conservative and politically stable Republican Ohio senators stand in the way of the extremists.

To the SCPR, term limits with the ouster of Batchelder is clearly a case of the Ohio Republican Party being set up - at its own hand - to be a prime example of "one being hoisted by one's own petard."

Just desserts for them, no?

But how about everyday Ohioans?

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