Today is the third day of Sunshine Week, 2013 and while many of us are writing about the importance of open government and access to public information, Ohio’s Republicans are working furiously behind the scenes to try to restrict that access.
State Rep Louis Terhar is preparing to introduce a bill that would exempt applications for state jobs from public view. Terhar is the husband of Tea Party School Board President Deb Terhar. He was appointed by Governor Kasich to replace disgraced legislator Bob Mecklenbourg, and it seems Louis has been tasked with “fixing” public records laws that Kasich thinks are faulty.
Plunderbund was the first media outlet to call out Governor-elect Kasich for accepting resumes through his campaign website. Kasich then tried to hide those applications from the public but was eventually forced to release them. Under Terhar’s new bill, the records would have been sealed.
Republican Senator Joe Uecker has proposed a bill (SB60 ) that would remove the already-limited ability of journalists to view Concealed Carry permit records. Under current law, journalists must apply in writing to see any CCW records. And once granted permission, they are not allowed to take notes or make copies.
This already-restrictive law was put in place after The Sandusky Register published a list of the names of CCW permit holders.
Full disclosure: I have a concealed carry permit from Franklin County and I don’t give a damn if you look up my record.
State Senator Kris Jordan is a cosponsor of the bill. Jordan was recently investigated for gun-related domestic violence and has since introduced a bill that would jail federal agents for enforcing federal gun laws.
Last but not least, Republican State Auditor Dave Yost has been in discussions with Governor Kasich’s office over his right to audit JobsOhio, Kasich’s semi-private development organization. While Yost properly insists he has the right to audit all funds of the organization, he seems willing to compromise on when the information will be released to the public.
The proposed legislation shown below was produced by Yost’s office and sent to the Governor’s staff. If offers to make the results of the audit hidden from public view for 60 months, long after Kasich’s 2014 reelection campaign is over and a year after the 2016 presidential election, another campaign Kasich is rumored to be interested in joining.