Tonight Senator Gillmor (R-Tiffin) held a town hall meeting in one of the school districts in her district. A music educator from central Ohio, who asked to remain anonymous, live blogged the event on their Twitter account last night.
[NOTE: We are relying on information provided third-hand and have not had an opportunity to independently verify the alleged attendee’s reporting. That being said, we were aware of such a meeting in her district yesterday scheduled for tonight.]
I believe that his reporting is credible based on it references things we have been told off the record from multiple Senate sources already. We have a person on the record who claims they were at this event and this is what Gillmor said. We will seek to confirm it with Gillmor’s office to be sure, but it appears to be credible to us. In the meantime, we leave it for you to decided for yourself.
Senate President Tom Niehaus told the media that every member of the Senate was free to vote their conscience, that there was no arm twisting. Earlier tonight, Senator LaRose issued a statement with a similar claim.
It’s utter horseshit. I’m sorry, it’s the only word that adequately describes what a ridiculous claim this is. You don’t vote to recommit the bill to the committee, and then when it fails, VOTE FOR THE bill. Period. This does not happen. That’s what LaRose did. LaRose’s statement is so full of crap, you have to wonder if he has YET to read the actual bill he passed.
LaRose’s statement does not explain away the unexplainable. How he could a) possibly, truly believe that this bill’s flaws were fixed; and b) if they were “fixed” after his amendment, why then was his next vote to delay a floor vote and send the bill back to committee for additional work.
Senator, you didn’t eliminate the language that could subject strikers to imprisonment, you just weakened it. Strikers can still be subjected to imprisonment and can face losing their jobs to permanent replacements and be fined. You, sir, are lying to your own constituents. And you’re fooling nobody in doing it.
Senator, not even your Majority Floor Leader believes this bill has been fixed, even though he, too, voted for it:
"This still is not final yet," [Majority Floor Leader Jimmy Stewart] said. "There is still more work to be done. I’m confident that the House will put some more work into it."
And then there’s Senator Gillmor who reportedly admitted tonight: SB 5 “is a bad bill.” You know, Senator LaRose, she was referring to the actual bill you both voted for. It’s so bad that Senator Gillmor said something I’ve never heard someone say about legislation they had just voted for—I’ll be the first to sign a petition to put it on the ballot to repeal it.
Gillmor attacked the Senate leadership: “What kind of leadership is that?” And then she said that her sole reason to vote for the bill was so that her caucus would “leave Gail Manning alone!”
If as Senate President Niehaus and LaRose claims, the votes were “not based political considerations or outside pressure,” then why was Bill Seitz not free to vote freely on the Senate Insurance, Labor and Commerce Committee? Why was Scott Oelslager not free to vote his conscious in the Senate Rules Committee? And why did Senator Gillmor say she needed to vote against her own conscious because she wanted the rest of her caucus to lay of Senator Manning? Why, if the Senate Republicans were free, is Karen Gillmor saying she cannot wait to sign a petition to repeal a bill she was arguably the deciding vote?
Again, why, if the bill’s defects had been corrected, did LaRose vote to “kill the bill,” only then vote to pass the bill? Just because Senator LaRose served our country honorably in combat in uniform does not mean he is incapable of serving dishonorably in politics. He wouldn’t be the first. Duke Cunningham was a decorated Naval pilot, after all. People can serve in the military and then lie. Or have we all forgotten Treasurer Mandel’s Muslim-baiting ad? LaRose is lying and so is President Niehaus (again.)
We’ll look into these allegations, particularly Gillmor’s other comment that there is a provision in this bill that will raise costs by a factor of five, but what Gilmor reportedly said is surprising and disturbing.