Last week, the Yost campaign decided it would be a good idea to attack Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives. Here’s the money quote (h/t Weapons of Mass Discussion):
Dave’s opponent is a member of the state legislature, the very place responsible for the out-of-control spending of Columbus. With tax day upon us, let’s rise up and say “no more!”. Let’s get to work fixing the mess in Columbus and holding government officials accountable.
Other bloggers have already discussed this, but I think there are still a few layers to this awfulness that have yet to be peeled back. For example, does Dave Yost think that slapping an “out-of-control spending” label on Ohio House Republicans is going to help bring about the change that Ohio needs? Does he think that pinning the “out-of-control spending” on the legislature is going to do anything to help John Kasich pin the blame for spending where it really belongs — namely, on Ted Strickland? Does Dave Yost really care about Ohio, or does he just care about winning this election by whatever means necessary?
But I think the point that has really been missed is the sheer hypocrisy here. Ohio House Republicans — including Seth Morgan — have, contrary to the Yost campaign’s reckless disregard for the truth, again and again stood against Ted Strickland’s big spending.
But here’s the question: Can Dave Yost say the same thing about his own supporters among Ohio Senate Republicans?
We already know the answer to that question.
If you’ll recall, dear reader, I noted in March that Yost had received some rather unsavory endorsements from Republicans in the Ohio Senate. The most glaring was the inclusion of the infamous “Gang of 5” in these endorsements. The Gang of 5 — Ohio Senate President Bill Harris, John Carey, David Goodman, Tom Niehaus, and Mark Wagoner — was the group of five Republican state senators who did Ted Strickland’s bidding and voted to raise taxes to the tune of $900 million.
I prefer to pin the blame for Ohio’s big spending primarily on Strickland. But Yost is right that there are those to blame in the legislature. We can blame Ohio House Democrats. We can also blame the Gang of 5. They made a terrible decision for the people of this state. They demonstrated profoundly poor judgment. And they have done so again in endorsing Dave Yost, who would prefer to blame courageous Ohio House Republicans for the state’s spending rather than blaming Strickland, Democrats in the legislature, and five of the state senators who have given him their endorsements.
But we’re not done. Ladies and gents, we’re just getting started.
This is not the first time that the ORP-Kevin DeWine-Dave Yost axis has attacked Ohio House Republicans. As Matt Naugle (Right Ohio) is again pointing out, the Ohio Republican Party decided to take seemingly punitive action against Ohio House Republicans who are supporting Morgan’s candidacy for Auditor of State. Naugle broke the story that certain Morgan supporters in the Ohio House “were not being allowed to use the Ohio GOP’s bulk mail permit if they dared to support Seth Morgan.”
Republicans in the Ohio House and across the state could well ask at this point: Why don’t Dave Yost and Kevin DeWine want to take back the Ohio House?
One final note in closing. It’s not just the Ohio House that Yost and DeWine are gambling with their words and actions; it’s potentially the Apportionment Board as well. The five member board — comprised of the Governor, the Secretary of State, the Auditor of State, a member selected by the Ohio House Speaker, and a member selected by the Ohio House minority party — will be responsible for redistricting following this year’s census. The Apportionment Board’s role in redistricting promises to give the party controlling the board a tremendous decade-long advantage.
Think about that for a minute and think about what Yost and DeWine are doing. By falsely pinning the blame for big spending on Ohio House Republicans, Dave Yost is risking our chances of taking back the Ohio House. There’s one Apportionment Board seat. He is simultaneously deflecting criticism about spending away from Gov. Strickland, making John Kasich’s job more difficult. There’s another Apportionment Board seat.
Throw into the equation Yost’s candidacy for Auditor of State and the deflating impact it is having on the conservative base, and presto, you have a situation in which Yost may lose the Auditor of State’s office to David Pepper. There’s another Apportionment Board seat. That’s three, and three would give the Democrats control of the Apportionment Board.
DeWine and Yost already decided to risk the Apportionment Board by playing games with the Auditor of State primary. If they felt that was necessary, maybe they should refrain from hurting Republican chances for taking back the Ohio House and John Kasich’s chances of becoming our next governor. Then again, given the shenanigans with Jon Husted versus Sandy O’Brien for Secretary of State, maybe Kevin DeWine is trying to go all out and lose four Apportionment Board seats to the Democrats. That would be quite an accomplishment for any chairman — of the Ohio Democratic Party, that is.