Ohio has never been considered a progressive state. Now that the Republicans – the Hoofbeaters, I mean – are firmly in control of everything from the Statehouse troughs to the Ohio River and the Lake Erie shores, it may be impossible to convince them of the absurdities of their fantasies. Whether it be the shallow excuses of, say, Secretary of State Jon Husted, an operative who has charmed the pens of editorial writers with his eternal war on non -existent voter fraud, or Attorney General Mike DeWine, who seriously believes that there is a special place in Heaven – and perhaps even in the governor’s office in 2018 – for abortion alarmists, there is little in Buckeyeland to suggest that we are much beyond the Dark Ages.

OK, OSU did beat Michigan.

Now we are coming to pet lovers. Mark this:

At the bewitching hour of 10 a .m. Thursday, a committee of aforesaid hoofers will stage a hearing in the Statehouse to consider killing a local law that our pols insist is a “job -killer”. When in doubt, the deep thinkers in the Ohio General Assembly haul out their fears that we are taking a giant step to gateway bread lines.

In this instance, the case deals with a law passed by Grove City that tightens the flow of dogs from puppy mills to the cages in Petland’s stores – 20 such places in Ohio. (Toledo has such a law, too.) Sounds reasonable enough, unless it reaches the folks running the legislature. The Senate has already passed the bill . It reads:

“It is the intent of the General Assembly to preempt any local ordinance, resolution or law adopted to regulate the sale, delivery, barter, auction , broker or transfer of a dog to a person from a pet store.”

Among its biggest supporters is House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, a Clarksville Republican, which Plunderbund has pointed out is well ensconced in rural Clinton County, a “village of 548”.

Rosenberger says he is deeply concerned about employment, defending the measure to overturn Grove City’s law:

“It is important,” he says, “that we not look at how we can potentially put someone out of business in our communities.”

The Speaker’s reflection on the economy is the touchstone of good governance among the Hoofbeaters.

By the way Petland’s lobbyist and legal counsel is Mike Gonidakis, formerly an Akron lad who is also the former head of Ohio Right to Life, which is another story.

The Columbus Dispatch reported Gonidakis as saying that groups like the United States Humane Society go into towns and “pound on” local elected officials. “Without this” he said, “it’s just going to be one thing after another.” Pound on? Until now I had believed that only well-paid lobbyists do that.

But Vicki Deisner, the Midwest legislative director of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals, said the Ohio House initiative on behalf of Petland “would ‘Permit the continued importation of inhumanely bred puppy mill dogs into our communities.”

Forgive me for getting in the last words: If Rosenberger and others believe that tighter controls on pet stores would put some of them out of business, isn’t that one way of admitting that such stores are guilty of doing what their defenders say they are not doing?