No, really… It’s like they stopped reading a key provision that gives the Governor power when the State Senate is being a partisan, power-hungry prick.
Here’s Governor Strickland’s response to today’s unprecedented Senate action:
“I am extremely dismayed and saddened to see so many experienced, honorable Ohioans lose the opportunity to serve their state today as a result of blatant, partisan politics,” Strickland said. “The vast majority of these appointees were to be volunteers who simply wanted to serve the people of Ohio. And it’s troubling that about 25 percent of the rejected appointees are members of our minority communities.
“This is an unprincipled and irresponsible action by the Senate that undermines the institutional integrity of a body steeped in tradition, and provides a real reason for people to be reluctant to serve in the public sector. Governor-elect Kasich could have stepped in if he did not want to start his administration in this way – with disrespect for Ohio history and tradition. Put simply, today’s action was a raw power grab wrapped in the patina of principle.”
Cloaked in the disingenuous rationale by the Ohio Senate that Governor-elect John Kasich needed the ability to make his own appointments to critical policy positions, among those rejected were appointees to the Ohio Private Investigation and Security Services Commission, the Ohio Thoroughbred Race Fund Advisory Council and the Ohio Advisory Council for the Aging. Also among the supposedly principled rejections was the appointment of the state architect to the Cultural Facilities Commission – a position the state architect is statutorily required to hold.
Strickland expressed greatest concern with the rejection of three appointees – two Democrats and one Republican – to the Ohio Ethics Commission, leaving the Commission without a quorum just as it is navigating the appointment of a new executive director for the first time in 17 years.
“The Ohio Ethics Commission should include watchdogs, not friends,” Strickland said.
And then Governor Strickland noted that the Ohio Constitution mandates that he appoint different individuals to those positions the Senate rejected today. And he’s right.
And here’s Article III, Section 21 of the Ohio Constitution:
When required by law, appointments to state office shall be subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. . .
No appointment shall be consented to without concurrence of a majority of the total number of Senators provided for by this Constitution, except as hereinafter provided for in the case of failure of the Senate to act. If the Senate has acted upon any appointment to which its consent is required and has refused to consent, an appointment of another person shall be made to fill the vacancy.
If an appointment is submitted during a session of the General Assembly, it shall be acted upon by the Senate during such session of the General Assembly, except that if such session of the General Assembly adjourns sine die within ten days after such submission without acting upon such appointment, it may be acted upon at the next session of the General Assembly.
If an appointment is made after the Senate has adjourned sine die, it shall be submitted to the Senate during the next session of the General Assembly.
So Strickland then announced that he was announcing fourteen new appointments now that the Senate has adjourned. Some of them are some of the same individuals that the Senate rejected for other positions.
Environmental Review and Appeals Commission: Sandra Harwood
State Board of Education: Thomas Luvison; Lynda Mobley; Joseph Walter; Patricia Bruns; Rich Javorek
State Lottery Commission: John Climaco; Rhine McLin; Robert Davis
University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees: Timothy Burke
University of Akron Board of Trustees: Timothy Gorbach
Shawnee State University Board of Trustees: J. Pari Sabety
State Employment Relations Board: Kimberly Zurz
Ohio Exposition Commission: Robert Boggs
Governor Strickland, under the Ohio Constitution, could appoint people to the very agencies the Senate was deliberately trying to keep Strickland from appointing people to like the Ohio Casino Commission. The State Senate has the option of rejecting them, but they have to wait until the next General Assembly is in session.
That’s about a month away and countless editorials blasting the Senate’s abuse of power away.