In today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer story about the debate over the enabling legislation to regulate the newly state constitutionally created casinos, we see the GOP Jon Husted decrying policies to encourage labor and minority hiring:
Winning the support of minorities was crucial for the passage of last fall’s Issue 3, which will bring casinos to Ohio’s four largest urban areas.
Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert and Penn National Gaming, the entities that control the four gambling sites, knew it, too. They personally targeted NAACP leaders across Ohio, promising jobs, which earned them an endorsement from the civil rights group as well as several other influential minority organizations.
The Democratic House version of the legislation mandates a diversity plan in hiring. State Representative Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) points out that the casino owners testified that they had similar plans mandated in other states where they operate.
Jon Husted said in response:
“If they want to have 100 percent minority and labor involvement or zero percent,” Husted said, “that is their choice, and it is not the legislature’s role to tell them that.” (emphasis added.)
“We just don’t feel it is in our purview to tell a private employer what the makeup of their contractors or employees should be,” said Sen. Jon Husted, a suburban Dayton Republican.
Except, as Rand Paul learned last week, there is well settled law that it is a constitutional purview of the legislation to mandate against discriminatory practices.
In fact, Ohio law does prohibit a “private employer” to decide to have 0% of minority employees. Ohio law also says a “private employer” cannot decide to have none of its employees be veterans, Catholics, Jews, Irish, physically handicapped, or old.
Ohio law also doesn’t let a “private employer” hire only minors.
The legislature has already dictated that this “private employer” cannot let its “private customers” smoke on the premises. This private employer cannot give complementary drinks to their customers. This private employer cannot admit any under 21 in their establishment. This private employer will have limits placed on betting. This employer will likely be prohibited from hiring certain people if they have a criminal conviction, even if they wanted to.
But this isn’t even a private employer. These casinos exists solely because in the wisdom of Ohio voters, the State’s constitutional now mandates this business monopoly. The notion that the legislature could not treat this constitutionally created business different from a true private business is absurd.
But to have a former Speaker of the House and a current statewide candidate suggest that it is somehow improper for the government to prevent or frustrate a private employer’s conscious decision to avoid a diverse workplace is, well, stunning.
If you thought Jon Husted would drop the Tea Party posing once he secured the nomination, you were wrong.
Like or not, these casinos are constitutional creatures. Like how the branches of government derive their powers from the constitution, these casinos would not exist but for a constitutional amendment demanding their existence.
I don’t hear the casino operators publicly protesting these requirements which are mandated in other states. Additionally, the people who sold us this constitutional monopoly promised that it would bring us local prevailing wage construction jobs and hiring in our minority community. What’s wrong with writing the rules that require it?
Or does the “house” win there, too?