Senate President Bill Harris has some swampland in Florida and a bridge in New York City to sell you.
The Dispatch is reporting that Harris has “clarified” the Senate Republicans’ intent to reject some of Strickland’s appointees for no other reason than to allow Governor-elect Kasich to make the appointments instead.
First, here’s the scope of the problem:
Nearly 200 Strickland appointees are awaiting confirmation by the state Senate, which has not met in full session for more than five months.
Here’s what Harris is indicating his GOP caucus is prepared to do:
Yesterday, Harris said Kasich should get the chance to appoint "key policy positions." Although he did not specify exactly what that means, Harris did point directly to the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation board.
And here’s Harris’ laughable justification:
"I know some people claim it’s totally political. It’s not," Harris said. "We feel the governor-elect should have the option to put people in positions that impact on policy who will do what he wants done, not the previous governor."
And here’s the number of Taft appointees the Senate rejected in their lame duck session to give Governor Strickland, who not only won with a clear mandate, but with a larger share of the vote than Taft ever got:
In fact, quite the opposite occurred here. According to the Toledo Free Press, Governor Taft actually made a number of appointments during the lame duck period, including judicial appointments, that the GOP-controlled State Senate speedily approved before the clock ran out. In one instance, Taft made a judicial appointment literally days before Strickland was about to be sworn in.
Here’s what occurred during a similar lame session in 2006:
- Nov. 28, 2006: Harris votes in the Rules Committee to approve six pending Taft appointments be confirmed. Senate unanimously confirms them.
- Nov. 29, 2006: Harris votes in the Rules Committee to approve eight-one pending Taft appointments be confirmed. Senate unanimously confirms them.
- Nov. 30th: Harris and an unanimous Senate confirm over 50 Taft appointees.
- Dec. 11th: Fifteen Taft appointees unanimously approved. Some nominated shortly before the election.
- Dec. 12th: Eight Taft appointees, all of whom were nominated days before the election were unanimously confirmed.
- Dec. 13th: Harris and an unanimous Senate confirm three appointments made by outgoing Attorney General Jim Petro. Harris and an unanimous Senate confirms five of Governor Taft’s appointments… all of whom were nominated after Strickland was elected.
- Dec. 19th: Roughly a dozen of Taft appointments all which were made after the election are confirmed.
There was not a single instance in which Harris told Taft no. In fact, he engineered getting Taft appointees nominated after the election to be confirmed by the Senate during its lame duck session. Over 150 Taft appointments were confirmed in the Senate’s lame session in 2006. Many of those appointments were made shortly before or after the election.
For Harris to look at his own record in 2006 and compare that to his position today and say its not motivated purely by partisan politics? Really?