I noticed this nugget from Joe Hallet’s Columbus Dispatch column today:

The governor’s intention was to roll many of Senate Bill 5’s provisions into the state budget, not make them an easier target in a free-standing bill, but Sen. Shannon Jones, R-Springboro, jumped the gun.

But then the article goes on to say:

Kasich also would rather not deal with bills moving through the legislature to all but ban abortions, allow concealed guns in bars and require voters to show photo identification at polls.

Which kind of reveals how Kasich is trying to throw Shannon Jones under the bus: the abortion bills, allowing concealed weapons in restaurants and bars, and the voter I.D. bills have become stalled… mysteriously (i.e.- thanks to the Governor.)  SB 5 was signed by Governor Kasich under an aggressive legislative timetable that everyone, the Governor included, seemed hell-bent in meeting.  So why now suggest that Shannon Jones, alone, “jumped the gun?”

What Kasich is suggesting just doesn’t make sense in hindsight.  The idea that Jones “jumped” the gun doesn’t seem credible.  After all, when Jones initially introduced the bill it was only a placeholder bill.  Everyone under the sun understood that Jones was working on introducing a bill that mirrored what Kasich began saying about Ohio’s collective bargaining law immediately AFTER the election.

Then there’s the fact that when the substantive language of SB 5 was finally introduced, during its first hearing in front of the Senate Commerce, Labor & Insurance Committee, Governor Kasich made the rare step of attending part of the committee hearing to give the press his seal of approval.   The next day, Kasich said in a speech to the Ohio Newspaper Association that if the legislature didn’t pass a collective bargaining reform bill he liked soon, he’d incorporate it into the State’s budget.  That’s what Kasich said and did in the first twenty-four hours since we all first saw SB 5.

The notion that Jones somehow “jumped the gun” makes no sense.  On top of that, look at what happened to Ohio’s estate tax repeal effort.  Despite running around the State talking about it for three years and the fact that a bill was quickly sent to the House floor to do exactly what Kasich had talked about doing, the bill suddenly stalled because Speaker Batchelder first said it needed to be considered in the context of the budget, then the Senate GOP announced after the budget was released that an estate tax repeal was shelved for the immediate future.  Kasich’s budget didn’t call for an estate tax repeal, or budgeted for one.

The perception in Columbus is that the Governor has unprecedented ability to control the legislative agenda in Columbus, as evidenced by the shelving of the gun, abortion, and estate tax repeal bills.  Kasich did talk about cloning SB 5 into the budget bill, and it appears he was rebuffed on that front.  However, otherwise Kasich seems to get his way.  And I don’t honestly believe that if Governor Kasich had told Senate President Niehaus and Speaker Batchelder to hold off on SB 5 until the budget they would have told them no.

The rollout of SB 5 was so coordinated between the Governor and the Republicans in the legislature to believe that that Shannon Jones “jumped the gun” to be too laughable for print.  So what’s going on?

Well, it looks like as “We Are Ohio” is just starting to get the signatures on putting SB 5 on the ballot, Governor Kasich is busy playing the Washington “blame game” in Columbus.  We know that on both sides of the aisle, each had two camps that intensely argued that it would be in their side’s best interest to have an SB 5 referendum on the 2011 or 2012 ballot. 

It looks like Governor Kasich was of the opinion that an SB 5 referendum would have more benefitted either him or his party by having it on in 2012.   Kasich might be trying to lay the early groundwork to dismiss the results of a referendum by saying the Republicans made a tactical error in forcing SB 5 to be subjected to a low-turnout referendum election in 2012 as opposed to a higher turnout election in 2012.

I honestly can’t come up with a better reason than that because what Kasich claims in Hallet’s column makes no sense otherwise, unless Kasich is operating under the mistaken belief that had they kept it in the budget would have made it immune from referendum challenge.  But that’s a faulty legal assumption in light of the video lottery terminal referendum Supreme Court cases during the Strickland Administration.

This isn’t exactly first time we’ve seen Kasich try to create some distance between himself and SB 5.

  • Annekarima

    Modern, it may be no one is being thrown under the bus…just the domino theory going into effect…

  • Jen

    It’s a hit-skip accident involving his bus and our unions. Too bad he left his GOVERNR license plate at the scene of the crime.

