The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Carl Weiser hosted a chat with Senator Shannon Jones yesterday morning to discuss Senate Bill 5. Jones’ herself wasn’t able to figure out the complicated (sarcasm) interface to CoverItLive, but a large number of angry Ohioans were, and they had some choice questions that Ms. Jones talking points didn’t even come close to answering.

A poll conducted during the chat that shows 92% of people oppose the bill. Judging by the questions asking during the session it looks more like 100%.

I’m not going to cover the whole session here, but I though one of the questions, and Ms. Jones’ curt response, was worth mentioning. The question came from Adam Parsons:

“Senator Jones, can you explain why it was necessary to resort to procedural irregularities and back-room maneuvering to push the newly-amended SB 5 to a vote so quickly after the amendment?”

Jones responded that this was not irregular and there were no back-room deals.

Here’s the thing: two other Senators have already made public statements that show Jones’ response is absolutely not true.

Bill Seitz, who was removed from the committee 30 minutes before he was planning to vote against SB5, told ThinkProgress that replacing members to force a bill out of committee was “not commonplace” and that he “couldn’t recall a time when something similar had occurred in the Senate.” Which makes it sound pretty irregular to me.

Speaking at a town hall yesterday Senator Gillmor said SB5 is “bad bill and it hurts people” and she faulted the GOP leadership for way they got it passed: “they kicked two great people off the committee in order to get it out… what kind of leadership is that?”

She also claimed the only reason she voted for the bill was “to save freshman Senator Fail Manning from the badgering of the machine”. But we also heard rumors that she was promised a committee chair if she voted yes on the bill.

All of this is the very definition of back-room dealing.

Given the importance of this legislation and the number of people it impacts it’s good that Jones (unlike Kasich) is actually out there answering questions from real Ohioans instead of just appearing on Fox News. But with nearly all of her answers, like the one above, she either ignored the question being asked or responded with talking points that left us all wondering why she even bothered.

You can see the full transcipt of the chat, along with a list of the questions (including mine) that didn’t get asked here.

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  • Anonymous

    Did you mean to call her FAIL Manning?

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    well ,,she really didnt answer anything — but the questions werent hard either.
    So if they are allowed to replace congress people on these committees — why is every one acting like its a new thing ?
    It was done to keep Kasich off them — if he calls policeman idiots I am sure he doesnt care to call all of them names either.
    I wish they would take a poll of Springboro and see what the odds are of her being re-elected in 2014.
    Shes not to smart if she cant figure out , health insurance premiums increased and the % of pensions increase– and the cost of living in general increasing day by day –and with no pay raises that this IS a slash in wages — well like I said ,not to smart
    As for merit raises I will never get one –I am a active union member — management hates that — before you all say thats against the law — well you have to prove it and you saw already what length these poeple will go to , to win —
    Has anyone noticed none of this is actually spelled out– if you bargain for a wage increase and its approved ( by management) for a new contract, do you still get a review and a merit raise? get both ? some how I think not
    How exactly can you bargain for wages if merit raises are in Sb5 also
    I cant wrap my head around this
    She said management doesnt have all the power– sure they do ,they proved that when they kicked off 2 of their own ,to pass a bill that no one had read all the way through
    And by her rules ( if they arent changed) you cant even ask them if they read it or not
    Gonna be a long spring and summer

  • Anonymous

    I agree, Outraged. Jones does not display even a Palin-like, crib-notes-on-the-palm knowledge of the details of her own bill (something Senator Gilmor hinted at this week when she mentioned that “the sponsor” of the bill doesn’t know that it’s going to raise employer costs by 500%).

    Still, Jones could have better prepared, faked it, because how hard is it to anticipate what type of questions one will be asked by the online community, in a Cincinnati Enquirer-sponsored forum?

    Instead, she comes off as slippery and uninformed.

    This supports my theory that “sponsorship” of this bill does not equate to “authorship” or, for that matter, even substantial involvement in its creation. (Maybe I’m just ignorant of the process and it never does?)

    If I’m right, SB5 belongs to Jones like Milli Vanilli’s songs belonged to them. Like them, she’s a lip-syncer, only fatter and not as jiggy.

    Why? BECAUSE SHE REPRESENTS WARREN COUNTY, the most reliably and shamefully red county in Ohio. Many argue that in 2004 Warren County essentially handed GW Bush Ohio’s electoral votes, and thus the Presidency.

    Jones “sponsored” this bill because she’s the safest Senator to pin it on. Period. She doesn’t even know what’s in the damned thing. And probably doesn’t care. Because as Warren County’s esteemed Senator, she doesn’t really have to.

  • Anonymous

    Warren County. Wasn’t that where they had the fake “homeland security alert” on election night 2004 that they used to justify counting the votes behind locked doors with no observers? Still, I don’t think there are enough voters there to have “handed” Bush re-election. It undoubtedly took a small group of such “Blackwell counties” in southwestern Ohio.

  • Joseph, thank you for this article. I found you via your comment on the ThinkProgress article on SB5.

    I do a gay advocacy blog, and I’ve been preparing a video piece on SB5 and the connection between labor unions and LGBT rights. I was about to finalize it when I found out that all text that’s not strikethrough or underlined is existing law. Since then I’ve been going nuts trying to figure out the implications of striking from Sec. 3101.01 that one phrase referring to Chapter 4117.

    I see from the text of the final bill that the revision of 3101.01 was struck from the final bill, so this particular point is now moot. However, I’m disheartened by the amount of confusion and wasted effort I’ve witnessed during the last few days. In addition to the ThinkProgress article, there was this one in The Advocate. http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/03/04/Ohio_AntiLabor_Bill_Goes_Antigay/ It seems like no one I know of is knowledgeable enough to properly interpret bills, which is bloody depressing because I had assumed that activists would be much more savvy than a political idiot like me.

    Can you suggest sources for proper interpretation of bills? I was thinking of calling the office of the politician who wrote the bill, but they would not have a vested interest in being forthright about the implications of something they buried in it, such as the vertical monopoly on utilities for the Koch brothers hidden in the Wisconsin bill. Am I faced with building up a network of politically savvy people in each state whom I trust and who are willing to correspond with me, or is there a more generalized source of interpretation?

    Thanks for your time.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    Yes , I agree–but I must say after reading other pieces of legislation this is one of the most difficult bills to read I have ever seen.
    I like you searched for the strike through of 1301. I also fonud that some things that were not a strike through like on thursday of last week is now a strike through.
    All I know is this is a huge mess and I really wonder how many years and how many lawsuits it will take to straighten it all up ( if we fail at the referendum.).
    just everyday language would be nice, huh.
    BUT then if it was easy to understand they couldnt hide things in their for their advantage.
    You are saying a lot of things the rest of us are thinking.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    Theres an article in Dayton Daily(A-9 Bill puts hiring and firing…) today(03/06/11) where she says –she said some of her ideas came from something called New Yorks Taylor Law adopted in 1967.
    theres like 29 pages
    “Introduction to the Taylor Law”

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