Back on Jan. 7th, 2011 Gov. Ted Strickland issued a executive order banning “the keeping of big cats, bears, wolves” in Ohio. On taking office, John Kasich blocked the order, claiming he was concerned the ban would negatively impact small-business owners. He eventually let Strickland’s executive order expire.

Jump ahead to today…

Late this evening in Zanesville Ohio dozens of wild animals escaped from a private owner’s home including “grizzly and black bears, wolves, and several species of large cats, including lions, tigers and cheetahs”.

As I type this, many of these dangerous animals are still loose in Muskingum County. School has been cancelled. People have been asked to stay in their homes. And Sheriff’s deputies have been working all night to protect the citizens in Muskingum County.

Now whether we can directly tie the animal escape to Kasich is certainly open to discussion. And we can debate whether the exotic animal ban would have prevented this incident, but it would be difficult for me – or anyone – to question the motives and competence of the Sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement officers on the scene right now protecting the citizens in Muskingum County.

Unfortunately that’s exactly what the wife of Kasich’s closest advisor, Jai Chabria, did this evening.

As the story of the animals’ escape unfolded, and news that Sheriff’s deputies had been forced to shoot at least one of the animals was made public, Jai’s wife Tammy took the opportunity to publicly attack the police officers and public employees in general on Twitter.

Chabria called the officers “inhumane morons who have no idea what they’re doing and shouldn’t be permitted to do this job”. And called the Sheriff’s “shoot to kill” order “Incompetence.”

She even took the opportunity to personally attack multiple people associated with We Are Ohio, sarcastically saying “incompetence by these public employees will win you many sympathies to your cause.”

It’s worth noting that “Ohio has the fourth highest number of incidents in the United States involving [exotic animals] escaping, injuring or killing people or other animals.” The ‘escaping’ number seems likely to go up this evening. But hopefully, with the help of Ohio’s dedicated law enforcement officers, no one will be injured or killed.

While many people are making jokes and kidding around on Twitter about the dangerous escaped animals, Muskingum County Sheriff’s deputies are out in the field making sure Ohioans are safe.

It really surprises me that anyone would question the motives of the officers in this situation. And it absolutely amazes me that someone so closely tied to the Governor’s anti-union, Pro-SB5/Issue 2 campaign would make public statements attacking these officers while trying to score political points.

Just to be clear, Tammy doesn’t speak for the administration nor for her husband. And her concern for the animals seems sincere. She absolutely has the right to say whatever she wants about public employees or SB5 or Issue 2 on Twitter or any other forum just like she’s been doing for months without any comment from us. But calling these officers morons and incompetent public employees when four tigers, a lion, eight bears and 12 wolves are on the loose in Zanesville seems to show a deep-seated and ingrained level of disrespect for police officers and public employees in general – the type of disrespect that is at the heart of their side’s arguments in favor of SB5/Issue 2.

 

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