Dear Marc Kovac @ Ohio Capital Blog, we have bested you in shaky video. All your Pero belongs to us.
Here’s the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus video from today’s protest as well (note, lack of amateurish shaky video):
We also have an official reaction from the Senate Democrats from today’s Omnibus amendment:
“The amended bill still strips public employees of any means to effectively bargain and would put them in jail if they strike,” said Senator Cafaro. “Senate Bill 5 turns collective bargaining into a one-sided conversation where management always gets the last word.”
Even though the committee hearing was delayed until the afternoon, Senate Republicans did not provide Democrats with a summary of the amended bill until the hearing began.
“Senate Republicans gave us a 99 page document one minute before the hearing and expected us to ask questions about it,” said Senator Schiavoni, the ranking member on the committee. “That’s ridiculous. But, that’s what they did with the original bill. Polls show the public doesn’t want to strip public employees of their right to collectively bargain. We are wasting time on this bill when we should be working to create jobs.”
The Senate Democrats continue to demand that the committee hear additional testimony. Particularly, they want to call the individuals from the Ohio Department of Administrative Services who drafted the faulty fiscal analysis the Administration leaked to the Dispatch over the weekend.
In other news, State Representative Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) has offered the Republicans a simple solution to the problem of large crowds coming to the Statehouse to follow the Committee work being done on SB 5: broadcast the hearings on the Internet:
“On this, the 208th anniversary of Ohio statehood, leadership refuses to utilize available technology so that tax-paying citizens can access Senate hearings,” said Rep. Fedor. “Wiring for all the rooms in the Statehouse was completed as part of the $3 million renovation in 1996. Each room is equipped to record audio online and cameras could be rolled in or ideally, mounted on the walls if used permanently. Having this type of access would allow for the whole context of the hearing to be heard, rather than just a 30-second sound byte.”
“I have been assured that the technology and infrastructure exists and is ready to be utilized,” said Rep. Fedor. “There is absolutely no reason to continue practices that keep Ohioans from being able to be fully engaged in their state government. Further, a recent decision to provide video in committee hearings was made during the confirmation hearings of former Governor Ted Strickland’s Director of the Department of Public Safety. As this bill moves forward the people of Ohio deserve to have public access and transparency into the legislative process.”
Representative Fedor is one of the plaintiff’s suing the State over the lockout of the Statehouse to SB 5 protestors (and elected legislators) last week. She asked in discussions to avoid any issue today that the Senate provide Internet broadcasts of the Senate Committee hearings. The Administration and Senate GOP leadership refused, even though the GOP Senate majority had no problem broadcasting their political show trial last year called the confirmation hearings for Cathy Collins-Taylor, former Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s PolitiFact rated Senate President Tom Niehaus as “Pants on Fire” for his totally false claim that SB 5 protesters defecated inside the Statehouse during the last protest.
(HT: Clips & Comment)
As Senate president, Niehaus is one of the most influential people in the state government and when he speaks people listen. Yet this claim is beyond inaccurate. It’s a ridiculous assertion that is unsupported by the people who actually take care of the Statehouse.
Statements that are both inaccurate and ridiculous get a special rating on the Truth-O-Meter: Pants on Fire.
Niehaus has yet to apologize for these comments.