When John Kasich ran for Governor last year he promised to ‘focus like a laser’ on creating jobs in Ohio. It may seem like a trite and obvious statement for a candidate to make in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the great depression, but a number of voters responded to statements like this by actually voting for the guy. And they expected him – and the rest of the Republicans they simultaneously voted for – to fulfill their campaign promises to put aside partisan bickering over controversial right or left-wing issues and to focus exclusively on improving Ohio’s economy and getting Ohioans back to work.
It turns out they were all full of shit.
Setting aside for a second the debate over job-killing SB5 and the fact that supporters seem to conveniently forget the Great State of Ohio itself is our largest employer with over 60,000 employees (I’ll come back to this in a later post) – the number of highly-partisan and very non-job-related bills flooding Ohio’s House and Senate seems pretty unprecedented.
Quick question: name the top 3 issues over which you think Democrats and Republicans might “bicker”.
I’m willing to bet nearly every person reading this post included Abortion in that list.
No real surprise there. It is a contentious issue. But also completely unrelated to job creation in our state.
And yet, after promising to focus like lasers on job creation, members of the majority controlling Ohio’s legislature have introduced at least 7 bills in the past 60 days focused elusively on abortion:
And it isn’t just that they are introducing highly controversial bills. Just like JobsOhio and SB5, debate over the abortion bills has been restricted and important amendments have been rejected outright.
The most egregious example came during discussion over HB 79 that would “prohibit qualified health plans from providing coverage for certain abortions”.
Representatives Antonia and Hagan introduced very reasonable amendments to this bill. One would have required health insurance coverage of maternity services and the other would have prohibited health insurers from excluding coverage for contraceptives. Both were shot down immediately and never received a vote.
Regardless of your stance on the abortion issue you absolutely have to agree that preventing unwanted pregnancies is the best method of reducing abortions. And if you ARE going to prevent woman from having access to abortion services, the very least you can do it help them pay for the medical costs associated with their pregnancy.
This isn’t about jobs. This isn’t even about abortion. It’s about taking advantage of their control of the state in order to ram their highly-partisan agenda down the throats of Ohioans.
They promised us jobs and an improved economy but all we’ve seen is union busting, misogyny, a war on middle class ohioans and the promise to sell off all state assets to their lucky business pals.
It’s a horrible approach to governing that will have disastrous effects on the state. The only silver lining here is that they’ve pissed off so many people in the process that there is no way in hell many of these guys and gals are remaining in office after the next election.