  • Random Thoughts

    Kasich: “Yo, Shan… kinda jumped the gun with the bill there, eh?”

    Shannon Jones: “Oops…”

    Somehow I just don’t see it going down that way…

    I picture Shannon Jones in a dark room, candles lit, incense burning, making a voodoo doll of Kasich… sticking pins in it as retribution for putting this all on her.

    What do you want to bet that, after she’s voted out of office for this whole SB5 fiasco, she writes a memoir?

  • Ohioteachertales

    Why would anyone buy the memoirs of a (formerly) obscure state rep? Maybe she’ll be a keynoter on the southern Ohio Kiwanis brunch circuit…

  • Theyeattheirown

    Probably a fair assessment. I was in the Senate chambers when they voted on SB5 and during the speeches from those opposed (including those from her own party) she was leaning back rocking in her chair, arms crossed, rolling her eyes, and shaking her head like a spoiled little rich girl.

  • Kasucks

    What could be better than seeing the righties turn on themselves. Teflon John doesn’t want to be the fall guy. I would love to see these two in a cage match. If we sold tickets we could use the surplus created to give all public employees a raise. : )

  • Obviously she will be on a reality show. Probably the Biggest Loser.

  • And Shannon Jones made him sign the bill as well? What a pathetic crawl back on someone who is supposed to be “principled”.

  • Who is going to “carry water” for Kasich now? I’m sure that the House and Senate Leaders are all excited they can push their NeoCon agenda but what about the rank and file GOP members of Ohio Congress.

    Shannon Jones just got thrown under the bus. Terry Johnson is getting thrown under bus for the prison closing in his district. All the other GOP Reps and senators are getting hammered in their districts for Kasich’s budget that cuts money to schools and local cities.

    Now the Pro Life/Gun crowd is going to get all uppity that there special interest bills are getting stalled. Wall Street is taking a dim view of Kasich’s proposals since now there is a Constitutional lawsuit against JobsOhio.

    It seems Kasich is trying really hard to be the WORST Governor in Ohio’s history. It’s too bad he is going to take this great State down with him.

  • Anonymous

    If you think Joe Hallett just made this up and didn’t get this from talking with Kasich, then you are delusional. Hallet speaks with the Governor often. He wouldn’t say something that wasn’t sourced.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if Hallett didn’t play-up Kasich’s private comments a bit. The entire column is about how Kasich can do no wrong. SB5 went badly? Jones’ fault. Approval ratings down? Just shows what a good job he’s doing. Done nothing to bring more jobs to Ohio? Well, that’s just because the dang job-hating liberals keep suing the executive branch and the only legislature right-wing enough to consider his economic proposals keeps getting distracted by the social issues the far-right really cares about. Done nothing else? Not true – he hasn’t derailed the several-month streak of dropping unemployment that Strickland had and he’s managed to keep companies that hadn’t really considered moving before from leaving now.

    The CD publisher Marrison has been fairly defensive about the even-handedness of the news operation as opposed to the editorial/opinion pieces they publish. I don’t think he understands how big of a hit to the paper’s credibility it is when the guy who is in charge of the political news operation is the same person publishing opinion pieces that show a disturbing lack of ability to assess the governor objectively and realistically…

  • Batemankn57

    I read it a little differently. I think she was beginning to see that she was out on a limb by herself, when Grendell and Seitz made the most forceful arguments for voitng NO. Now Kasich is just confirming that she’ll twist in the wind all alone.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    All Jones did was be the fall person for this bunch — still shes collecting $71,000 for being the majority whip and we are still paying in to her pension fund and we are paying for her healthcare ( they pay part the private sector pays the rest) with gas going to $3.99 today they should stop their travel benefits –why should I pay for her to get back and forth to her job she doesnt pay me to get to mine.
    As for SB5 well people are now getting suttle threats about signing the petitions…..
    been rumors that during Easter break some of the congress people were traveling around making stops at places and saying they would get their jobs if they signed a petition.
    What a lovely group of people !

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    By the way most of the state employees got their “SB5 is wonderful” announcment today — via e-mail from Blair
    I think thats a mis-use of state computers !! didnt have nothing to do with work…..

  • Spot on. Kasich’s name is rightfully in the mud on this because of his own actions. Ohioans would be smart to finally put some libertarians in office if they want to clean house

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