Monday, July 18, 2005

 

Constitution reforms and GOP threats

We've actually started out with a longer version of this post last week but decided it was too pedantic.

So, we'll leave out the background and cut to the chase. The Ohio GOP is going bonkers and getting nasty about the Reform Ohio Now campaign. You'll recall RON is really a group of three amendments to the Ohio Constitution that could drastically undercut the GOP's entrenched one party rule in Ohio by taking the politics out of elections and district reapportionment, and limiting campaign contributions.

Joe Hallett about a week ago documented some of the initial shitty vindictiveness about RON that is congered up by the likes of conservative meathead radicals like Ohio Senator Kevin Coughlin. That's bad enough.

But Coughlin antics end up looking like a child's tantrum compared to the threats and revenge we hear is now being dreamed up within Republican circles to deter the RON backers. We understand that some high-ranking Ohio GOP officials have resorted to not-very-veiled threats to the unions who helped initiate the RON effort, especially the public employee unions.

One particular high-ranking official - who happens to have a loud OSU logo on his front door - claims that RON has the attention of the White House and the entire Ohio Republican Congressional delegation. He is also trying to scare the Democrats in currently safe congressional districts and he brags that he will have all the money he needs to mount the anti-RON effort.

Back to the unions, this GOP official is threatening that a tidal wave of anti-union legislation will rise up if RON passes.

Had it not been for the series of pay-to-play Republican scandals in Ohio, these threats might be taken seriously. But in the context of what will likely be continuous bad news for the Republicans through the fall election when the RON amendments are on the ballot, we strongly believe these threats to be either a monumental bluff or a monumental miscalculation on the part of GOP chair Bob Bennett and others.

Bennett has to know that overt involvement by the Ohio Republicans in Congress will instantly be seen as self serving. And, if the White House wants to get involved - well, Bob, we think even you can figure out that right now that might not be such a good idea.

As a matter of fact, we think that Republican officials are so full of bullshit about putting up any kind of defense against RON, let alone a balls-out oppositional campaign, that we are willing to bet and offer 2-to-1 odds that Bennett, himself, ends up endorsing the RON amendments.

Again, we go back to the Dispatch's read on the current situation:
. . . the public will see only two sides in this deplorable episode: those who were on the side of the cleanup and those who were on the side of the cover-up.
Those sides are only get starker and clearer as we approach the first week of November. They can either accelerate the end of the their own domination - which will likely happen either way - by opposing RON, or they can try to start cutting their losses.

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